This winter ballet audiences can unwrap a tasty new treat with the world premiere of Scottish Ballet’s magical Hansel & Gretel which comes to the Grand Opera House from February 5 to 8.
With choreography by Christopher Hampson, music by Englebert Humperdinck and design by Gary Harris, the delightfully inventive, brand new Hansel & Gretel takes creative twists and turns inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ famous fairy tale.
Following a tour of Scotland and Newcastle, the Belfast production will feature 16 talented young children from across Northern Ireland and they will perform on stage with the Scottish Ballet dancers, playing Hansel and Gretel’s school friends who mysteriously disappear from the village.
Hansel & Gretel tells the story of 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. Plucky Hansel and Gretel embark on an exciting adventure deep into the enchanted forest to find their friends. Audiences follow their journey and experience a carousel of delicious treats along the way.
Hansel & Gretel is Artistic Director, Christopher Hampson’s first choreography for Scottish Ballet. He commented: “I’d had ideas about Hansel & Gretel as a ballet for a number of years. But it wasn’t until I joined Scottish Ballet that I began to think about bringing the ballet to the stage in a different way. Working with the company’s Education department we undertook a huge research and development project called Hansel & Gretel, and Me which has allowed us 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.”
Tickets for the show are on sale now from the Grand Opera House Box Office on 9024 1919.