To celebrate stepping out with Romeo and Juliet, Northern Ballet dancers model romantic fashion from Harvey Nichols. Stephanie Smith and photographer James Hardisty feel the love.
Feeling romantic yet? If not, let the combined powers of dance, architecture, literature, fashion, gold and jewels move you to new heights of passion and intensity.
We’ll start with the dance. Next month, for the first time, Northern Ballet brings to Yorkshire a stunning production of Romeo and Juliet by famed choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. Its UK premiere is at the end of this month at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, and then it opens at Leeds Grand Theatre on March 4. It is described as “a timeless ballet for a modern audience… a modern interpretation of a classical ballet, capturing the raw sensuality and the very essence of the story as Romeo and Juliet embark on their impulsive love affair”. Now that’s romantic. Fans of both ballet and music will be thrilled to learn that it is set to Prokofiev’s unforgettable score, played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia and will be followed by a national tour in 2016.
Here, Northern Ballet dancers Teresa and Duncan step forward to interpret the roles through fashion, dressed by Harvey Nichols Leeds in clothes and accessories from its beautiful new collections which are wafting in store now for spring and summer, including Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Kenzo, Burberry London, Alice and Olivia, DKNY, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen… the list goes on. And then, there’s the jewellery, which was provided by Annoushka, minded on the day by David Roberts (hardly surprising as he brought along £60,000 worth in gold, diamonds and gems).
The romance of literature and architecture combine in our shoot venue, Leeds Central Library, which is also a bit of a star, currently appearing on screen in the new film adaptation of Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. With its Italianate architecture, stone carving, stained glass windows and exquisite Burmantofts tiling, the library also makes the perfect backdrop for our star-crossed lovers. The building opened in 1884, designed by Leeds-based Scot George Corson, who also designed the Grand Theatre. The emaciated carved stone dogs that cling onto the staircases are intriguing (and if you know why they are there, I’d love to know). To celebrate St Valentine, there’s a stand of romantic books to borrow, on the ground floor.
Hair was by Jodie Palmer, of Russell Eaton, inspired by the waves and soft rolls of the international fashion collections as seen in Paris, Milan, London and New York. The make-up was created by Stephanie Whiteley, of YSL, again inspired by the fresh but defined looks on the runways – see them at work in our behind-the-scenes video at www.yorkshirepost.co.uk.
• Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Les Ballet de Monte Carlo’s Romeo and Juliet is at Leeds Grand Theatre from March 4 to 12. Box office: 0844 848 2700.