Birmingham Royal Ballet

National Ballet of Japan

Houston Ballet

Choreography Sir David Bintley

Set design Dick Bird

Costume design Sue Blane


Dance Lighting Design

Mark’s dance lighting experience

Mark’s ballet portfolio includes a long association with Sir David Bintley beginning at Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1995 where designs included Far from the Madding Crowd, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cyrano, The Protecting Veil, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and revivals of works by Sir Frederick Ashton & Dame Ninette de Valois. Subsequently, he has designed at the Stuttgart Ballet, the National Ballet of Japan, Houston Ballet, the Finnish National Ballet and Bordeaux.

He has also worked regularly for the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, as well on World tours to China, Japan, the USA and Mexico with designs for Dame Monica Mason, Sir Anthony Dowell, Christopher Newton and Johan Kobborg. He has also designed productions at the London Children’s Ballet, Northern Ballet, Scottish Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Capitole de Toulouse. Ballet K and Berlin Staatsballett.

Click here for a full list of Dance Credits

Companies we work with

Mark has designed for many dance companies, for more details go to the dance credits section.

  • The Royal Ballet

  • Birmingham Royal Ballet

  • Northern Ballet Theatre

  • Scottish Ballet 

  • Houston Ballet

  • American Ballet Theatre

  • Staatsballett Berlin

  • Marinsky

  • Teatro Colon Buenos Aires

  • Finnish National Ballet

  • Stuttgart Ballet

  • Ballet Capitole de Toulouse

  • The London Children’s Ballet

  • Ballet K- Japan

  • The National Ballet of Japan

  • Imperial Ice Stars

  • Ballet National de Bordeaux

  • Worldwide Cinema Broadcasts

  • BBC TV Broadcasts & DVDs

  • Albany Empire

More information on the full list of companies

Dance video

You can get a quick overview of some of Mark’s productions on the video trailers below which include Scottish Opera’s Barber of Seville, Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, The Mikado, Glyndebourne’s Vanessa and Madama Butterfly, Theatre an der Wien’s Rape of Lucretia, Giulio Cesare, Mathis der Maler, WNO Lulu, BRB’s Beauty and the Beast, Sylvia, Den Jyske’s Don Quichotte, I Puritani, Jenufa, Askepot (La Cenerentola) Royal Swedish Opera’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Royal Danish Opera’s Dead Man Walking as well as Nicholas Nickleby at Chichester Festival along with excerpts from the Royal Ballet’s Sylvia, Sleeping Beauty and the Tales of Beatrix Potter.

View all videos

Dance reviews

Lighting is often able to respond more freely in Dance. Here are a sample of reviews for two very different ballets I made for Sir David Bintley at Birmingham Royal Ballet. To see all 74 Dance reviews click below.

  • Aladdin

    Houston Ballet

    Lighting designer Mark Jonathan works serious magic with the cave’s stalactites and stalagmites, which glow in colors that change with each “jewel” variation; a ravishing bathhouse dome full of small, circular skylights; and a palace courtyard whose sunset-drenched arches are backed by an evening sky.

    Molly Glentzer, The Houston Chronicle

  • Aladdin

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    .…the design team of Sue Blane, Dick Bird and Mark Jonathan, who create a magic-lantern show of desertscapes, minarets and palace interiors. The Djinn of the Lamp hovers magically in a puff of blue smoke, the Maghrib’s wickedness extends all the way to his glow-in-the-dark fingernails. Between them, a family-packed theatre is kept happily entertained.

    Judith Mackrell, The Guardian

  • Aladdin

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    The design team of Dick Bird (sets), Sue Blane (costumes) and Mark Jonathan (lighting) deserve special mention and do excellent work respectively, adding necessary levels of dimension, atmosphere and texture to the production

    The Arts Shelf

  • Aladdin

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    A huge rib cage-like entrance leading to a space lit by stalactites and ‘mites that change colour to reflect dancing jewels are thrilling imagined by set designer Dick Bird and lighting designer Mark Jonathan.

    Simon Hale, The Birmingham Press

  • The Protecting Veil

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    It seems simple as it passes: only in retrospect do you realise how perfectly judged the costumes are Ruari Murchison, how brilliant the lighting Mark Jonathan. 

    Dance Now

  • The Protecting Veil

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    Bintley’s The Protecting Veil, to John Taverner’s music and fine designs by Ruari Murchison under dramatic lighting by Mark Jonathan. 

    Dancing Times

  • The Protecting Veil

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    Lighting by Mark Jonathan is excellent, the setting, Ruari Murchison, no less so, and the oblique homage to de Valois is sincere. 

    Clement Crisp, Financial Times

  • The Protecting Veil

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    David Bintley translates Taverner’s religious tract magnificently through a series of stunning stage pictures of the Virgin in red, wrapped in a white veil against black or a battered gold background, looking like a byzantyne painting. The various stages in her life are conveyed with cello and orchestra and Ruari Murchison’s simple designs suggesting the cross or an interior are matched by Mark Jonathan’s lighting. The total effect is overwhelming. 

    Dance Express

  • The Protecting Veil

    Birmingham Royal Ballet

    On the vast stage of Sadler’s Wells, it looks even more impressive. Ruari Murchison’s simple wall of gold leaf glimmers dimly as if lit by church candles, etches a Blakean sunrise for the Virgin’s transfiguration, and dazzles to proclaim the resurrection. Christ’s cross is a simple column of ruched brown silk which ingeniously slips away to reveal a golden ladder pointing the way to Heaven. This is design which almost inspires worship in itself. 

    The Independent on Sunday

See all 74 other Dance Reviews