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Northern Ballet Premiére of Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre

Ballet (Photo Credit: Guy Farrow)Northern Ballet has announced its next new creation will be be an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s iconic masterpiece, Jane Eyre. Choreographed by acclaimed international dance maker Cathy Marston, the new full-length ballet will première during the 200th anniversary year of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. The World Première for Jane Eyre will be held at Cast in Doncaster on 19 May 2016 before touring to five further venues in Richmond, Aylesbury, Wolverhampton, Stoke and Leicester between May and June 2016. 

Orphaned at a young age and cruelly treated by her Aunt, Jane Eyre is a plain but intelligent child who grows up knowing little kindness. Sent away to a charitable school, Jane later accepts a position as a Governess at Thornfield, a gentleman’s manor whose master is the dark and impassioned Mr Rochester. In spite of their social differences, an unlikely bond grows between the pair but as their romance develops, it becomes clear that Mr Rochester has a hidden past that threatens to ruin them both. The ultimate dramatic tale of romance, jealousy and dark secrets, Jane Eyre is the story of one woman’s indomitable spirit overcoming all boundaries. 

Jane Eyre will be Cathy Marston’s second full-length production for Northern Ballet following her creation of the Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities for the Company in 2008. She was educated in Cambridge and at the Royal Ballet School and was Associate Artist at the Royal Opera House from 2002 - 2006 and Director of the Bern Ballett in Switzerland from 2007 - 2013. 

For this new production, Cathy has brought onboard composer Philip Feeney to compile and arrange a score for Jane Eyre. Made up of original compositions and existing work. Philip’sconnection with Northern Ballet stretches back over 25 years and his credits include Cinderella (Gable), Dracula (Gable), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Pink), A Streetcar Named Desire (Veldman), Hamlet (Nixon), Cinderella (Nixon) and Elves & the Shoemaker (Andrade). 

Patrick Kinmonth, who has worked closely with photographer Mario Testino designing numerous campaigns, books, and exhibitions for Gucci, Valentino, Versace and Dior, and has designed over 20 theatrical productions, will design the sets and costumes. Completing the creative team, Alastair West, whose Northern Ballet credits include Giselle, I Got Rhythm, A Christmas Carol and The Architect, will design the lighting. 

Cathy says: creating for Northern Ballet is a joy because everyone in the organisation shares my passion for telling and digging deep into stories through dance. Though the Company has excellent technique and production values, it is their unparalleled ability as dance actors that I love most so I am thrilled to return to Northern Ballet in 2016 to create Jane Eyre.’ 

Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon OBE said: ‘Cathy is a huge talent and one of the leading choreographers of the moment so I am delighted that she will be returning to work with Northern Ballet once more.  

Having already adapted Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights it seems appropriate that Northern Ballet should also immortalise her sister’s Jane Eyre through dance and doing so in the bicentennial anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth makes it all the more special.’ 

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