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Hansel & Gretel

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 PRESS INFORMATION

Scottish Ballet presents the world premiere of Hansel & Gretel

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HANSEL & GRETEL World Premiere Tour

Choreography Christopher Hampson / Music Engelbert Humperdinck / Design Gary Harris

TOURING SCOTLAND, NEWCASTLE & BELFAST WINTER 13/14

 

This winter, unwrap a tasty new treat with the world premiere of Scottish Ballet’s fantastical Hansel & Gretel.

 

This delightfully inventive, brand new Hansel & Gretel takes creative twists and turns inspired by the Grimm Brother's famous fairy tale – and the stories and imagination of the people of Scotland, gathered from a year-long country-wide initiative called Hansel & Gretel, and Me (see Notes for more information).

 

Touring to Glasgow (10 – 28 December), Edinburgh (8 – 11 January), Aberdeen (15 – 18 January), Inverness (22 – 25 January), Newcastle (29 January – 1 February) and Belfast (5 – 8 February)* Scottish Ballet’s Hansel & Gretel will feature talented young children from each of the cities on tour, who will perform on stage with Scotland’s national dance company.

 

As well as the main show, Scottish Ballet will also be offering Wee Hansel & Gretel – a wee version of a big ballet in a specially adapted hour-long performance for pre-school children and their families.  Wee Hansel & Gretel will be performed in Glasgow (20 & 23 December), in Edinburgh, sponsored by Baillie Gifford (10 January) and in Aberdeen (17 January)*

 

Once upon a time there was a town where children had mysteriously been disappearing, one by one, ever since the arrival of a new teacher at the local school. She seemed nice enough and the children certainly enjoyed her stories, but they especially liked the seemingly endless supply of sweets she gave them.

 

“It’s an exciting time for Scottish Ballet,” comments Chief Executive Cindy Sughrue.

 

“Hansel & Gretel is our Artistic Director Christopher Hampson’s first choreography for the company and Scottish Ballet’s first new Christmas ballet in six years - it promises a carousel of delicious treats from start to finish.”

 

“I’d had ideas about Hansel & Gretel as a ballet for a number of years.  But it wasn’t until I joined Scottish Ballet and realised the potential to involve the people of Scotland that I began to think about bringing the ballet to the stage in a different way” says Artistic Director Christopher Hampson.

 

“Working with the company’s Education department we undertook a huge research and development project called Hansel & Gretel, and Me which has allowed me and designer Gary Harris to draw on common themes and add some interesting twists to the story.

 

“We found that the children we worked with were really drawn to the forest birds and so we’ve incorporated a gang of Ravens into our production.  We ran an adult creative writing competition with the National Library of Scotland and author Louise Welsh, asking what it might be like to be part of a town where all the children have disappeared – this helped us shape the roles of the Mother and Father – and our Woodlands Performances inspired the scenes in which Hansel and Gretel are alone in the forest.  But, perhaps the most memorable was an early primary school visit to hear a storyteller take the children on an incredible journey through the tale. You’ll see that this starts the story for the ballet too and the storyteller becomes a very important part of how we bring Hansel and Gretel to life.”

 

Former dancer-turned-designer Gary Harris has worked with Christopher before, but this is their first fairy-tale ballet together.

 

“The design influences are really varied,” laughs Gary.

 

“The production is set in a time that has that warm ‘Bisto-gravy family’ feel – but there is also some real fairy-tale sparkle and even costumes inspired by the glamour of Grace Kelly. 

“We decided we wanted to keep the whole thing in the forest, quite a dark, black forest which remains throughout the whole work and plays its own part – completely surrounding Hansel and Gretel. There are wonderful moments including toys that come to life and an incredible big banquet which becomes completely over the top and magical.”

And helping to bring the magical beings to life is make-up sponsor M?A?C who has been working with Gary to create the fantastical looks of each character.

 

“I loved Gary Harris’ designs – it was clear that make-up would play an important part in his vision” explains M?A?C Senior Make-Up Artist Caroline Donnelly.

 

“With so many characters and some dancers performing more than one role, my challenge was to create looks that could be adapted easily, quickly and still look incredible.  I’ve created special M?A?C face charts (like paint-by-numbers for the face) and will be teaching the dancers how to recreate these looks themselves for each performance.”

