Category Archives: Kes

Nineteen Eighty-Four wins South Bank Award… and now available to watch on iPlayer

Fresh from a very successful and sold out run at Sadler’s Wells, London, very happy that my ballet piece for Northern Ballet, 1984, choreographed and directed by Jonathan Watkins, has won the prestigious South Bank Award for Dance.

Celebrating the best of film, theatre, classical music, literature, art and dance, it is an honour to be nominated alongside some incredible talent.. a brilliant team effort from the fantastic dancers, musicians, creatives & crew at Northern Ballet who made it all possible.

The filmed version is available on the BBC Arts website for the next two months here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03w5418

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Nineteen Eighty-Four performed by Northern Ballet broadcast on BBC 4

Very happy that Northern Ballet’s production of 1984, choreographed by Jonathan Watkins, on which I composed the 100 minute live orchestral score, was broadcast on Sunday 28th February. The production premiered in Leeds in September 2015 and filmed during a live performance at Manchester Palace Theatre.

The ballet is available to watch on the BBC’s iPlayer for 30 days here.

Following on from its tour last year, the production will be at London’s Sadler’s Wells 24th – 28th May 2016 as well as the Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Southhampton Mayflower. More information and tickets can be found on Northern Ballet’s website here.

I’ll be posting snippets of the score up on this site very soon.

Set your telescreens to record….

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Nineteen Eighty-Four performed by Northern Ballet opens and embarks on UK tour

Very happy that the production of 1984 performed by Northern Ballet, on which I was composer, has opened to some brilliant reviews. Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins the ballet’s 100 minute score is performed live by the 30 piece Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

“From the opening sequence, Jonathan Watkins’ deft choreography coupled with Alex Baranowski’s score conjures a powerful sense of isolation in the anti-hero Winston Smith. The pairing reunites the creative team responsible for the recent dance theatre adaption of another classic, Kes, at Sheffield, last year with similarly successful results.” The Independant 

“The show’s richest source of imaginative texture is Alex Baranowski’s ravishing score, mournful and agitated by turns and played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia” The Times

“Watkins has the luxury of a fine commissioned score by Alex Baranowski, who reinforces the totalitarian mindset with anxious strings and metronomic percussion. His excruciating discords as Winston inches upstage towards the strobing screen filled with rats guarantee a chilling climax” Financial Times

“The choreographer is aided by Alex Baranowski’s score, where acerbic, almost Nymanesque staccato rhythms punctuate more romantic, idealistic music for the love scenes” Dancing Times

To book tickets for the tour or to find out more about the production, visit Northern Ballet’s website here.

It has also recently been announced that the BBC will be filming the Manchester leg of the production to put on it’s “The Space” website along with some behind the scenes videos. More information can be found here and I’ll post with more information soon.

Nineteen Eighty-Four performed by Northern Ballet

Work is nearly complete composing the score for 1984 which will be performed by Northern Ballet and directed & choreographed by Jonathan Watkins. The live 90 minute score will be performed by the 30 piece Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

Rehearsals start in July with the first performance at Northern Ballet’s brilliant home in Leeds in September, with a subsequent UK tour including Sadler’s Wells in London going into 2016.

For more information or to book tickets, visit Northern Ballet’s website here.

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George Orwell’s 1984 for Northern Ballet

I’ve been working away writing for Northern Ballet’s upcoming main stage show, based on George Orwell’s 1984. Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins (who I previously collaborated with for Kes) a brand new 90 minute score will be performed live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

The production starts rehearsals in July and opens in September, initially touring to West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Manchester Palace Theatre and Sheffield Lyceum. The first four dates are available to book on NB’s website here.

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A look back at 2014..

I’ve been lucky to have been involved with some brilliant projects this year, many of which have been included in a number of the “Best of 2014” lists that are inevitably played out every run up to Christmas. Here are some of my favourites-

The Cripple of Inishmaan transferred to Broadway in April – directed by Michael Grandage & staring Daniel Radcliffe, it gained six Tony nominations (including one for me for best Sound Design). It featured in a number of “Best of..” lists including Ben Brantley from the New York Times and Time Magazine’s “Top Plays and Musicals 2014”.

Kes, my first full length ballet, opened at the Sheffield Crucible in February, choreographed by Jonathan Watkins. It got some fantastic reviews and responses from the Sheffield audience, and featured in The Guardian’s top 10. Keep an eye/ear out for its return…

Greanpeace’s Lego Campaign against Shell attracted a lot of attention (attaining nearly 7 million views on Youtube at time of writing) and was so successful that Lego subsequently ended it’s £70m contract with the oil giant. I re-arranged the song “Everything is Awesome” for the film along with vocalist Sophie Blackburn. The film was even parodied by a Danish TV show

Fathers and Sons directed by the brilliant Lyndsey Turner at the Donmar Warehouse also appeared in Michael Billington’s top theatre of 2014..

If that wasn’t enough, it was the year that McCullin won Best Feature Film Score at the Music + Sound Awards in Cannes (and “Biafra” was performed from Daniel Hope’s album Spheres.. also finding itself onto Classic FM’s Chillout album); its sequel Attacking The Devil won Sheffield Documentary festival; A Streetcar Named Desire was broadcast across the world for NT Live from the Young Vic; Hamlet was filmed for cinema release at the Royal Exchange Theatre; the animated promo for Stand Up To Cancer was broadcast simultaneously across all UK television channels; and nearly thirty films for Tesco’s Christmas TV advertising campaign were arranged and recorded in Abbey Road with a brass band. Not to mention The Merchant of Venice transferring to the Almeida in London from the RSC; East is East opening in the West End; The Last Days of Troy written by poet Simon Armitage at the Royal Exchange; and a whole host of other brilliant collaborations that are due out next year.

Here’s to an equally as exciting 2015!

1984 a new ballet choreographed by Jonathan Watkins for Northern Ballet

Very pleased to be collaborating again with director / choreographer Jonathan Watkins (after the success of Kes earlier in the year) on a new ballet based on George Orwell’s 1984. Staged by Northern Ballet, with a live 30 piece orchestra, the piece will open in Autumn 2015.

I’ll be putting up more information closer to the time. For more information about Northern Ballet, visit their website here.

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