Northern Ballet takes the Dream to China

January 13, 2014

Press Releases

Northern Ballet takes the Dream to China


Northern Ballet has arrived in China to bring Shakespeare’s most enchanting tale to audiences with a tour of David Nixon’s critically acclaimed production A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Company is the first British cultural organisation to tour to China following the signing of a new cultural agreement between the UK and China by UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller and Chinese Minister for Culture, Minister Cai Wu.

Northern Ballet, who has previously completed successful international tours to China, Hong Kong and Thailand, will perform this magical production from 15 to 25 January 2014 at venues in Xiamen, Guangzhou and Beijing. The Company will also be holding a pop-up performance at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hangzhou which will feature excerpts from The Great Gatsby, Cleopatra, and two pieces, Man I Love and Three Preludes, from the Gershwin spectacular I Got Rhythm. The pop-up performance has been arranged to coincide with a visit to Hangzhou by Leeds and Partners who are sponsoring the tour and will host a business event in the city.

Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper, says: “I am delighted to announce that Northern Ballet return to China in January 2014. We will give our first performance in Guangzhou for more than a decade and we will be the first European company to perform a full-length ballet in Xiamen.

Northern Ballet is a passionate cultural ambassador for Leeds, Yorkshire and the UK and we are pleased to be working with Leeds and Partners to give the legal and financial services sectors, plus the universities in Yorkshire, an opportunity to cultivate business relationships between Leeds and China to further benefit the city and the region. Northern Ballet would like to thank Leeds and Partners and Arts Council England for supporting the tour.”

Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive of Leeds and Partners said, “Culture is a key contributor to the Leeds City Region’s economy and a key asset in investors’ decision making.   The city is perfectly placed to capitalise on the popularity of UK culture throughout China and this mission will boost the number of cultural exchanges between China and the UK.”

Northern Ballet’s tour, which follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade envoy to China in December 2013, has required a substantial amount of planning; three containers of sets and costumes left in October on a six-week voyage by sea to the Far East. It will showcase the talent and innovativeness of one of the UK’s top professional ballet companies.

Following Northern Ballet’s return from China, UK audiences will have the opportunity to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream as it tours to Norwich, Milton Keynes and Southampton in May.

Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s five large ballet companies. Based in Leeds it performs throughout the UK as well as overseas. Northern Ballet’s productions mix classical dance and theatre, embracing popular culture and taking inspiration from literature, opera, or giving a unique interpretation of popular classical ballets.

About Northern Ballet

Northern Ballet is the busiest touring ballet company in the UK and is typically on the road for around 24 weeks of the year. The Company of 40 dancers tours a combination of new works and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK and is the only large scale ballet company to do so.

Northern Ballet’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic play A Midsummer Night’s Dream sees the romantic antics of a touring dance company play out on one midsummer night as the company travels by sleeper train from London to Edinburgh. Dior inspired costumes and stylish black and white sets provide a dazzling contrast to the glorious technicolour of the dream-world, whilst David Nixon’s choreography brings out the comedy, romance and entanglements of this delightful story.

Northern Ballet has secured financial support from Leeds and Partners to help make this tour possible. Leeds and Partners is the strategic organisation responsible for attracting inward investment, supporting trade, promoting tourism, and raising the profile of the city of Leeds where Northern Ballet is based.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – China Tour

Xiamen Banlam Grand Theatre                                                 Guangzhou Opera House

Wed 15 Jan                                                                                         Fri 17 – Sat 18 Jan

Box Office +86 400 880 2281                                                        Box Office +86 20 3839 2888


National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

Thu 23 – Sat 25 Jan

Box Office +86 10 6655 0000


Pop-Up Performance – China Tour

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hangzhou

Tue 21 Jan

Box Office +86 571 8779 1234



A Midsummer Night’s Dream – UK Tour

Norwich Theatre Royal                                                                 Milton Keynes Theatre

Tue 13 – Sat 17 May                                                                        Tue 20 – Sat 24 May

Box Office 01603 630 000                                                              Box Office 0844 871 7652


The Mayflower, Southampton

Wed 28 – Sat 31 May

Box Office 02380 711 811

Leeds and Partners

Leeds and Partners is the strategic organisation responsible for attracting inward investment, supporting trade, promoting the visitor economy, and raising the profile of the Leeds City Region. Our focus is on driving sustainable economic growth, creating jobs, and promoting the region as vibrant, dynamic and competitive, as well as having global reach. To achieve this, we work with our public, private and third sector partners.

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