 

With Hansel & Gretel comes the famous Engelbert Humperdinck score - which will be performed live in a unique reinterpretation by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

 

“The Humperdinck score is charmingly melodic and has a wonderful dancing quality especially in the scenes for Hansel and Gretel,” says Scottish Ballet’s Principal Conductor Richard Honner.

 

“While we’ve shortened some sections that might be too repetitious for dance, we’ve reordered some others to fit the ballet’s scenario.  In the opera version The Witch only appears in the third act, but in our production her presence is felt throughout. We have sought to emphasize the Witch as a catalyst for all the action by opening the ballet with the Witch’s Ride and have provided her with additional music throughout the production to ensure she is never forgotten.

 

“Humperdinck’s music is charming and melodic and frequently rises to moments of real inspiration so we have also incorporated movements from The Sleeping Beauty, The Bluebird, and one of his other operas Königskinder.”

 

Audiences are invited to Get Closer to the company on tour with a number of free pre and post show talks with members of the Artistic and Music teams, Family Insights with the opportunity to see costumes and set designs close-up, Wee Hansel & Gretel workshops for young children - and even a range of special Christmas Ballet Cafes with coffee, cake and conversation – and the chance to dance!  Scottish Ballet is proud to be the first dance company in Europe that offered exclusive audio-described performances and touch tours and will be once again presenting both for Hansel & Gretel.*  Visit the Kids Zone at www.scottishballet.co.uk for lots more fun facts, games, challenges and even a recipe for a special Witches Brew.

 

*see Listings for more information

 

Issued by Scottish Ballet Press Office: 

Ann Nugent ann.nugent@scottishballet.co.uk 0141 333 1092

 

 

 

 

NOTES: Hansel & Gretel, and Me

Hansel & Gretel, and Me is generously supported by The Monument Trust

 

“The Hansel & Gretel, and Me project has provided Scottish Ballet with the opportunity to work in a completely new way, allowing us to integrate with community participants of all ages during a single initiative that has effectively helped shape a brand new production – a first for the company.” says Scottish Ballet Associate Director (Education) Catherine Cassidy.

 

“We wanted to truly engage with the full range of rich and diverse communities across Scotland – so artists and educators alike had to travel the length and breadth of the country, in towns, the countryside – and even in the depths of some of Scotland’s most beautiful forests!

 

“Through dance, drama, music, creative writing, storytelling and visual art, we connected with people of all ages and asked them to explore what the story of Hansel & Gretel meant to them. Some really exciting work has come out of this venture and insured that our new production of Hansel & Gretel remains relevant to the people of Scotland.”

 

Hansel & Gretel, and Me is a revolutionary creative project that invited participants of all ages from across Scotland to engage with their national dance company, with the potential for them to help shape Scottish Ballet's new production of Hansel & Gretel.  Participants aged from 5 years to senior years enjoyed the opportunity to express their own ideas of what Hansel & Gretel meant to them through creative writing programmes, a series of cross-generational dance performances in woodland areas and a visual art competition.

 

Beginning in autumn 2012 creative writing workshops relating to Hansel & Gretel’s themes took place in schools across Scotland reaching 1180 children, and a creative writing competition was launched in collaboration with the National Library of Scotland.  Classes in partner schools had special workshops with a dance artist and a storyteller which inspired the children to write their own individual stories.  Themes and ideas that arose from the entries have fed directly into the creative process for the ballet.  An adult creative writing competition was also run in association with the National Library of Scotland and acclaimed author Louise Welsh.

 

Visual art workshops and a student competition were launched in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland. Children in participating schools learned about paintings from the Galleries' collections before making their own pictures drawing on themes from the Hansel & Gretel story. The winning artworks have been used as a stimulus during the design process.

 

Scottish Ballet, in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland and regional dance agencies took part in a series of week-long creative Woodland Workshops - where community dance groups in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling explored themes from the Hansel & Gretel story. Young people worked in local woodlands researching and exploring outdoor-focused tasks to create their own site-specific performances.

 

In July 2013 there was a two-week summer school, delivered in partnership with The Citizen’s Theatre, for children aged 6 to 8 years exploring the themes from Hansel & Gretel. Sessions were led outdoors in urban green space The Hidden Gardens and in Glasgow.

 

A two-day choreographic lab for young people aged 14 to 18 years explored themes from Hansel & Gretel under the umbrella of Hothouse which was designed to give young dancers the chance to improve their choreographic skills and expressive ideas, with mentoring from key creators in Scotland in partnership with YDance.

