Inspiring plays by Shakespeare and Shaw an opera by Samuel Barber, hundreds of paintings, particularly in the 19th century and of course movies from Mankiewicz ‘s 1963 epic to the Carry On team, the legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra has been an inspiration to artists of all kinds over the centuries.
Her story has even been told in dance several times before including by Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in the early twentieth century, but Northern Ballet’s production is very much their own and takes a fresh lyrical look at the female Pharaoh and her hypnotic power over men.
Cleopatra has been an inspiration to artists of all kinds over the centuries
Created by the company’s artistic director David Nixon and using a lush romantic score by Les Miserables and Miss Saigon composer Claude-Michel Schonberg this isn’t Shakespeare or Shaw’s Cleopatra and it certainly isn’t history’s either instead it’s concerned with the mythic power of the Queen of the Nile.
How did a slip of a girl bewitch the most powerful man in the ancient world and his General? This piece, full of powerful, sensuous and sexual movement tries to get at the heart of this question adding ritual and magic into the mix and using the intertwining of human bodies to mirror the politics and power plays at work.
It’s been two thousand years since Cleopatra’s death and the fascination she holds has never disappeared. This production offers an original, exotic and highly charged perspective on the story and should help to add a new page to the legend.