Ballet Backstage | Northern Ballet launches The Great Gatsby

February 20, 2013

Backstage

Northern Ballet launches The Great Gatsby with London preview

Launch night for Northern Ballet's The Great Gatsby

Launch night for Northern Ballet’s The Great Gatsby. Photograph : Cheryl Angear

There were diamonds on the tables, feathers in the air and a buzz in the crowd for the London launch of Northern Ballet’s new work, The Great Gatsby, which premieres in Leeds on Saturday 2nd March 2013.

Martha Leebolt as Daisy and Tobias Batley as Gatsby.  Photograph : Cheryl Angear

Martha Leebolt as Daisy and Tobias Batley as Gatsby. Photograph : Cheryl Angear

We were treated to three scenes from the ballet, and an insightful introduction to each from Artistic Director David Nixon, as well as an overview of his vision for the ballet.

Martha Leebolt, Tobias Batley and  Photograph : Cheryl Angear

Martha Leebolt, Tobias Batley and Guiliano Contadini Photograph : Cheryl Angear

First we had a pas de trois between Gatsby, danced by Tobias Batley, Daisy, danced by Martha Leebolt and Nick – Guiliano Contadini. Then we moved onto a strongly danced pas de deux between Gatsby and Daisy.

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley.  Photograph Cheryl Angear

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley. Photograph Cheryl Angear

The final dramatic scene featured Myrtle (Victoria Sibson), Tom Wilson (Ben Mitchell), Jordan (Hannah Bateman), Tom Buchanan (Kenneth Tindall), Gatsby (Tobias Batley), Daisy (Martha Leebolt) Nick (Guiliano Contadini), and Gangster (Matthew Broadbent).

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley.  Photograph Cheryl Angear

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley. Photograph Cheryl Angear

Hosted by Sadlers Wells, the intimate setting only highlighted the drama of the ballet. The Company excels at dramatic story ballets and close-up you have the chance to see them perform in detail.

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley.  Photograph Cheryl Angear

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley. Photograph Cheryl Angear

The Great Gatsby brings to life the indulgence and luxury of F Scott Fitzgerald’s famous American novel and effortlessly transports you to Long Island in the 1920′s.

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley.  Photograph Cheryl Angear

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley. Photograph Cheryl Angear

Gatsby is a secretive millionaire hosting lavish parties but it’s not long before his past is unravelled.

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley.  Photograph Cheryl Angear

Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley. Photograph Cheryl Angear

You can buy The Great Gatsby novel, which includes some academic notes, here :


The Great Gatsby (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)

By (author): F.Scott Fitzgerald

In 1922, F Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple, intricately patterned". That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned and, above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace be comes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream. It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties and waits for her to appear. When s he does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbour Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout.
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You can buy tickets to see The Great Gatsby ballet on tour from Saturday 2nd March 2013 via Northern Ballet’s website.

Part 2 of the London launch will follow.

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