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Artistic Director David Nixon OBE

ugly g n i l k c u d a ballet for children

Tour programme 2012

Image concept design it

The Story On a bright sunny day three little ducklings hatch from their eggs. One more egg is still to open and the three yellow ducklings and their Mama wait with excitement. When the final egg cracks open out comes the fourth duckling, Ugly. She looks very different to the others: grey, fluffy and ragged. She doesn’t dance the same way as the other ducklings either! The duckling family goes to the pond to swim. When the lifeguard sees Ugly he points to a sign that says ‘Ducks only’ and won’t let her join in with the others. Poor Ugly cries and runs away. If she is not a duck, what kind of animal is she?

The sun rises on a new day. A fox sneaks up behind Ugly, licking his chops and sniffing at her. When she turns around he bows graciously: the perfect gentleman. Ugly is charmed by the fox but every time she turns away he tries to eat her! The fox chases her back and forth until she traps him in the picnic blanket and he falls into the pond. Ugly finds herself on her own once more. She is lonely and sad. Winter is coming. While a furious storm rages. something extraordinary happens – Ugly is transformed.

As Ugly walks between the reeds she comes upon a pair of frogs who jump and dance in front of her. She thinks to herself “Perhaps I am a frog too” and tries to join in their fun, but she cannot leap as As winter melts away, little Ugly dances like a high as them nor move the way they do. The frogs true ballerina. She has discovered she is not a grow bored and hop away. duckling at all, but a beautiful swan. The frogs, a cat, a duckling and the Swan Queen come Two black cats are basking in the sunshine. Ugly to dance with her until the time comes for her comes along and the cats curiously inspect her. to join a flock of swans. Ugly and the Swan They dance around her, nudging and poking her, Queen say farewell and the other animals wave until they are sure she is clearly not a cat like them. goodbye. Disappointed Ugly is left alone again. As night begins to fall Ugly curls up under a tree and falls fast asleep. Suddenly a beautiful Swan Queen appears and begins to dance in the moonlight. Ugly awakens and dances with her. Everything feels right. The Swan Queen vanishes and Ugly falls back to sleep.

All photos by Martin Bell featuring dancers Giuliano Contadini, Isabella Gasparini, Ayana Kanda, Benjamin Mitchell and Teresa Saavedra-Bordes.




Production Ballet Master and Mentor Daniel De Andrade Lighting Design Alastair West Set Design Dave Gillan Scenic Construction Jonnie Mills Scenic Artists Dave Gillan and Angie Walters

Dreda Blow

Dreda joined Northern Ballet in 2007. Born in Toronto, Canada, she trained at the National Ballet School of Canada and later at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague. Previous companies include Het Nationale Ballet, Amsterdam.

Sebastian Loe

Sebastian was born in London and trained at the Royal Ballet School. He joined Northern Ballet in 2004.

Stage Manager Steve Watling Electrician Joe Davis Stage Technicians Jonnie Mills and Dave Gillan Costume Supervisor and Dyeing Kim Brassley Original Costume Ideas Dreda Blow Sebastian Loe Costume Realisation and Design Julie Anderson Assistant Cutter and Tutu Maker Carley Marsh Costume Makers Jessica Wood Freya Crowley-Bennett Carley Marsh Mikhaila Pye Helen Russell Trish Birch Rebecca Dedman Rehearsal Stage Managers / Prop Makers Lily Amy, Brianna Bourne and Heidi Thornton


Isabella Gasparini as Ugly and Giuliano Contadini as The Fox. Photo Martin Bell.




