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Press Release: Launch of new UK ballet company: McNicol Ballet Collective

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McNicol Ballet Collective





Four world premiere ballets mark launch of new UK ballet company


Choreographed by Andrew McNicol



at Bloomsbury Theatre, London

on Sunday 5TH April 7:30pm



Starring guest artists from The Royal Ballet, Ballet Flanders and Semperoper Ballet Dresden




Booking: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/event-ticketing/booking?ev=19186

Tickets: £15, £20, £25 (concessions £2 off each band available)

15% dance student discount (Promo code MBC20 * this is capped at 50 tickets)


From Life marks the launch of McNicol Ballet Collective, a new ballet company founded by rising star of the choreographic world, Andrew McNicol. Featuring four world premieres for the stage as well as a showing of Andrew’s award-winning short film Of Silence, this exciting new programme will be performed by a host of star dancers from world renowned international companies including The Royal Ballet, Ballet Flanders and Semperoper Ballet Dresden.


From Life will be performed at the newly renovated Bloomsbury Theatre, London, Sunday 5th April 7:30pm.


The entire evening’s programme is choreographed by Andrew and comprises his title work From Life performed to music by Bach; In Ecstacy (featuring a newly commissioned score performed live by composers Nicolas Thayer and Setareh Nasfi); Of Silence with music from Peteris Vasks & Design Emma Bailey and Bates Beats performed to music by Mason Bates. In addition to his new works for the stage, Andrew’s award-winning film Of Silence (featuring music by Nicolas Thayer and designs by Emma Bailey) will be shown as part of the programme alongside a 4-minute backstage documentary on the company.


Dancers for the inaugural McNicol Ballet Collective performance include, Laura Morera (Principal Royal Ballet), Nancy Osbaldeston and Gabor Kapin (Principals, Royal Ballet of Flanders), Laurie McSherry Gray (Soloist, Royal Ballet of Flanders), William Bracewell (First Soloist, The Royal Ballet), Giulia Frosi (Corps de Ballet, Semperoper Ballet Dresden) and Gareth Haw (Semperoper Ballet Dresden).


McNicol Ballet Collective brings together artists from around the globe to collaborate on the creation of neo-classical ballets for stage and film. The company’s ethos is energised by its appetite for innovation and its desire to create a flexible platform that can accommodate existing commitments of dancers and their home-companies whilst offering additional opportunities for choreographic collaboration. The new company is the brainchild of 27 year -old freelance choreographer Andrew McNicol, whose talent has already been recognised by his commissioned work for many of the world’s leading ballet companies including The Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, BalletX The New York Choreographic Institute, The London Olympics and others.


Andrew says of the launch of his new company, ‘With McNicol Ballet Collective I wanted to create a new type of company that offers world-class dancers a flexible performance platform that’s able to fit-in around the repertoire and commitments of their individual home companies. The Collective is an innovative collective of dancers and collaborators who are tremendously excited for what’s ahead. I couldn’t be more excited to present From Life as a taste of what’s to come from this brand new neo-classical ballet company!’





“Really someone to watch” - Sir Peter Wright

“Abounds in dramatic situations…McNicol has plenty of formal skill” -New York Times


“A rising star” - BBC News


“Gives a sense of awesome wonderment” - Chicago Tribune


Notes To editors

Director|Choreographer: Andrew McNicol

British choreographer Andrew McNicol trained at The Royal Ballet School and completed his formal studies through Ballet Central’s professional choreographic programme. (MA). Andrew has created works for major companies and organisations such as the Joffrey Ballet (Chicago) The Royal Ballet (London), The Royal Ballet of Flanders (Belgium), BalletX (Philadelphia), The New York Choreographic Institute (New York) The Royal Ballet School, New English Ballet Theatre, Ballet Central and Images Ballet Company among others. Alongside creating narrative and abstract ballets for the stage he has also created dance works for film, site specific work most notably for The London Olympics and has collaborated with acclaimed opera trio Juice. Andrew established McNicol Ballet Collective in order to create ambitious new ballets, original dance films and special collaborative projects alongside dancers from some of the world’s leading ballet companies. In 2019 Andrew was invited as choreographic mentor for The Royal Ballet Upper School and will continue this work through 2020.


Filmmaker: Sam Asaert

Sam Asaert is a Belgian filmmaker, photographer and visual artist, with a strong focus on documentary, as well as dance and ballet. Known for his innovative visuals and poetic style, his work with various ballet companies has earned him multiple international awards, and his documentary works have been broadcasted and published internationally.


Designer: Emma Bailey

Emma is an award winning set and costume designer working in London. Having started her career in architecture she uses her spatial and draughting skills to explore her fascination with 3D and 2D design and performance. In 2011 Emma was awarded the prestigious Linbury Prize for Stage Design with her production Roy Orbison in Clingfilm at the Royal Opera House. Emma has designed for venues including Royal Opera House Linbury Studio, RSC, Young Vic and National Theatre Studio. Her work comprises many elements of design including fashion, illustration and sculptural installation.


Co-Composer: Nicholas Robert Thayer

Nicholas Robert Thayer is a London-born, Antwerp-based composer and  producer, working across neo-classical, electronic, and rock music. He built his name in the club music realm under the pseudonym ‘Nick Thayer’, where he is known for defying the limiting factors of genre. This approach is reflected in all his work, which is characterised by the drawing together of disparate musical ideas: lightness and darkness, harmony and dissonance, noise and silence. 

Thayer has composed for dance pieces performed by Het Nationale Ballet, Ballet Vlandaaren, House Of Makers, Sydney Dance Company and West Australian Ballet.


Co-Composer: SeTaReh Nafisi

Equally at home playing Rachmaninov on a concert stage as experimenting with tonal textures and electronics in her bands Vertex, MezzopTrio, Journey, Three Reflections, Yellow Beasts, and many more, Iranian born pianist and composer Setareh Nafisi (Tehran, Iran, 1987) began her musical journey at the age four, studying piano, violin, vocal and percussion, then touring internationally with Tehran Symphony Orchestra, Tehran Vocal Ensemble and and Tehran Choir. A desire for discovering music and art in diverse pathways led Nafisi to explore her own artistic identity, first with a bachelor in piano studies from Tehran Art University, and then a second bachelor from the Prins Claus Conservatoire (Groningen, NL), this time incorporating studies in improvisation and composition. She then took further study in composition for film at Amsterdam Conservatoire (CvA), and is currently completing a Masters research in composition. In her practice as a composer, improviser and multi-disciplinary artist she utilises both electronic and acoustic elements in order to best tell each individual narrative. Currently based in Groningen, NL, Setareh has composed for award winning short films, dance, cross-arts projects, concert settings, and regularly performs her own compositions with ensembles and her bands. Nafisi’s compositions draw together all the threads of her musical journey, incorporating influences from classical, jazz, electronics and Eastern disciplines. Inspired by her multi- faceted cultural journey, she is forever searching for a broader musical vocabulary with which to communicate her stories to the new audiences of today.


Website: www.mcnicolballetcollective.co.uk

Facebook: Andrew McNicol Choreographer

Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/andrewmcnicolchoreographer


Photo Credit:  Nancy Osbaldeston by SHED MOJAHID

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