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 Post subject: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Beauty and the Beast&qu
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2002 2:16 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The good, bad and divinely silly
Ismene Brown in The Daily Telegraph reviews Beauty and the Beast by Northern Ballet Theatre

This Christmas shows a north-south divide - south, conservatism rules, and Nutcrackers come at you from all sides; north, there's a surprise, and in the season when above all a ballet company wants familiarity to work its old box-office magic, here is Northern Ballet Theatre with a premiere.

Granted, it's hardly radical only Beauty and the Beast, a family fairy-tale show. Nevertheless, I take my hat off to NBT (a company I am normally beastly about). Disney-esque and entirely shallow it may be, but who could resist a show where at the moment of highest suspense - when the Beast has only just restrained himself from ravishing Beauty - six duvets dance over the parapet with smirks on their faces? I couldn't, nor could the mirthful audience at Leeds' picturesque Grand Theatre.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Beauty and the Beast&qu
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2002 12:59 pm 
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Location: London
Beauty and the Beast
by Allen Robertson
The Times


Quote:
IT IS difficult to concoct a grand royal wedding finale when all you have at your disposal is a bride, a groom and five couples to back them up. This doesn’t stop the choreographer David Nixon from trying. The end result is, of necessity, visually thin and emotionally under par. Nixon’s lack of access to sufficiently opulent resources is compounded by the music — the mighty Saint- Saëns Organ Symphony
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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Beauty and the Beast&qu
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2002 5:45 am 
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Location: London
Beauty and the Beast
Grand Theatre, Leeds
Review by Nadine Meisner
The Independent

Quote:
Trawling for a subject that isn't The Nutcracker or Cinderella, David Nixon has come up with Beauty and the Beast, a ballet he made for his previous company, BalletMet Columbus, and now brings (with some revisions) to Northern Ballet Theatre. Audiences are lapping it up. There is a finite number of fairy tales; it's not every day you can find a story with big mythic themes. Other choreographers (John Cranko, Peter Darrell) have headed for the same title, as well as Jean Cocteau, who made it into a famous film. Yet it contains a number of pitfalls. How do you convey the story's more complicated twists? And how, crucially, do you deal with the transformation from handsome prince to terrifying beast and back again?
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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "Beauty and the Beast&qu
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 9:48 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Beauty and the Beast
By Stephanie Ferguson for The Guardian


David Nixon created this version of the fairy tale - a phantasmagoria of grim goblins, dancing cushions, flying fish and magical mirrors - for his former company, BalletMet Columbus, in 1997. Now the artistic director of Northern Ballet Theatre, he has brought the show to his new company intact, but the Gothic vaulted castle, humble cottage and thorny forest of its panto-style sets look a bit hand-me-down compared with the award-winning designs usually associated with NBT.

Nixon goes for the full storybook approach, with olde-worlde pages projected on the curtain and a simple narration. The baddie, La Fee Miserable, flies in on a smoke-snorting dragon to do battle with the goodie, La Bonne Fee, who for some reason travels in a fat blue fish. At times you wonder if it's supposed to be a pastiche or just corny family fun.

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