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Press Release: Northern Ballet announces company changes for 2018/19

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For immediate release

11 June 2018


Northern Ballet announces promotions and joiners for 2017/18 season


Northern Ballet will welcome ten new dancers for the 2018/19 season and has also announced promotions for existing members of the Company.


Joining the Corps de Ballet are: Ayça Anil (Central School of Ballet); Adam Ashcroft (Estonian National Ballet); Harris Beattie (Central School of Ballet); Helen Bogatch (Estonian National Ballet); Kyungka Kwak (Universal Ballet, Korea); George Liang (The National Ballet of Canada); and Nina Queiroz da Silva (Ballet Nacional Sodre, Uruguay). Matthew Morrell joins as an Apprentice from the Academy of Northern Ballet’s Professional Graduate Programme, alongsideformer Professional Graduate student Julie Nunès who joins from the corps de ballet at The Phantom of the Opera, Stockholm, and Oscar Ainscough from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.


In addition, a number of Northern Ballet’s existing company dancers have been promoted: Mlindi Kulashe, Ayami Miyata, Abigail Prudames and Joseph Taylor to First Soloists; Nicola Gervasi and Matthew Koon to Soloists; Sarah Chun, Riku Ito, Minju Kang and Dominique Larose to Junior Soloists; and Filippo Di Vilio to Coryphée.


This year the Company will also be saying goodbye to the following dancers: Dreda Blow is returning to her native Canada to study physical theatre and pursue acting, teaching and creating her own work; whilst Giuliano Contadini and Victoria Sibson have retired from the stage; the three have collectively been performing with Northern Ballet for over 35 years. Mathilde Lambert leaves to join Columbia Classical Ballet, USA; Jesse Milligan has joined the West End cast of The King and I at the London Palladium; Liam Morris is joining Estonian National Ballet; Alexander Yap is joiningBirmingham Royal Ballet; Archie James leaves to study Sports and Injury Therapy; and Kiara Flavin, Thomas Holdsworth, Darragh Hourrides, Carlotta Pini and Ailen Ramos Betancourt are also moving on to new things.


Northern Ballet’s new season will commence in September with a new Mixed Programme in Leeds and Doncaster followed by the return of David Nixon OBE’s The Three Musketeers and The Nutcracker which will both tour nationally.For details see northernballet.com/whatson




Notes to Editors


Northern Ballet – Company List 2018/19


Premier Dancers

Pippa Moore

Javier Torres


Leading Soloists

Hannah Bateman

Antoinette Brooks-Daw

Ashley Dixon


First Soloists

Mlindi Kulashe

Ayami Miyata

Abigail Prudames

Joseph Taylor



Nicola Gervasi

Rachael Gillespie

Matthew Koon

Kevin Poeung


Junior Soloists

Sean Bates

Sarah Chun

Riku Ito

Minju Kang

Dominique Larose

Matthew Topliss



Filippo Di Vilio

Jonathan Hanks



Miki Akuta

Eneko Amorós Zaragoza

Ayça Anil

Adam Ashcroft

Harris Beattie

Helen Bogatch

Abigail Cockrell

Ommaira Kanga Perez

Natalia Kerner

Kyungka Kwak

Heather Lehan

George Liang

Harriet Marden

Gavin McCaig

Nina Queiroz da Silva

Dale Rhodes

Mariana Rodrigues

Teresa Saavedra Bordes

Andrew Tomlinson

Lorenzo Trossello



Oscar Ainscough

Matthew Morrell

Julie Nunès


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 44 dancers performs a combination of its full-length ballets and specially created ballets for children at almost 50 venues annually.


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




National Tour Sponsor







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Three are retirements and it looks as though one young man, who was an apprentice this year, is changing profession.  Of the others, 3 are apprentices who may have only had contracts for the year with no expectation of being kept on when they joined (I have no idea whether or not this is the case).


This Spring tour has been a bit strange because the bulk of it was Jane Eyre, which was not expanded from when it was created 2 years ago for smaller venues and half the company.  I can quite understand if the dancers who were not involved got thoroughly fed up and decided to move on.  Apart from the retirees (and Giuliano actually left at Christmas, although only initially on a leave of absence) only Kiara Flavin from the leavers list was involved in Jane Eyre.

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