Swan Lake is back at Sadler’s Wells Theatre!

An external shot of the Saddler's Wells Theatre in Islington, LondonTchaikovsky’s classic ballet, Swan Lake, composed in 1875/76 returns to Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London’s chic Islington district.  The spectacle made its debut at the same theatre in 1995, and is returning to the place of its première after 18 years.

The performance, based on old Russian folktales, tells the beautiful story of a young prince who falls in love with Odette, a princess who is turned into a swan by the curse of an evil sorcerer. Throughout the story, we are drawn into the twists and turns of the relationship between the two leads and how it develops.

Britain’s most popular choreographer, Matthew Bourne, revolutionised the performance by replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with an all-male one.  The Times said of the show “the impact of this vibrant staging is undiminished; if anything it’s even stronger.” Bourne’s adaptation of the show has made the classic story more modern and relevant to today’s society.

Swan Lake has achieved more than 30 international awards and has become the longest-running ballet both in the West End and on Broadway.  It encompasses dance, humour and award-winning designs by Lez Brotherston to create a breath-taking performance, enjoyed by those who know and love the traditional story as well as newcomers to the timeless tale.

The show is running at Saddler’s Wells Theatre from now until the 26th January. Tickets range from £12 to £60 and are available from the theatre’s website.

Plus, after taking in the magnificent performance, why not extend your experience by coming to visit DUKES London for a drink (James Bond Martini, anyone?) in our famed DUKES Bar?

Image courtesy of David Hawgood

Romeo and Juliet at The Royal Opera House: it’s coming!

An internal shot of the Royal Opera House, LondonMid-October marks the debut of the Royal Ballet’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s timeless romantic tragedy; Romeo and Juliet at the beautiful London Royal Opera House.

The classic play combines the themes of power within society and the inevitability of fate in this ultimate tale of forbidden love.  The Royal Ballet’s performance highlights the plight of the two star-crossed lovers as they embark on their love affair in the form of a stunning ballet.

Choreographed by the esteemed Kenneth MacMillan, this version of Romeo and Juliet focuses on the ‘emotional and psychological intensity at the heart of the tale’.  Widely known as his masterpiece, MacMillan’s interpretation of Romeo and Juliet first arrived at Covent Garden in 1965, and has been performed worldwide over 400 times.

The much-loved play begins its seven week-long programme on Saturday 19th October, and tickets are already selling out. Book your tickets and make a weekend of it by staying with us at DUKES – and making use of one of our many room and suite offers!

Image courtesy of FA2010

Boston Ballet to return to London’s Coliseum after long 30 years

Male and female ballet dancers of the Boston BalletLondon is welcoming back the Boston Ballet from the 3rd to 7th July for the first time in 30 years. The dance company, coming all the way from America, will present two mesmerising programs at the historic Coliseum.

Program A contains innovative dance work which will highlight the company’s various range of abilities. Arrangements include Vaslay Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun, George Balanchine’s Serendade and Symphony in Three Movements as well as a piece called Plan to B by their own choreographer, Jorma Elo.

Program B will bring to light the company’s contemporary skills through three diverse pieces. The program features Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, William Forsythe’s The Second Detail and Jiri Kylian’s Bella Figura.

Polyphonia, a complex piece, allows the dancers to showcase their raw talent in a stripped down, pure piece of ballet. The Second Detail is a strong piece full of energy, which never fails to overcome an audience. Boston Ballet is the first American company to perform Bella Figura, which is said to be an emotional masterpiece that leaves viewers with a long lasting impression.  All three pieces are cutting edge pieces of work – definitely worth a watch.

Ticket prices range from £10 to £75 and are available here.  Located in Covent Garden, the shows take place at 7.30pm each evening with an extra showing on Saturday 7th at 2.30pm.

Fancy dining in style beforehand? Come along to our restaurant and experience some of our fine cuisine. Perfect!

Image courtesy of KCBalletMedia

Northern Ballet jetés to London to perform ‘The Great Gatsby’

The Northern Ballet studio in LeedsF Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ is coming to the stage from the May 14th to 18th. Just days after the UK release of Baz Luhrmann’s cinematic version, Northern Ballet will be performing their adaptation in Sadler’s Wells theatre.

‘The Great Gatsby’ is the gripping story of a young Nick Carraway coming to know his aloof millionaire neighbour with an unforgiving past; Jay Gatsby. As the glittering façade of Gatsby’s life derails, Carraway learns of the scandalous and lonely lives of the ‘new rich’ living the ‘American dream’ of the 1920s.

One of the greatest American novels of the 20th Century, the Northern Ballet is said by Jeffery Taylor of the Sunday Express to have put on a performance that will ensure you “leave the theatre with a warm glow and a smile”. With its unparalleled reputation for telling a story through dance, Northern Ballet is the ideal company to bring this novel to the stage.

The production is being held at Sadler’s Wells theatre; a modern and contemporary dance and music performance space occupying a site with a long tradition of entertaining Londoners. It is a perfect setting for a timeless novel to be performed in the 21st Century.

After enjoying the roaring and glitzy American 20s relax back into the British elegance and charm of our exclusive suites, just a short distance from Sadler’s Wells.

Image courtesy of Dancewear Central

Sleeping Beauty becomes a ballet masterpiece

A painting depicting 'Sleeping Beauty' by Edward Coley Burne-JonesA world premiere of the timeless classic Sleeping Beauty has been reformed into a captivating ballet masterwork by the award-winning choreographer Matthew Bourne. His troubling new production has been described as “a gothic romance; a supernatural love story that even the passage of time can not hinder”.

In 1980 the enduring classic tale of a girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years was first revolutionised into ballet. Now, Bourne’s story commences at heroine Aurora’s christening where fairies and vampires feed on gothic imaginations. Bourne’s adaptation rebels against the idea of love at first sight. He claims once Sleeping Beauty goes to sleep nothing more happens after that. His haunting production is a Gothic romance for all ages, and especially for those who feast on dark, twisted love.

Bourne is widely known to be one of the UK’S best choreographers, receiving multiple nominations and awards including the Laurence Olivier and Tony award. He started training in dance at the age of 22 and went on to dance professionally for 14 years. Sadler’s Wells have decided to host talks throughout the year to look at aspects of his work and his background to celebrate the 25 years of Matthew’s Company New Adventures. The talk features Alistair Spalding talking to him about his newest piece, Sleeping Beauty, and his prospects and ideas for New Adventures.

Bourne’s enchanting Sleeping Beauty will feature designs from Olivier award winners Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paul Constable (lighting) and sound design by Paul Groothuis, and brings the audience into the core of his work, leaving them dazzled by the alluring movement.

Bourne is renowned for his radical, entertaining updates of classic work and his new version of Sleeping Beauty promises to be fantastic, like his previous versions of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker.

The running time of Sleeping Beauty is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, with ticket prices ranging from £12 to £60. Family tickets cost £140. This enticing classic is running from Tuesday 4th December to Wednesday 26th January 2013 at Sadler’s Wells, Roseberry Avenue.

After one of the finest nights of ballet to remember, why not unwind properly with one of Alessandro’s world-famous classic Martinis over in our DUKES Bar?