The Northern Ballet has quickly moved into a position of being one of the top ballet companies in the country, despite having just been founded in 1969. The company offers classical dance techniques and a diverse story-telling repertoire that mean people of all ages and all ballet experience can come and enjoy the productions.
Dance School in North Tyneside
As a dance school in New York, North Tyneside we love to see local ballet companies doing so well and enjoy watching the fantastic productions they create in the local area. Here a little more about the Northern Ballet company
History of the company
The Northern Dance Theatre, as the company was originally known, was founded back in 1969 by Laverne Meyer. Meyer was a Canadian dramatic dancer who has worked with the Western Theatre Ballet. This was the first company to set up out London. The company had the backing of the Arts Council among others and its first ever performance was at the University Theatre in Manchester.
To begin with, there were just eleven dancers and productions focused on classical and modern works that were small scale. That first performance features musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music and the company continued to work through small venues and with innovative programs.
Since its foundation, the company has had some amazing directors and undertaken some of the most famous productions. In 2001, David Nixon OBE took over as the Artistic Director and put in a new training program as well as offering challenging new works to the company’s repertoire.
Wuthering Heights was the first entirely new production that Nixon oversaw, a collaboration with composer Claude-Michel Schonberg. Fittingly with its moorland backdrop, the premier of the show was held at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford in September 2002.
Another change under Nixon’s stewardship was the name – the company now became the Northern Ballet. As part of the new name, the company also took possession of its new home. This is a six-storey purpose built space that has seven dance studios and an impressive 230 seat theatre. It also incorporates spaces for meetings, a health suite, conference areas and even office space to house all of the departments that help run the company.
Why we love Northern Ballet
Northern Ballet has quickly become one of the most in-demand production companies in the world and has performed from Miami to Milan, from Barcelona to Bangkok. It also offers the chance for people around the UK to experience the wonder of ballet when otherwise they might not get the chance.
The addition of the new purpose-built space gives the company a permanent home and ensures that it can continue to build on the 2014 Best Company award at the Taglioni European Ballet Awards and the Best Dance Award from the Sky Arts Tv channel’s awards just last year. The company also still performs at locations around the UK as part of the program to bring ballet and dance to more people including current productions available in Norwich, Nottingham and Sheffield.
The company also continues with its program of classes to develop the next generation of dancers as well as allow people of all ages to try dance. Their program of classes can be seen on the website and include International, Easter and Summer Schools.