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Press Release: Northern Ballet premieres three new dance works in Leeds and London

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Coverage Briefing


For immediate release

4 August 2022



Made in Leeds: Three Short Ballets


Northern Ballet premieres three new dance works in Leeds and London this autumn


Coverage Briefing


Pictured: Minju Kang in Dickson Mbi’s Ma Vie, photo George Liang.


Northern Ballet will open their autumn season with the World Première of three exhilarating new dance pieces in Made in Leeds: Three Short Ballets that will be exclusively performed in Leeds and London.


Yorkshire audiences will be the first to see exciting new works from award-winning choreographers Mthuthuzeli November, Stina Quagebeur and Dickson Mbi, performed by Northern Ballet’s world-class dancers. Made in Leeds: Three Short Ballets will première at Leeds Playhouse from the 10-17 September before moving onto London’s Linbury Theatre from the 1-3 November.


Olivier award-winning Mthuthuzeli November’s Wailers is described as a work that gives thanks to life. To its struggles, beauty and its people. Those with us and no longer with us. It is a prayer for guidance.


Stina Quagebeur, Associate Choreographer with English National Ballet, will present Nostalgia, an exploration of that familiar state of longing, poignancy and piercing joy, the quiet force that transforms our pain and connects us together.


Following the release of a short film of the same title, world-renowned hip hop dancer and choreographer Dickson Mbi will reimagine Ma Vie on stage, exploring Giacomo Casanova's thirst for love, his complex relationship with the church and his eventual downfall.


Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director Federico Bonelli said:


“We’re delighted to be premiering Made in Leeds: Three Short Ballets in Leeds and London this autumn.
It is my passion to work with a wide range of creative talent and to allow our dancers to expand their horizons. Dickson Mbi, Stina Quagebeur and Mthuthuzeli November are all exceptionally talented choreographers with unique voices and perspectives which bring a wonderful quality to this programme.
It is also a great source of pride that this world-class trio of works has been created, rehearsed and brought to life in our home town of Leeds. I can’t wait for you to see how our dancers shine in these new pieces."


Tickets are on sale now, to book visit northernballet.com/three-short-ballets




Notes to Editors 


Made in Leeds: Three Short Ballets 2022 Tour Listings


Leeds Playhouse  

10 - 17 September 2022 

Evenings 7:30pm (no Sunday or Monday performances)

Matinees 2:30pm (Thur 15 & Sat 17)

Box Office 0113 213 7700 



Linbury Theatre (Royal Opera House) 

1 - 3 November 2022 

Evenings 7:45pm 

Matinee 2pm (Thur 3) 

Box Office (0)20 7304 4000 



Northern Ballet  

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 impressive 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 ballet to as many people and places as possible, under the leadership of Artistic Director Federico Bonelli. Northern Ballet’s Company of dancers performs a combination of its full-length ballets and specially created ballets for children at more than 40 venues annually.  


Launched in 2019, Northern Ballet’s digital dance platform ensures more people can access their work, from full-length films of popular ballets through to exciting short dance films by up-and-coming choreographers and filmmakers. Visit digitaldance.org to discover more. 


Northern Ballet will be touring Made in Leeds: Three Short Ballets, Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaidand The Nutcracker to theatres across the UK this autumn. To find out more visit northernballet.com/whats-on


Mthuthuzeli November 


Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Mthuthuzeli started dancing at the age of 15 with the outreach programme, Dance For All. In 2011 he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Cape Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA), where he graduated with a Distinction in 2014.


He won a gold medal in the Contemporary category in the South Africa International Ballet Competition as a Junior in 2012, and as a senior in 2014. He has worked with Cape Dance Company under the direction of Debbie Turner, with choreographers including Bradley Shelver and Christopher Huggins. Made his debut work in 2014 on Cape Dance Company. In 2015 He danced in the production of West Side Story before joining Ballet Black in September 2015 where he created roles in works of world renowned choreographers such as Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa. He made his first ballet for Ballet Black, Interrupted in July 2016 and created his own choreographic platform, M22 Movement Lab, collaborating with musicians, composers and designers to create new choreography for stage and film.


