Cambridge University Ballet Club presents Scheherazade: The Tale of a Thousand and One Nights

Cambridge University Ballet Club presents Scheherazade: The Tale of a Thousand and One Nights

Cambridge University Ballet Club presents its very first production for the ADC Theatre. Their original ballet, 'Scheherazade: The Tale of One Thousand and One Nights', will appear in early December as a closing show of this season.

“I have been fascinated by folktales from ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ since I was a child. The character of courageous young woman Scheherazade appeared very admirable to me, and each of her stories was so unique,” says Anastasia Stulova, the Vice-President of the Ballet Club and the Producer of the show.

“Ever since our President Joanna Lawrence mentioned that she is in love with the Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic interpretation of the Arabic folktale, and that she is likely to suggest staging a show for this music piece to the club, I was very intrigued by her idea. It definitely felt like an amazing fit for the club that has a very diverse group of dancers from various cultures and dance backgrounds.”

Joanna Lawrence, Director of Scheherazade, is a PhD student in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, and she has been with the club for about three years dancing several key solo roles in various shows.  “I’ve always wanted to do Scheherazade. The music has always inspired me, made me want to dance - I still get goosebumps every time I listen to it!” says Joanna.

Scheherazade’s cast will include 18 dancers from classical ballet, contemporary and other creative movement styles including classical Indian dance and it will even feature an aerial dance scene - all seamlessly integrated in Joanna’s choreography.

As the choreography is nearly finalized, the production focus in the past two weeks has shifted towards other aspects - costumes, sets, lighting and other special effects. The production team has been in touch with the University experts in Arabian culture to make sure the cultural aspects are adequately and respectfully represented in the show. “Unlike regular ballet club shows, in this production we would like not only to focus on the dance technique but also on other theatrical aspects,” Anastasia says. “We are incorporating the spoken word by featuring a narrator-storyteller, basing her dialogue on Persian and Islamic poetry by female poets,” Joanna adds,  “I’m really excited for this opportunity to branch into these additional media to tell this beautiful story.”


Scheherazade will run from Wed 4 to Sat 7 December at 11pm at the ADC Theatre. Get your tickets here!