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Northern Ballet - Wuthering Heights - Bradford, November 2015

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Before the start of tonight's performance David Nixon came on stage and made the most beautiful speech in memory of Jonathan Oliver, dedicating the performance to his memory.


Martha Leebolt and Toby Batley led the cast in one of the most emotionally charged performances I have seen in a long time.  The whole company danced their hearts out.


Thank you Northern Ballet.

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So I was back in Bradford for a weekend of Wuthering Heights and saw three different casts.


These performances show yet again why ballet fans go over and over again as all three casts were dancing the same steps but all three casts give their own take.


Especial highlights for me were Lucia Solari and Javier Torres giving performances of glorious abandon on Friday evening, both Sean Bates and Matthew Koon giving beautifully nuanced performances in the role of Edgar, Rachael Gillespie and Jeremy Curnier as Young Cathy and Heathcliff and Dominique La Rose as the "shaking" servant.  She has got impeccable comic timing.


I feel quite mean in listing my highlights as all three performances were superb and all the dancers gave everything to their performances.


I hope it is not too long before we see this wonderful ballet again!

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This may sound like an odd question but I have never seen Nothern Ballet. My impression is that nearly everything they do is choreographed by David Nixon and that it is not exactly classical ballet, more acting than dancing? Happy to be told I'm very wrong :)

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What is classical choreography?

David Nixon's choreographic vocabulary is classical. He uses classically trained dancers, who are terrific dancers and who can also act. They are also beginning to use a wider range of choreographers (although the rep has never been exclusively Nixon's).

Toby Batley has received his third nomination for best classical dancer in the National Dance Awards. Martha Leebolt won best dancer in a classical role a couple of years ago.

How classical does a company need to be?

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