A tantalizing glimpse into Casanova’s world

Casanova - 4-8 April

A north Suffolk medieval rural venue is set to host a rare treat for dance and music fans with a special celebratory Venetian Evening inspired by a new ballet which has its world premiere in Leeds on March 11 and arrives at Norwich Theatre Royal from April 4-8.

The charity fund-raising event is on April 3, the night before Northern Ballet’s Casanova opens in Norwich. It is being held at the Abbey Hall exhibition and event space in Hoxne Road, Eye, and will include a semi-staged excerpt from the ballet performed by lead soloists from the company.

Soloist Dreda Blow
Photo: Justin Slee

The scenario for this sumptuous new production was written in Eye by choreographer Kenny Tindall in collaboration with actor, playwright and Casanova biographer Ian Kelly who lives in the town, a short distance from the home of ballet legend Sir Frederick Ashton, the founding choreographer of the Royal Ballet who died in 1988.

Ian’s book on Casanova, a man renowned for his amorous escapades, won the 2009 Sunday Times Biography of the Year Award.

The evening’s entertainment will include an introduction to the real Casanova, music from Casanova’s 18th century Venice on period instruments, and a ‘Venetian Bar’. The excerpts from the ballet will be danced, by kind permission of David Nixon and Northern Ballet, by lead soloists Hannah Bateman, Giuliano Contadini and Dreda Blow (subject to availability).

Abbey Hall was built in 1580 on the site of an 11th century Benedictine Priory, and was rebuilt and revived as a creative exhibition and events space by stylist Olivia Pomp and art director Gary Rowland. Set in ten acres of water meadows, it has played host to music, dance, photography and art exhibitions, including an original site specific ballet by choreographer Robert Binet with dancers from The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Danish Ballet and The Dutch National Ballet.

Ian Kelly said: “It’s an honour to have Northern Ballet staying with us in Eye and this rare chance to see world-class ballet in one of Suffolk’s most beautiful venues promises to be an unmissable occasion.”

Proceeds from Casanova in Eye: Venetian Evening of Music and Dance will be in aid of St Elizabeth’s Hospice in Ipswich and The Bank Eye Arts Centre. Tickets can be booked at:  https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/347455.