Northern Ballet, Linbury Studio Theatre, review: Engaging company builds an immediate rapport

Refreshingly varied mixed bill takes in a range of styles

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The Independent Culture

Northern Ballet is best known for its full-length story ballets, so it’s a treat to see another side of these dancers in a varied mixed bill. They’re an engaging company, building an immediate rapport with the audience as they take on a range of styles.

Christopher Hampson’s Perpetuum Mobile is the most substantial work of the evening. It’s a series of crisp, neo-classical dances to Bach, with Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley giving a lyrical performance of the central duet. Kevin Poeung stands out, with a bounding jump and fine timing.

Poeung shines as a dashing but tipsy soldier in Jonathan Watkins’ A Northern Trilogy, a larky piece set to comic monologues by Stanley Holloway. A cast of six scamper through the stories, with lively characterisation for angels making Yorkshire pudding and Albert’s encounter with a lion.

Kenneth Tindall’s The Architect is an Adam and Eve ballet. The temptation scenes are the strongest, with dancers bracing themselves in taut poses around the apple. Mark Godden’s Shaker-inspired Angels in the Architecture shows a sense of community, with six couples dipping, sweeping and swirling the women’s skirts. Dreda Blow and Joseph Taylor have fun as conflicted lovers in Demis Volpi’s Little Monsters, battling it out to songs by Elvis Presley.

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