Northern Ballet’s Premier Dancer Kenneth Tindall in Choreographic Debut with Project #1

Northern Ballet’s Premier Dancer Kenneth Tindall in Choreographic Debut with Project #1 | Perpetual Motion mixed bill including Christopher Hampson’s Perpetuum Mobile

Project #1

Kenneth Tindall's Project #1. Photograph : Cheryl Angear

You know that feeling, when you’re just about to drift off to sleep and your brain keeps throwing out random thoughts and ideas that keep you awake, often because you’ve no idea where they came from ? That lack of control over your own thoughts, emotions and ideas became the launch pad for Northern Ballet Premier Dancer Kenneth Tindall’s Project #1, to Dinah Washington and Max Richter’s This bitter earth – On the nature of daylight. Project #1 was created last summer as part of an internal choreographic workshop at Northern Ballet and following it’s success, Artistic Director David Nixon invited Tindall to elongate the work to form part of an upcoming mixed bill called Perpetual Motion.

Tindall had never conceived of anything beyond his initial work, so the challenge he readily accepted was to find two new pieces of music that would compliment the plaintive & highly evocative This bitter earth. Before the workshop, choreography hadn’t been part of Tindall’s repertoire either, but he has been bitten by this new creative bug and his growing confidence (thoughtfully nurtured by Nixon) is evident even in early rehearsals for Project #1.

Contemporary in style but with a scattering of pointe work, Tindall has fused the beautiful, precise lines of classical ballet that we all love with the freer upper body movements of contemporary dancers.

Tindall uses video to record his work from many different angles in the studio and then, rather than spend precious rehearsal time working out what should stay or go, he edits the work just as a film director would edit a movie.  He can reverse the moves too, and feels it’s important for him and his dancers to see the work as the audience sees it.  Having the video in the studio means that the dancers can watch it back and save their sore muscles at the end of a long day – when they could be prone to injury through tiredness – and the rehearsal is still a very productive process.

Although there is no narrative as such, all ideas have to come from somewhere and Tindall has used the framework of the brain sending out thoughts, messages and ideas which translate through different groups of dancers on stage; each represents a different fibre of the invisible thread and they all respond to one another. From an audience perspective, linking the dancers in this way means that there is always something new to watch, wherever you look.

It’s an intriguing concept and the extra minutes of new music are blending seamlessly with the existing choreography to produce an important debut for Tindall that is varied, thoughtful, stirring, physical and fierce.

ballet dancers on balance

Perpetuum Mobile by Christopher Hampson. Photograph : Cheryl Angear

Christopher Hampson revives Perpetuum Mobile, danced to Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major and provides a sharply classical contrast to the other pieces on the bill. It’s tough on the dancers as there are no linking steps; it’s literally one lift or spin after another so very thrilling to watch.

This mixed bill promises to show off the company dancers in a variety of styles and takes place in the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre which is housed within Northern Ballet’s wonderful new home on Quarry Hill. It’s a more intimate venue than a regular theatre to which the company so often tours, and if you book tickets you’ll see the dancers making it look easy while knowing that it’s anything but.

Ballet Event listing

Perpetual Motion

Thursday 9th – Saturday 18th February 2012

Box office : 0113 220 8008 or book online at Northern Ballet’s website.

The two galleries below contain rehearsal images of Project #1  and Perpetuum Mobile.

All photographs © Cheryl Angear.  NO UNAUTHORISED REPRODUCTION.

Project #1. Choreography : Kenneth Tindall.

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Perpetuum Mobile.  Choreography : Christopher Hampson.

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