White Nights

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25 July 1992 at the
London Coliseum

Creative Team


English National Ballet


Kim Brandstrup


Gerard McBurney


Fotini Dimou


Tina MacHugh

White Nights

English National Ballet
London Coliseum, July 1992

Review Extracts

"Kim Brandstrup’s White Nights, adapted form a Dostoevsky short story, is the gem of the evening. A young man, Richmond again [Kevin Richmond], is an outsider absorbed by his interiorised profession as a photographer. His encounter with a girl, [Josephine] Jewkes, waiting for her lover, Christopher Powney, who finally appears, draws him briefly into the real world. Brandstrup’s choreography, to a sharply-accented score by Gerard McBurney, once again displays a brilliantly effective economy of means and reinforces his reputation as the most interesting young choreography working in the classical idiom in Britain today."

- Edward Thorpe, Evening Standard

“I find the resultant work allusive, haunting. Brandstrup’s ability to fix emotion with gesture is wonderfully exact; his choreographic language is fluent, clear and true.” 

Clement Crisp, Financial Times


The really rewarding work was White Nights by the Danish choreographer Kim Brandstrup, inspired by a Dostoyevsky story but translated into contemporary terms by having the action observed by the young man through the lens of a camera. Brandstrup is an artist of considerable acheivement and even greater potential.


- Mark Clarke, The Gaurdian

Brandstrup's characters sweep into phrases of lush classical dance the suddenly collapse in solitary embarrassment or stiffen with remembered sorrow. There are lovely devices where the women all but touches her missing lover as the gravitate towards each other in a kind of urgent trance while the photographer tries desperately to block their path. In White Nights Brandstrup exploits every available resonance from the story then, at exactly the right moment, lets it go. He also handles his dancers astutely and elicits some intense and intelligent performances from Josephine Jewkes, Christopher Powney as her lover and Kevin Richmond as the photographer."

Judith Mackrell, Independent, June 27 1992