 

Hansel & Gretel, and Me has allowed Christopher Hampson the opportunity to realise his vision of harnessing and connecting the creative and imaginative voices from across the generations in making this new production of Hansel & Gretel. 

 

The culmination of this ambitious project will be the opportunity for 15 gifted, young dancers in each location to work directly with Christopher Hampson and perform alongside the full Scottish Ballet company in the final production.

 

                                                                   Listings over/ Please note booking fees may be applicable per venue

LISTINGS: GLASGOW

HANSEL & GRETEL

Theatre Royal, Glasgow 10 - 28 December 2013 

Evenings 10 - 14, 17 - 21, 23, 27 - 28 December at 7.30pm | Matinees 12, 14, 19, 21, 24, 28 December at 2pm

Audio Described Performance: 21 December at 2pm (Touch Tour at 12.30pm)

Tickets £10.50-£35.50 | Box Office 0844 871 7647 | Book Online atgtickets.com/glasgow

 

WEE HANSEL & GRETEL

Theatre Royal, Glasgow 20 & 23 December 2013, 3 - 4pm

Tickets £10 | Family Ticket £35 (group of 4, maximum 2 adults) + £5 for each additional child.

 

WEE HANSEL & GRETEL DANCE WORKSHOPS

Scottish Ballet, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow

14 December – Tickets £6 per adult/child

Parent and Toddler class (3 - 4 years): 10.30 - 11.15am, 11.30am - 12.15pm, 1.15 - 2pm, 2.15 - 3pm

Parent and Toddler Wee Hansel & Gretel Talk: 3.15 - 4pm | Ticket £6 per pair

21 December – Tickets £6 per participant

5-6 years: 11.15am - 12.15pm | 5-8 years (boys only): 1.15 - 2.15pm | 7-9 years: 2.30 - 3.30pm

Wee Hansel & Gretel Talk: 3.45 - 4.30pm

To book for any Wee Hansel & Gretel Glasgow dance workshops email education@scottishballet.co.uk

 

Get Closer: Learn more about Hansel & Gretel with our range of events designed to enhance your experience of seeing the live performance.

 

BALLET CAFE

18 December at 2 - 5pm. Tickets £10 | Location: Scottish Ballet, Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow

A fun and informal afternoon for adults where we invite you to take part in a gentle beginners’ dance session, listen to an illustrated talk on our current production, and relax for a chat over a cup of tea and cake.  To book contact Scottish Ballet on education@scottishballet.co.uk or 0141 331 6285.

 

PRE-SHOW TALKS

12 December at 6.30 - 7pm (focus on dance) / 13 December at 6.30 - 7pm (focus on music) | Location: Fyfe Lecture Theatre, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Hear about the making of Hansel & Gretel direct from members of Scottish Ballet’s Artistic and Music staff. These fascinating half-hour talks are the perfect way to learn more about the show before you take your seat. Free but ticketed, call box office to book.

 

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION

13 December, 7.30pm performance | Location: Theatre Royal Glasgow

Stay in the auditorium after the performance for the chance to put your questions to a dancer.  Free, no booking required.

 

FAMILY INSIGHT

14 December at 11am - 12.30pm. Tickets £5.50/£3.50 conc. | Location: Theatre Royal Glasgow

Learn about the characters, story and costumes in a way that will appeal to both young and old.  You will get the chance to meet one of our dancers and then watch the Company take class on stage.  Suitable for age 6+

 

 

LISTINGS: EDINBURGH

HANSEL & GRETEL

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh 8 - 11 January 2014

Evenings 8 – 11 January at 7.30pm | Matinees 9 & 11 January at 2pm

Audio Described Performance:  11 January at 2pm (Touch Tour at 12.30pm)

Tickets £13 - £38 / Premium Seats £42.50 (eves/Sat mat), £39 (Thu mat) | Box Office 0131 529 6000 | Book online edtheatres.com

 

WEE HANSEL & GRETEL

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh 10 January 2014, 3 - 4pm

Sponsored by Baillie & Gifford

Tickets £10 | Family Ticket £35 (group of 4, maximum 2 adults) + £5 for each additional child.

