Pet Shop Boys

Synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys this weekend announced they’ve teamed up with choreographer Javier de Frutos to develop a full-length ballet based on the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Most Incredible Thing” that’s set to premiere at London’s Sadler’s Wells dance house next March.

According to an announcement on the band’s site, the Royal Ballet’s Ivan Putrov asked the duo to write a ballet score for him four years ago. Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant suggested Andersen’s 1870 story about “a princess, a kingdom, and of two very different approaches to the task of creating something extraordinary.”

De Frutos, the choreographer, is quoted as saying the opportunity to adapt the Andersen tale alongside the Pet Shop Boys was “an irresistible cocktail.” For their part, Lowe and Tennant, in a statement on their site, say:

“This is a very exciting project to be part of. In the past we have written music for the club dancefloor, so to write music for the ballet stage seems like a logical development. Also we have always been fascinated by giving our music a theatrical context.”

The resulting production, set for March 22-26 at Sadler’s Wells, will feature 15 dancers, a 26-piece orchestra “and a message of hope that lies at the heart of Andersen’s tale.”

This isn’t the Pet Shop Boys’ first crossover into theatrical production. In 2001, they wrote the musical “Closer to Heaven” with playwright Jonathan Harvey. And in a less-official capacity, the duo allowed their best-loved songs were turned into a successful Australian pop-musical “Seriously: Pet Shop Boys Reinterpreted.”

The announcement also follows word that Pixies frontman Black Francis is adapting his 2007 album Bluefinger into a Texas rock opera, as well as news that a planned — and apparently unauthorized — musical based on the songs of Depeche Mode has collapsed.

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