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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2002 2:19 am 
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Northern Ballet Theatre<BR>Sadler's Wells<BR>Friday 15/03/2002<BR>Madame Butterfly<P>Northern Ballet Theatre's latest return to London for a 10 day season at Sadler's Wells Theater is the first under the leadership of their new artistic director David Nixon who joined the company in September 2001.<P>They present a full lenght version of Madame Butterfly, a work that Nixon originally created for BalletMet Columbus in Ohio and has now reworked for NBT.<P>Based on Belasco's play that also inspired Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly tells the story of a young girl who sold to a marriage broker by her dishonoured samurai father before his ritual suicide becomes a geisha. Eventually sold to the American naval officer Pinkerton as a 'bride' Butterfly who naively believes this to be a serious marriage forsakes her culture, her religion and her identity only to find herself abandoned carrying his unborn child. When Pinkerton finally returns 3 years later with his American wife Kate the heartbroken Butterfly has no choice but to accept Kate as his lawful wife and surrenders her young son into her care. Taking the last option open to her Butterfly retreats to her own culture and gains freedom from her dishonour by committing ritual suicide.<P>Friday night saw Desire Samaai and Daniel de Andrade in the leading roles. Both being accomplished dance actors they seemingly effortless brought their characters to live. Samaai especially is a revelation. The she executes Butterfly's delicate steps, the way she uses her eyes and face, even the way she stands demurely and motionless on occasion convey the characters ethereal frailty. It was impossible not to be moved by her performance and she deservedly got a huge ovation after her suicide at the end of the ballet. Andrade portrayed his character maybe too well because I could not find any sympathy for the careless, heartless Pinkerton who first treats Butterfly disgracefully and then leaves it to his wife to sort out the mess.<P>The entire company appears in good form doing honour to their company name by skilfully blending dancing and acting, never once switching back and forth between one and the other. All the supporting characters are well crafted especially Butterfly's maid Suzuki (Lynsey Brown) her sole companion throughout the story and Sharpless the American consul who is clearly appalled by Pinkerton's behaviour. Jonathan Renna convinces in no less than 3 very different roles. He first appears as Butterfly's father committing ritual suicide, then as Bonze a holy man who declares Butterfly an outcast for converting to Christianity and finally as Prince Yamedori a wealthy suitor introduced to Butterfly by the marriage broker Goro.<P>The dancers are aided in their task by Nixon's well thought out choreography which gives each character its own distinctive steps to work with. For the 2 suicide scenes he draws on Kabuki theatre traditions and uses traditional Japanese music whereas the rest of the ballet is set to music taken from Puccini's opera score.<P>The simple sets and the costumes, authentic enough to have a distinct Japanese feel but light enough to not restrict the dancers in their movements complement the choreography very well. The entire production is a beautifully blended, enjoyable whole and my advise is if you like narrative dance dramas do not go, run to get a ticket.<P>The Madame Butterfly season at Sadler's Wells will end on Saturday 23/03/2002.<p>[This message has been edited by OdileGB (edited March 20, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2002 2:20 pm 
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Location: London
Thanks for this Odile. I will try to get there this week.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2002 6:20 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
My Internet provider Tiscali has started printing the Sunday Telegraph reviews, while the Daily Telegraph site does not. Life can be puzzling! <P><B>East meets West with a story you can hum</B> <BR>By Louise Levene from the Sunday Telegraph. Also reviewed is the POB "Hurlevent".<P><BR>British ballet-goers do like a story they can hum. Pick a well-known tale - Alice in Wonderland or Far From the Madding Crowd - and the cash registers will start ringing while the music and decor are still scribbled on the back of an envelope. Northern Ballet Theatre exists to provide narrative dance with a broad appeal. Under the late Christopher Gable the 33-year-old company enjoyed a run of popular hits such as Dracula and A Christmas Carol. Gable's successor, Stefano Giannetti, resigned after only a year and there was a sticky 15-month interregnum while inferior works like the risible Jekyll and Hyde found their way into the repertoire.<P><A HREF="http://www.tiscali.co.uk/cgi-bin/news/newswire.cgi/news/telegraph/2002/03/17/review/11_thearts.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 19, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:21 am 
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<B>NBT now stands for New Boss Triumphs</B><BR>By Jenny Gilbert in The Daily Telegraph<P><BR>Northern Ballet Theatre has never been terribly interested in pushing the technical frontiers of dance. But it has always been keen – evangelically keen – on dispelling the idea of ballet as a stuffy or difficult art form, promoting instead the notion of dance as a narrative vehicle. The company has had a rough ride in recent years, getting through artistic directors faster than dancers get through Arrid Extra Dry, but with new boss David Nixon, it looks to be back on track. His two-act Madame Butterfly, which he brought with him from Canada, expanded and reworked for NBT, is only the first of three Nixon-choreographed touring programmes planned this year, but one can believe he got the job on the strength of it.<P><A HREF="http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=275943" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 3:52 am 
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I saw the production last Saturday evening. I do enjoy watching NBT as I do feel that they successfully combine good dance with good acting unlike a lot of other ballet productions I have seen recently where the technical difficulty will often overtake the performance of the emotion. Being such an emotionally charged piece I was glad that obviously this was put at the forefront.<P>The lighting was superb. Brilliant, almost surreal colours put across the warmth of this country but also gave a sense of forebodin throughout the entire production and the pools of red light during the end suicide scene were extremely dramatic and in direct contrasts to the blues and greens of the rest of the evening.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 1:12 pm 
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<B>Madame Butterfly, Norwich</B><BR>By CAROLINE CULOT in EDP24 (Norwich)<P><BR>If you are going to take on the Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) as its new artistic director as David Nixon has done, then you may as well start in style.<P>And if last night's performance of Madame Butterfly, marking Nixon's debut with the company, is any indication of what's in store, then I am sure NBT fans are not going to be disappointed.<P>In his adaptation of the opera version, Nixon attempts to evoke the ethereal, delicate nature of Butterfly – which indeed he does.<P>The story tells of a beautiful geisha who falls in love with an American naval officer who spurns her with tragic consequences.<P><A HREF="http://www.edp24.co.uk/Content/WhatsOnReviews/WhatsOnReviewsStory.asp?Brand=EDPONLINE&Category=WHATSONREVIEWS&ItemId=NOED22+May+2002+21%3A58%3A27%3A253" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 11:56 pm 
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<B>Ballet keeps audiences spellbound</B> <BR>By Jenny Longhurst, South Wales Echo<P><BR>NORTHERN Ballet Theatre goes East for inspiration for one of its latest creations and finds it in spades in the tale of Madame Butterfly, a story which lends itself exquisitely to dance.<P>Artistic director David Nixon's new ballet held the New Theatre audience spellbound as it blossomed, like the cherry trees overhead, into a spine tingling version of this romantic tragedy.<P>Riveting, even though a little slow in patches, the contrast of the traditional Japanese music which accompanied the rituals and Puccini's beautiful score through the main body of the piece, only served to heighten the dramatic effect.<P>Desire Samaai made a breathtaking Butterfly, a fragile, exotic creature convincing in all her moods, shy, playful, despairing and above all passionate both in the lyrical love duet in Act One and in her harrowing death.<P><A HREF="http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0900entertainment/0050artsnews/page.cfm?objectid=11948607&method=full&siteid=50082" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 1:54 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Ballet search for two-two kids
From The Evening Times


