Northern Ballet’s Casanova – first reactions

Casanova - 4-8 April

Last night, Northern Ballet performed Casanova here for the first time. Its world premiere last month was a big hit with the critics, and audiences in Norwich were no different.

Visitors called it “incredible” and “dynamic”, praising the “sheer physical strength” of the dancers’ lifts. One of our youngest audience members was particularly impressed by the way the dancers managed to “tell the story by their actions.” See more of their thoughts in the video:

And the reaction online was no less effusive, including some kind words from ITV News’ Nina Nannar:

Critic Julian Swainson, writing for the Norwich Eye, praised the production’s “strength, grace and beauty,” singling out the work of lighting designer Alastair West for the way that “every scene in this production resembles a beautifully composed painting.”

He was also impressed by the work of principle dancer Giuliano Contadi in the role of Casanova, calling his dancing “muscular and capable…he makes the role his own.”

Here’s Giuliano in action, dancing alongside female principal Dreda Blow:

Photo: Emma Kauldhar

Before the show arrived here in Norwich, our Chief Executive Stephen Crocker went along to see the production at Grand Theatre in Leeds. In a blog post giving his thoughts on the show, he described “a scene of dark yet opulent mystery.” He adds: “The ensemble scenes are just glorious to watch and this is where you are totally transported into the feeling of a very grand ballet with extravagant costuming and wigs-galore”

His thoughts were echoed by reviewers around the country. Awarding it five stars, The Stage called Casanova “nothing short of mesmerising.”

Writing in The Telegraph, Mark Brown describes “an impressive and exhilarating evening’s ballet,” while The Yorkshire Post raved about “a truly eye-catching spectacle.”

Also giving it a full five stars was The Reviews Hub, who called it “sumptuous and thrilling.” They were equally impressed with Contadini’s performance in the lead role, saying that: “he was born to play the lead, with magnificent physical strength; obnoxious yet with just enough vulnerability when needed, producing breathtaking final scenes as his life appears before him.”

Judge for yourself – Casanova is here until Saturday, and tickets are available now. As one audience member we spoke to put it: “I just don’t think you should miss it, to be honest.”

Photo: Emma Kauldhar