Mthuthuzeli got an award as South Africa’s Emerging artist at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) for his solo work. In 2017, Mthuthuzeli was commissioned by the Cape Dance Company to create two new works (visceral and The rite of passage), funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa, which premiered at Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. In 2018, Mthuthuzeli created a solo for Precious Adams of English National Ballet. Has also worked on projects including The Chemical brothers, Sanlam and recently danced and choreographed for British artist Stormzy, headlining the 2019 Glastonbury Festival.


In 2019 he was commissioned to make two new works for company Ballet Black, Washa - The burn from the inside and Ingoma. Ingoma was nominated for four prestigious awards in the UK, winning the Lawrence Olivier award for best dance production and Black British Theatre awards for best dance production 2020, he was also nominated for best emerging artist. In 2020 Mthuthuzeli was commissioned to make a work for The Grange festival production Pricipice and created a winning work for English National Ballet Emerging Dancer. Mthuthuzeli was then commissioned by Cape Town Opera to make Pergolesi Stabat Mater for on-demand online release. In 2021 he created a work for Northern Ballet titled What used to, no longer is. In 2021 he premiered a new work co-commissioned by the Barbican Theatre and Ballet titled The waiting game. 





Stina Quagebeur 


Stina Quagebeur is a First Artist and an Associate Choreographer with English National Ballet. She has Choreographed for Dance, Opera and Film internationally and has been praised for her distinctive voice in bringing classical ballet and contemporary dance together in a narrative setting.


Take Five Blues was created for English National Ballet’s Digital Season 2020. Created with Film Director Shaun James Grant. It is available to watch on ENB at Home. Take Five Blues was nominated Best Digital Choreography at the National Dance Awards 2021.


Hollow created for the ENB’s Emerging Dancer Competition 2020 was chosen to be performed as part of the BBC’s Dancing Nation Programme celebrating world class dance from leading UK companies. Based on a couple who contend with depression, and the confusion and displacement it causes between them. Hollow was also programmed as part of the Solstice performances by ENB at the Festival Hall in June 2021.


In February, 2020, Stina was awarded Emerging Artist at the National Dance Awards 2020 and her work Nora was nominated for Best Classical Choreography.





Dickson Mbi 


Dickson Mbi was born in Cameroon and grew up in London where he studied at Lewisham College and London Contemporary Dance School. He is a world-renowned dancer in the hip hop dance community and best known for his popping skills which is integral to the work that he creates today. Dickson has featured in multiple TV campaigns including BALMAIN X H&M (2016), AUDI E TRON (2014), and was the face for LUCOZADE REVIVE (2012). Over the course of his career, he has worked with award-winning artists such as Russell Maliphant, Boy Blue Entertainment, Robbie Williams, Corrine Bailey-Rae, Black Eyed Peas and choreographed the 'Leave A Trace' music video for CHVRCHES.


He is an award-winning choreographer and has been commissioned by several theatres, festivals and arts organisation. In 2018, Sadler's Wells Theatre commissioned a documentary ‘Street to Stage’ about Dickson's artistic journey for BBC4’s Danceworks series. Later that year, Sadler's Wells commissioned him to create work for their elderly company - The Company of Elders. In the following year, Dickson was commissioned by BBC Young Dancer to create the winning choreography UNSTRUNG performed by Max Revell.


As a leader in his community, Dickson focuses on fostering the future generations of dancers with his partner Brooke Milliner in their battle crews Prototype and FIYA HOUSE. As a choreographer, Dickson enjoys making works for other companies as well as presenting his own works under Dickson Mbi Company.



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46 minutes ago, alison said:

Thanks, Jan.  The almost-total lack of information on the ROH website hadn't encouraged me to book.


Northern Ballet issued some rehearsal footage for Mthuthuzeli November's Wailers yesterday:



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