Northern Ballet has announced it will create a further two new full-length ballets in 2017 which will tour to 17 venues across the country. Adaptations of John Boyne's bestselling novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Little Mermaid join the previously announced Casanova totalling an unprecedented three World Premières by the ballet company.
Telling the story of an unlikely friendship blossoming through the disturbing events of World War II, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will be choreographed and directed by Northern Ballet's Artistic Associate Daniel de Andrade who most recently created full-length ballet Nijinsky – God of the Dance for Slovak National Theatre as well as shorter works for Northern Ballet including Fatal Kiss and children's ballet Elves and the Shoemaker.
The ballet will première at Cast in Doncaster, from May 25 to 27, before performing in Wolverhampton, Leicester, Richmond, Aylesbury, Stoke, Bromley, Leeds and Hull (part of the city's UK City of Culture celebrations) until October 2017.
It will feature an original score by Oscar-nominated composer Gary Yershon, sets and costumes designed by Mark Bailey, lighting by Tim Mitchell and Dramatic Coach Patricia Doyle also joins the creative team.
Based on the famous fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid tells the story of a young mermaid who is willing to give up everything she knows in a search for love and the desire to gain a human soul.
The Little Mermaid will be choreographed by Northern Ballet's artistic director David Nixon whose most recent creations for the Company include Cinderella, The Great Gatsby and Beauty and the Beast. The new production will première in Southampton at Mayflower Theatre, from September 21 to 23, before touring to Norwich, Newcastle, Nottingham, Canterbury, Woking, Sheffield and Leeds until December 2017. Details of the creative team are to be announced.
He said: "2017 will be an extraordinary and unprecedented season, clearly establishing Northern Ballet's commitment to creating new work, developing new choreographers and contributing to the dynamic UK dance scene. Our three new full-length productions will provide both our dancers and audiences with a variety of styles and subjects, firmly building on our reputation for adapting stories and as a company with the most expressive and powerful dance actors.
"The Little Mermaid is an enchanting fairytale and since its origin has been the inspiration for countless retellings. It is a beautiful and touching story where the worlds of water and earth collide and this special tale will provide an excellent addition to our repertoire."
Daniel de Andrade said: "I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to create my first full-length ballet for Northern Ballet. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a fascinating and eloquent story shining the spotlight on atrocious historical events from a perspective of complete naivety. Although the tale of Bruno and Shmuel is heart-breaking, their friendship throughout the story shows the purity of the human spirit in the face of absolute adversity."