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 Post subject: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2002 2:39 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Young Heathcliff required for ballet
from EDP24 (Norfolk)

The search is on for a budding ballet dancer to star in Northern Ballet Theatre's latest production at Norwich Theatre Royal next month.

NBT needs a young male dancer to perform the role of Young Heathcliff in its adaptation of Wuthering Heights when it visits the theatre from October 22-26.

Wuthering Heights, inspired by Emily Brontë's novel, is a creative collaboration between NBT artistic director David Nixon and composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, known for his West End hits Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and Martin Guerre.

The ballet focuses on the powerful bond that grows between Catherine Earnshaw and the foundling Heathcliff in a darkly haunting tale.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2002 11:33 am 
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Location: London
Lost on the moors

Ismene Brown (The Telegraph) reviews Wuthering Heights, touring


Quote:
Of the world premiere of Northern Ballet Theatre's Wuthering Heights at the Bradford Alhambra I will opine weakly that it is jolly good for what it is and the box office will love it. Then I will rant that the lobotomists are at work again, turning great and extraordinary literature into whey-faced sentiment
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Wuthering Heights
Alhambra, Bradford

Judith Mackrell
The Guardian


Quote:
With its famously stormy lovers and even stormier landscape, Wuthering Heights could easily translate into the most flatulent of literary ballets. But one real merit in David Nixon's new production for Northern Ballet Theatre is its surprising restraint with blasted heath and dry ice. Cathy and Heathcliff do, at one point, exchange desperate vows on a dramatically windy stage, but otherwise the setting is surprisingly cool, the acting surprisingly unrhetorical.
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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 2:35 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in The Sunday Times.

Quote:
Wuthering Heights, in David Nixon’s new production for Northern Ballet Theatre, is a very busy ballet. There’s such a lot of running, rolling and chasing about on the moors in Ali Allen’s slate-grey, chalky-streaked, storm and snow-swept set; a great deal of energy expended, especially by Jonathan Olivier as the black-maned, black leather-trousered Heathcliff, who smoulders very agreeably. This danced condensation of Emily Bronte’s classic left me drained, but not, I think, for the intended reasons
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And in The Observer.

Quote:
While the Danses Concertantes's programme vindicates what ballet, and only ballet, can do, David Nixon's Wuthering Heights reduces an intractable novel into dance-theatre. He has simplified Emily Brontë's saga into the tale of a wilful girl (Charlotte Talbot as Cathy) torn between love on the moors and married life in luxury. Wild-haired Heathcliff (Jonathan Ollivier) recalls her fate in flashback: the ballet starts and ends with him howling against a wind-lashed landscape as Claude-Michel Schönberg's score roars around him.

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<small>[ 09-30-2002, 04:48: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 3:03 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in The Independent.

Quote:
David Nixon's new Wuthering Heights for Northern Ballet Theatre will probably be a hit – although at only two hours long it still had me glancing twitchingly at my watch. The plentiful pas de deux that form the ballet's backbone will probably wow audiences – although their intended intensity to me felt closer to bathos, too clichéd and repetitive to strike the heart with fresh force. After the deft assurance of Nixon's Madame Butterfly and I Got Rhythm (previously staged elsewhere), maybe we had been expecting too much and this, his first original work for NBT, comes as something of a disappointment.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 1:29 pm 
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Wuthering Heights - Bradford
By Kevin Berry for The Stage

There is something missing from this new version of the familiar story and it is Wuthering Heights and its landscape.

Northern Ballet Theatre's production, premiered at the Alhambra, is an outstanding and pleasingly faithful interpretation. Relationships and emotions are vividly and clearly expressed but some midnight oil needs to be burned in the design shop.

First the young Cathy and Heathcliff are out on the moor – then their older versions – but all
that they have is a rudimentary backcloth and a single tree. One longs for the suggestion of a
ledge for them to roll on, one expects to see a distant view of the Heights – but no. When scenes are set at the house, a single wall, shaped like a French TGV express train, is pushed on.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:31 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Teenager hits ballet Heights
from EDP24 (Norfolk)

At just 13 he has already hit the height of his profession.

While other children spend their half-term relaxing during a break from school, Lewis Smith will be on stage with a national ballet company.

The Lynn Grove High School, Gorleston, student will be appearing as the young Heathcliff in Northern Ballet Theatre's production of Wuthering Heights at the Theatre Royal in Norwich – just two years after taking up ballet dancing.

Lewis began training at The Dancers School in Gorleston four years ago, and has progressed through different styles of dance to take up ballet.

"I saw some dancing on television and thought I would like to try it," said Lewis.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2003 6:04 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The times.

Quote:
TO TACKLE a novel as sweeping as Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is an ambitious undertaking for any choreographer, but David Nixon, in his staging for Northern Ballet Theatre, has wisely chosen to telescope events and close-focus on the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff. The result, here receiving its London debut at Sadler’s Wells, is a pared-down, intimate dance of love and loss which engages our hearts without ever quite topping the Richter scale of stage emotion.
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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 10:24 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Wuthering Heights at Sadler's Wells, 21st March 2003 - a few thoughts

The reviews for last year's premier of "Wuthering Heights" were not encouraging, so I wasn't full of anticipation for the performance at Sadler's Wells. However, I was told that the production had developed over the past months and in the event I enjoyed it a lot. Perhaps I should confess that I haven't read the book, so I wasn't faced with that potentially disappointing comparison.

Jonathan Ollivier's Heathcliffe gives it all he's got right from the explosive first scene of anguished loss on the Moor. Choreographer and AD David Nixon has given him exciting steps and also ensures that Charlotte Talbot's Cathy shifts smoothly from Tomboy to Lady of the Manor on point and then to despair. In her conflicting attraction to both love and wealth and the passion of the duets between the two leads, I was sometimes reminded of "Manon". In contrast to this abandoned dancing, there are far more conventional ballet steps for Edgar, the wealthy husband of Cathy, and his friends. These scenes suit the characterisations, but can become a little dull. Nevertheless, as Edgar, Hironao Takahashi displays the elegance and soft landings that we have come to expect from him.

The sets also came in for some criticism when first seen, but I enjoyed the stylised recreation of the moor and Wuthering Heights and with a headboard like water rushes in a storm, Cathy's luxury bed is to die for. Les Mis composer Claude-Marie Schonberg’s score provides a framework for the steps, without ever inspiring.

If you enjoy ballet theatre, then this is certainly a production to see.

<small>[ 23 March 2003, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Wuthering Heights"
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 1:48 am 
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Exactly the right degree of wutheringness
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent on Sunday

Heathcliff and Cathy must count among the most mythologised couples in literature. Like Frankenstein and his monster, or Jekyll and Hyde, they have acquired a fuzzy existence independent of the pages that bred them. So when Northern Ballet Theatre's David Nixon set about making a ballet on Wuthering Heights, he could have done pretty much anything he liked in his treatment of the central pair. NBT has built its reputation on story ballets, and its audiences do like a story they can hum. But to his credit Nixon retained some of the fierce and truculent spirit of Emily Brontë's novel while at the same time turning it into a musical.

The juggling act succeeds thanks largely to two exceptional performing talents. Jonathan Ollivier's Heathcliff not only fills the physical requirements of height, brooding looks and rough athleticism, but he understands the power of understatement.

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