Ballet Chocolat

Every now and then (but nowhere near often enough) something innovative catches my eye and I just have to break the Ballet News rules !  This is one such occassion. The National Youth Ballet is not a vocational school or ballet company, rather it’s dancers are yound dance students who have often gone on to vocational training. For example, Andrew McNicol is choreographing Ballet Chocolat and is currently following a vocational training at Central School of Ballet. Before that he was at White Lodge where he won the  Kenneth MacMillan prize in 2008. Olivia Holland will dance the lead girl (the mum, Vianne) in Ballet Chocolat. She is in her last year at Elmhurst School for Dance and is constantly working with Birmingham Royal Ballet and this year has toured with them in Japan. She also trained at White Lodge.

two dancers embrace

I’m intrigued by their premiere of their Ballet Chocolat, as I thoroughly enjoyed Joanne Harris’ book (and recommend it to you).

Chocolat (Paperback)

List Price: £7.99 GBP
New From: £3.49 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock

There is also a Kindle version (e-books are fast outstripping paper copies)

Chocolat (Kindle Edition)

List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only


  • World BALLET Premiere of ‘Chocolat’
  • Working with Academy award winner and renowned movie score composer Rachel Portman
  • Opportunity awarded to hotly tipped young choreographer, Andrew McNicol, mentored by David Bintley, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet Director

Today, the highly acclaimed National Youth Ballet of Great Britain has announced its diverse and colourful programme for its new season. The company will perform at the E M Forster Theatre, Tonbridge, Kent 25th – 27th August and stage its glittering London gala on September (date tbc)  at Sadlers Wells (TBC).

The highlight of the season is the premiere of Balllet Chocolat, a thematic work with an essence of Joanne Harris’s highly successful book and the MIramax film Chocolat.  The ballet is set to the film’s delightful original score by British composer and Academy Award winner Rachel Portman and offers young award winning choreographer, Andrew McNicol (18), a unique opportunity to stage this 35 minute piece for the talented NYB’s 2011 company, Andrew is mentored by David Bintley Patron of NYB and  Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

The innovative season also features the premiere of Feeling Groovy, cleverly choreographed by Antony Dowson who marries classical ballet with universally loved songs by Simon and Garfunkel. Alumni, Jo Meredith, returns to NYB to re-stage her acclaimed Cowardly Affair  with music by Noel Coward. Other audience favourites include Captain Beaky, with music composed by Jim Parker and amusing lyrics by Jeremy Lloyd. Janet Kinson stages excerpts from her attractive Degas ballet; Les Petit Rats and Anna Meadmore’s traditional ballet  Lavender Blue gives the youngest dancers a chance to dance.

This year, National Youth Ballet has a cast of 120 talented young dancers from across the UK, aged eight to eighteen. Founded in 1988 the company boasts a celebrity starred patron list including Darcey Bussell, Wayne Sleep and Carlos Acosta. Past NYB alumni include BBC’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ winner Charlie Bruce and finalists Robbie White and Drew McOnie. Many members go on to dance professionally all over the world.

National Youth Ballet will be performing at the E.M Forster Theatre Kent from 25th August until the 27th August and a Gala Night at Sadler’s Wells London on Sunday September  more information visit the National Youth Ballet website.

To book tickets:

  • E M Forster Theatre, Kent, Box office:  01732 304241
  • Sadler’s Well 0844 871 0090 or the Sadlers Wells website

Performance times for E M Forster Theatre are:

25th August – 7.30pm

26th and 27th August – Matinee performance – 2.30pm Evening performance – 7.30 pm.

Ticket price: Children (under 16)  £9, Adults £15, Senior Citizens £12

Performance time for Sadler’s Wells Gala:

11th September – 7.30pm

Ticket Prices – £10 – £40


FULL PROGRAMMELes Petits Rats (inspired by Degas)
Chorographer: Janet KinsonLavender’s Blue (Junior Associates)
Choreographer: Anna MeadmoreRepetiteur: Judith Harris
Music: TraditionalFeeling Groovy
Choreorapher: Antony Dowson
Music: Paul SimonCaptain Beaky
Choreographer: Donna Phillips
Music: Jim Parker – Lyrics Jeremy LloydImpromptu
(Tribute to Choreographer, Frank Freeman)
Music: Schubert

Cowardly Affair
Choreographer: Jo Meredith
Music: Noel Coward

Choreographic Opportunity
Winner/s of NYB Choreographic Competition

Ballet Chocolat
Choreography: Andrew McNicol
Music: Rachel Portman




, , ,

2 Responses to Ballet Chocolat

  1. lori vliegen July 7, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    chocolat is one of my all-time favorite movies! how absolutely fabulous to see the story in ballet!
    (i can’t believe i’m going to miss another spectacular performance….one of these days i really should just move!) xo

  2. Polly July 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    I hadn’t realised that this had been made into a ballet. What a lovely idea.

    Just a little note: I hope that you will consider adding your expertise to