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Press Release: Northern Ballet - Dancer promotions, leavers and joiners 2017/18

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Northern Ballet announces promotions and joiners for 2017/18 season


Northern Ballet will welcome nine new dancers for the 2017/18 season and has also announced promotions for existing members of the Company.


Ailen Ramos Betancourt who performed with Northern Ballet as a Guest Artist for its tour of Casanova in early 2017, joins the Company as a Soloist. Joining the corps de ballet are: Eneko Amorós Zaragoza (Estonian National Ballet); Thomas Holdsworth (English National Ballet School); Ommaira Kanga Perez (Escuela de Ballet Carmina Ocaña y Pablo Savoye); Heather Lehan (Canada’s National Ballet School); and former Academy of Northern Ballet Centre for Advanced Training student Andrew Tomlinson joins from the National Ballet of Canada. Archie James and Carlotta Pini join as Apprentices from the Academy of Northern Ballet’s Professional Graduate Programme, and Mathilde Lambert (Dutch National Ballet Academy) also joins as an Apprentice.


In addition, a number of Northern Ballet’s existing company dancers have been promoted: Victoria Sibson to First Soloist; Mlindi KulasheAyami MiyataKevin Poeung and Abigail Prudames to Soloists; Sean BatesMatthew Koon and Matthew Topliss to Junior Soloists; and Sarah ChunRiku Ito and Jonathan Hanks are promoted to Coryphée.


This year the Company will also be saying goodbye to six of its dancers: Lucia Solari and Jeremy Curnier are leaving to join Ballett Kiel in Germany; whilst Naomi BottomerIsabelle CloughJenny Hackwell and Luke Francis are also moving on to new things.


Finally, Senior Artist and former Premier Dancer Hironao Takahashi bows out after a dancing career spanning over 20 years at Northern Ballet. Hironao will now focus full-time on his positions in the Company as Assistant Rehearsal Director and Assistant Artistic Director of Short Ballets for Small People. 


Northern Ballet’s new season will commence with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from 5 – 9 September 2017 before the world première of David Nixon OBE’s The Little Mermaid and performances of work by master choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, in Bradford and the Royal Opera House in London.




Notes to Editors


Northern Ballet – Company List 2017/18


Premier Dancers

Pippa Moore

Javier Torres


Leading Soloists

Hannah Bateman

Dreda Blow

Antoinette Brooks-Daw

Giuliano Contadini

Ashley Dixon


First Soloist

Victoria Sibson



Rachael Gillespie

Mlindi Kulashe

Ayami Miyata

Joseph Taylor

Kevin Poeung

Abigail Prudames

Ailen Ramos Betancourt


Junior Soloists

Sean Bates

Nicola Gervasi

Matthew Koon

Matthew Topliss



Sarah Chun

Jonathan Hanks

Riku Ito



Miki Akuta

Eneko Amorós Zaragoza

Abigail Cockrell

Kiara Flavin

Thomas Holdsworth

Ommaira Kanga Perez

Minju Kang

Natalia Kerner

Dominique Larose

Heather Lehan

Harriet Marden

Gavin McCaig

Jesse Milligan

Liam Morris

Dale Rhodes

Mariana Rodrigues

Teresa Saavedra Bordes

Andrew Tomlinson

Lorenzo Trossello

Filippo Di Vilio

Alexander Yap 



Darragh Hourrides

Archie James

Mathilde Lambert

Carlotta Pini



Northern Ballet


Artistic Director – David Nixon OBE


Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s leading ballet companies and the widest touring ballet company in the UK. Bold and innovative in its approach, Northern Ballet is prolific at creating new full-length work with a unique blend of strong classical technique and world-class storytelling. Northern Ballet’s repertoire embraces popular culture and takes inspiration from literature, legend, opera and the classics, pushing the boundaries of what stories can be told through dance.


A champion for the cultural exports of the North, Leeds-based Northern Ballet is dedicated to bringing world-class story ballets to as many people and places as possible, under the leadership of Artistic Director David Nixon OBE. Northern Ballet’s Company of 45 dancers performs a combination of its full-length ballets and specially created ballets for children at almost 50 venues annually.


Northern Ballet have been nominated in the Dance category at this year’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards for Jane Eyre. The Company were the winners of this category in 2016 for their ground-breaking adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.


For more details of Northern Ballet's tour, on sale dates and booking information, please visit northernballet.com/whatson

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