Dance fans will be seduced by the world’s greatest lover when Northern Ballet brings its sensual new production ‘Casanova’ to Milton Keynes Theatre, writes Georgina Butler.
The much-anticipated ‘Casanova’ is award-winning choreographer Kenneth Tindall’s first ever full-length work, and it arrives in the new city on Wednesday (April 19).
Now hot property as a dancemaker, Tindall was a premier dancer with Northern Ballet for twelve years before he retired from performing in 2015. This means he completely understands the internationally-acclaimed company’s ambition to tell stories that audiences can immerse themselves in and connect with.
Giacomo Casanova’s story is so sensational that it is hard to believe it is true. History’s most notorious playboy lived a life full of sexual conquests, scandal and adventure – and he wrote about it all in vivid detail in his memoirs.
Tindall, in collaboration with Casanova’s biographer Ian Kelly, has devised a scenario for his two-act ballet that will unmask the 18th Century Italian stallion and expose Casanova’s humanity. Between them, they have condensed twelve volumes of Casanova’s memoirs into 100 minutes of narrative-driven dance theatre.
Far from the heartless lothario we might have imagined, Casanova was a man who loved and lived with passion and verve.
Fiercely intellectual, he was one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment era and accomplished great things as a musician, mathematician, scientist and philosopher. As a young man, he aspired to join the priesthood and he did devote himself to being a church cleric for a short while. It was only when he allowed himself to be consumed by his desires that his life of debauchery began…
This production promises to chart Casanova’s highs and lows, revealing how a trainee priest ends up being imprisoned, exiled and having his name forever immortalised as a derogatory adjective!
Tindall’s choreography is known for being experimental and expansive so theatregoers ought to expect a mixture of modern and classical sequences.
‘Casanova’ might focus on the exploits of one man but it takes a thirty-strong cast of dancers and a talented group of backstage creatives to bring this decadent production to the stage.
American film and television composer Kerry Muzzey created the original score, which is played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia. Sets and costumes – including 120 dazzling Venetian masquerade masks and an abundance of corsets - are by British designer Christopher Oram, who has recently been announced as part of the design team for Disney’s ‘Frozen’ musical on Broadway. Finally, the 60 powdered wigs that are used in each performance have been individually crafted under the expert guidance of West End hair, wig maker Richard Mawbey.
Northern Ballet’s dancers themselves are admired for their acting ability just as much as for their dance technique. If any company can pull off a production of this magnitude, with style and substance, Northern Ballet can.
An epic evening of entertainment awaits.
By Georgina Butler.
For more dance and theatre news, reviews, features and interviews by Georgina, visit http://georginabutler.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter @GeorginaLButler.
To book tickets for Casanova, click www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes