NORTHERN Ballet opens its new season on home turf in Leeds by presenting the British premiere of artistic director David Nixon’s interpretation of Ondine.

The enchanting yet heartbreaking story is seldom performed outside London, but Ondine is one of Nixon’s favourite traditional ballet works, first adapted by the Canadian choreographer for Ballet du Rhin in 2005.

“I’m extremely excited to be bringing Ondine to our Leeds and Yorkshire audiences,” he says. “Our performances of Giselle and Swan Lake were so well received here that we thought Ondine would be a great title for our classical fans.

“It has all the romance, passion and magic of many of the great classics but it differs in that it is a truly grown-up fairytale.”

Ondine tells the story of a doomed romance between a beautiful water nymph and a handsome nobleman. Despite being raised by humans, Ondine retains the mysticism of her kind but when she falls deeply in love with a mortal, Brand, she is transformed from a sprite to a woman, opening her heart to the joy and pain of human emotion.

Nixon’s 2012 production features the original music of Hans Werner Henze and sets and costumes by Jérôme Kaplan. Evening performances at the West Yorkshire Playhouse start at 7.30pm; Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2pm.

  • Ondine, Northern Ballet, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, tomorrow until September 15. Box office: 0113 213 7700 or