Ballet keeps Cleopatra legend alive

Seductive, ruthless and ultimitely tragic – the legend of Cleopatra has inspired numerous artists, dramatists and film-makers down the ages, from Shakespeare to Hollywood. Now, her story is being turned into a ballet.

Characters in ballets are often too nice.

That is the view of David Nixon OBE, artistic director of Northern Ballet and choreographer and co-writer of the new production about Cleopatra.

The story of the Egyptian queen and her lovers Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony is filled with power struggles, sexual manipulation, warring empires and passionate love.

“A lot of the times in ballet we have very sweet, normal, romantic people,” Nixon says.

“These people are not nice, necessarily, but they’re hugely attractive to us. They are commanding and so larger than life.”


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