1. Alexander Borodin Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens (from Prince Igor) 2, 11, 12, 17, 18. Alexander Borodin Polovtsian Dances (from Prince Igor) 3. John Longmire Turkey Trot 4. Tony Lowry Screw on the Loose 5. King Palmer Spindlelegs 6. Trey Mitchel Poppin’ Around 7. King Palmer Softly She Sleeps 8. Charles Gounod Funeral March of a Marionette 9. Sam Fonteyn Pizzicato Playtime 10. Dick Stephen Walter A Day by the Sea 13. Sidney Crooke March of the Ants 14. Len Stephens Romantic Interlude 15. Georges Delerue Jules et Jim – Main Title 16. Camille Saint-Saëns The Aquarium (from Carnival of the Animals) 19. Cyril Walters Crepe Suzette

Isabella Gasparini / Jessica Cohen Guiliano Contadini / Matthew Topliss Jessica Morgan / Keiko Amemori Benjamin Mitchell / Thomas Aragones Teresa Saavedra-Bordes / Phoebe Higgins* or Charlotte Tonkinson* Ayana Kanda / Olivia Holland *Students of Northern Ballet Academy

Musical Director and Arranger John Longstaff Flute/Piccolo Nick Bhattacharjee Clarinet John Mellor Cello Martin Couzin Piano John Longstaff

Read more about all of our dancers at Ayana Kanda, Teresa Saavadera-Bordes and Benjamin Mitchell as the Ducklings with Jessica Morgan (centre) as Mama Duck. Photo Martin Bell.



Join in with Northern Ballet Northern Ballet’s Ugly Duckling is our first Short Ballet for Small People. We are creating a series of three ballets especially for children and we will perform these at home and on tour over the next three years. We’re looking for ideas for our next ballet. What story would you like to see us tell? If you would like to make a suggestion visit our website and you could win tickets to see The Nutcracker at Leeds Grand Theatre in December. There are lots of ways to join in with Northern Ballet. We offer classes and courses in dance and movement for people of all ages and abilities. Find out more about what we do and how you can take part by visiting us at

Ugly Duckling 2012/13 tour 2012 in Leeds


Sat 20 October Yeadon Town Hall 3pm & 4.30pm Sun 21 October The Hunslet Club 2.30pm & 4pm Sat 27 October The Riley Theatre, Chapeltown 2.30pm & 4pm Mon 29 October – Fri 2 November Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, City Centre 11am, 1pm & 3pm (no 3pm perf on Thu 1 Nov)

Tue 12 March Middlesbrough Theatre 1pm & 5pm 01642 815 181

Book for the Leeds dates now by calling 0113 220 8008 or go online at

Tue 19 March Newcastle Dance City 11.30am & 1.30pm 0191 261 0505

Wed 13 March Hexham Queen’s Hall 12pm, 2pm & 4pm 01434 652 477 Fri 15 March Liverpool Everyman Theatre 11.30am & 1.30pm 0151 709 4776 Sat 16 March Huddersfield Lawrence Batley Theatre 12pm, 2.15pm & 4pm 01484 430 528

Wed 20 March Bradford Kala Sangam 1.30pm & 6pm 01274 303 340 Fri 22 March Whitby Pavilion Theatre 12pm, 2.15pm & 4pm 01947 604 855 Sat 23 March Berwick The Maltings 2pm 01289 330 999 Tue 26 March Blackpool Grand Theatre 12pm, 2pm & 4pm 01253 290 190

Thu 28 March Leicester Curve 12pm, 2pm & 4pm 0116 242 3595 Thu 4 April Barrow in Furness The Forum 1pm & 3.30pm 01229 820 000 Fri 5 April Lancaster The Dukes Theatre 2pm & 4pm 01524 598 500 Sat 6 April Harrogate Theatre 12pm, 2pm & 4pm 01423 502 116 Tue 9 April Barnsley Civic 12pm, 2pm & 4pm 01226 327 000 Wed 10 April Hull Truck Theatre 12pm, 2pm & 4pm 01482 323 638 Sat 13 April Goole The Junction 2pm & 6.30pm 01405 763 652 Fri 19 April Milton Keynes Theatre 11am & 1pm 0844 871 7652 Fri 3 May Norwich Theatre Royal 11am & 1pm 01603 630 000 Fri 17 May London Sadler’s Wells 11am & 1pm 0844 412 4300

Northern Ballet's Ugly Duckling Programme  
Northern Ballet's Ugly Duckling Programme  

The official tour programme for Northern Ballet's new ballet created especially for children, Ugly Duckling.