 

WEE HANSEL & GRETEL DANCE WORKSHOPS

National Museum of Scotland, Learning Centre, Chambers Street Edinburgh

Parent and Toddler (3 - 4 years) sessions £6 per adult/child, all other sessions £6

3 January

Parent and Toddler class: 10.30 - 11.15am, 11.45am - 12.30pm | 5 - 6 years: 1.30 - 2.30pm, 3 - 4pm,

4 January

Parent and Toddler class: 10.30 - 11.15am | 5 - 6 years: 11.30am - 12.30pm

5 - 8 years (boys only): 1.30 - 2.30pm | 7 - 9 years: 3 - 4.15pm

5 January

Parent and Toddler class: 10.30 - 11.15am | 7 - 9 years: 11.30am - 12.45pm | 5 - 6 years: 1.30 - 2.30pm, 3 - 4pm

6 January

Parent and Toddler class: 10.30 - 11.15am, 11.45am - 12.30pm, 1.30 - 2.45pm | 5 - 6 years: 3 - 4.15pm

To book for any Wee Hansel & Gretel Edinburgh dance workshops call 0300 123 6789.

 

Get Closer: See Glasgow listings for further event content information.

BALLET CAFE: 8 January, 2 - 5pm

PRE-SHOW TALKS: 9 January 6.30 - 7pm (focus on dance) | 10 January 6.30 - 7pm (focus on music)

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION: 10 January, 7.30pm performance

FAMILY INSIGHT: 11 January, 11am - 12.30pm | Tickets £5.50/£3.50 conc. | Suitable for age 6+

 

LISTINGS: ABERDEEN

HANSEL & GRETEL

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen 15 –18 January 2014

Evenings 15 –18 January at 7.30pm | Matinees 16 & 18 January at 2pm

Audio Described Performance: 18 January at 2pm (Touch Tour at 12.30pm)

Tickets £12.50-£30.50 | Box Office 01224 641122 | Book Online aberdeenperformingarts.com

 

WEE HANSEL & GRETEL

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen 17 January 2014, 1.30-2.30pm

Tickets £10 | Family Ticket £35 (group of 4, maximum 2 adults) + £5 for each additional child.

 

Get Closer: See Glasgow listings for further event content information.

BALLET CAFE: 15 January at 2 - 5pm. Tickets £10. 

PRE-SHOW TALKS: 16 January at 6.30 - 7pm (focus on dance) / 17 January at 6.30 - 7pm (focus on music)

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION: 17 January, 7.30pm performance

FAMILY INSIGHT: 11 January at 11 am - 12.30pm | Tickets £5.50/£3.50 conc. | Suitable for age 6+

 

LISTINGS: INVERNESS

HANSEL & GRETEL

Eden Court Theatre, Inverness 22 – 25 January 2014

Evenings 22 – Sat 25 January at 7.30pm | Matinees 23 & 25 January at 2pm

Audio Described Performance: 25 January at 2pm (Touch Tour at 12.30pm)

Tickets £15.50-£29.50 | Box Office 01463 234 234 | Book Online eden-court.co.uk

 

Get Closer: See Glasgow listings for further event content information.

BALLET CAFE: 22 January at 2 - 5pm. Tickets £10. 

PRE-SHOW TALKS: 23 January at 6.30pm (focus on dance) / 24 January at 6.30pm (focus on music)

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION: Fri 24 January, 7.30pm performance

FAMILY INSIGHT: 25 January at 11am - 12.30pm. Tickets £5.50/£3.50 conc. | Suitable for age 6+

 

LISTINGS: NEWCASTLE

HANSEL & GRETEL

Theatre Royal, Newcastle Upon Tyne 29 January – 1 February 2014

Evenings 29 January – 1 February at 7.30pm | Matinees 30 & 1 February at 2pm

Tickets £10.50 - £34 | Box Office 08448 11 21 21

 

LISTINGS: BELFAST

HANSEL & GRETEL

Grand Opera House, Belfast 5 – 8 February 2014

Evenings 5 – 8 February at 7.30pm | Matinees 6 & 8 February at 2pm

Audio Described Performance: 8 February at 2pm (Touch Tour at 12.30pm)

Tickets £11.50-£39.50 | Box Office 028 9024 1919 | Book Online goh.co.uk

 

Get Closer: See Glasgow listings for further event content information.

PRE-SHOW TALKS: 7 February at 6.30pm

FAMILY INSIGHT: 8 February at 11am - 12.30pm. Tickets £5.50/£3.50 conc. | Suitable for age 6+

 

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