A BALLET company has launched a major hunt to find two budding stars for a top Glasgow show.
Northern Ballet Theatre is searching for two children - girls or boys - to appear in five shows at the King's Theatre next month.

Two children, aged 5 or 6, are to play Madame Butterfly's son during alternate performances.
The production at the King's, is based on the original Belasco play that inspired Puccini's famous opera.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre - Madame Butterfly
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 1:55 am 
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Northern Ballet Theatre: Madame Butterfly
From Scotland on Sunday

Madame Butterfly is renowned for its beauty and colour at the best of times but NBT’s new artistic director, David Nixon, has pulled out all the stops with this spectacular production.

The piece was originally created for his internationally acclaimed ballerina wife, Yoko Ichino, who performed it in their former company, Ballet-Met Columbus in the US. It has been reworked for the NBT dancers and looks set to get a fair few Scottish hearts all of a flutter.

We all know the tale of the young geisha girl who marries Lieutenant Pinkerton - a dashing naval officer - only to be abandoned carrying his unborn child, and we empathise with the loyal Butterfly as she awaits her husband’s return, valiantly raising their son alone in a society that has also deserted her. We also know that when Pinkerton does eventually appear, it will be with a new American wife and the fate of Butterfly and her young son will be sealed.

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<small>[ 23 March 2003, 02:56 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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