“Wheeldon’s translation to ballet of one of Shakespeare’s most uneven and intractable plays… makes for a fine and thought-provoking entertainment, gleaming with fluent, confident dance.” – The Guardian


A season of five famous ballets from The Royal Ballet company is currently being screened at Cinema Nouveau theatres. The season launched with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in March, Swan Lake in May, and Romeo and Juliet and La Fille mal gardée (The Wayward Daughter) in June. The final production in the current season from The Royal Ballet, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, releases on Cinema Nouveau screens on 08 August for limited screenings.
The Winter’s Tale is a ballet in three acts choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, with a score by Joby Talbot. A co-production between The Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada, the ballet had its world premiere on 10 April 2014 at the Royal Opera House. This ballet is only the second new full-length ballet commissioned at Covent Garden in the past 20 years, the first being Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, also choreographed by Wheeldon, which opened in 2011.
Following his delightful Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (screened at Cinema Nouveau earlier this year), Christopher Wheeldon continues his highly successful collaboration with designer Bob Crowley and composer Joby Talbot to create his first ballet based on a Shakespeare play, The Winter’s Tale… an enduring tale of love, loss and reconciliation.
The story follows the destruction of marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child, and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a statue comes miraculously to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is powerful material for ballet, with a story that allows for the portrayal of intense emotions between and within the characters, and the opportunity for the Company to create not just new central characters but a whole new world around them.
The central themes of The Winter’s Tale are jealousy, compassion and forgiveness. Leontes, King of Sicilia, conceives the notion that his wife Hermione has deceived him with his lifelong friend Polixenes, King of Bohemia, who has been a guest at the Sicilian court for nine months. Hermione gives birth to a daughter and Leontes, blinded by unreasoning jealousy, has his wife arrested for adultery and orders the baby to be abandoned.
The full Company, including an array of superb Royal Ballet Principal Dancers, brings Shakespeare’s tale to life. Lauren Cuthbertson, for whom the role of Alice was created, dances the role of Hermione, with Olivier Award-winning Edward Watson dancing Leontes. Sarah Lamb is Perdita, Steven McRae is Florizel, Zenaida Yanowsky is Paulina and Federico Bonelli dances Polixenes.
Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, Says: “The Royal Ballet’s repertory is one of the largest and most varied of any major classical ballet company. While we continue to safeguard our great heritage works and refresh the classics, we also add new works from the foremost choreographers of today. We have programmed not one but two new full length productions this Season, the first of which was Carlos Acosta’s new production of Don Quixote, and the second, Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale.
“Excitingly, both of these new ballets have been able to reach far beyond the auditorium of the Royal Opera House as part of our cinema season: we are delighted to be able to open up our doors and, through the means of cinema, internet and other digital channels, share our performances with a far greater audience all over the world.”
The story of this ballet juxtaposes tragedy and comedy but it is forgiveness and reconciliation which provide the memorable climax.
View a video clip of The Royal Ballet’s performance of The Winter’s Tale here: 

Interview: choreographer Christopher Wheeldon on turning The Winter’s Tale into a ballet (The Royal Ballet):
The Winter’s Tale releases on South African screens on Saturday, 08 August for four screenings only – on 08, 12 and 13 August at 19:30 and on 09 August at 14:30 – only at Cinema Nouveau theatres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. Bookings are now open. The running time of this ballet production is 2hrs and 30mins, including two intervals.
For booking information on the Royal Ballet’s The Winter’s Tale, visit or Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz or on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. Download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone and Blackberry smart phones for updates, news and to book from your mobile. For queries, call TicketLine on 0861 Movies (668 437).

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