Britain’s favourite ballet company
the Royal Patron HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, KCVO


Romeo & Juliet Jan 1-3,2011
Madame Butterfly Jan 4-5 ,2011
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Founded in Manchester in 1969 and based in Leeds since 1996, Northern Ballet has grown to become one of the UK's best loved companies and an important international cultural ambassador. Northern Ballet’s productions mix classical dance and theatre, embracing popular culture and taking inspiration from literature, opera or giving a unique interpretation of classical ballets.

In 2010 Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon was awarded an OBE for his services to dance in the Queen’s New Years Honours list. Under David’s leadership the Company has enjoyed acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The Company received the Audience Award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for three successive years in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and the Patron’s Award in 2008. 

Romeo & Juliet

Northern Ballet’s classic adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy is one of their most popular productions. Passionate and dramatic, this is dance theatre at its most intense. Sets and costumes designed by the award winning Lez Brotherston, stunning dancing and Prokofiev’s timeless score make Northern Ballet’s critically acclaimed Romeo & Juliet an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Madame Butterfly

Butterfly is fragile, unworldly, and prepared to sacrifice everything for the love of the handsome American Lieutenant Pinkerton.  He deserts her and their child, only to return years later with his new wife. Abandoned and betrayed, Butterfly is left with only one honourable course of action.  

East meets West in Northern Ballet’s stunning Madame Butterfly. The soaring melodies of Puccini’s emotive score are interspersed with traditional Japanese music.  Japanese-style dancing is blended with classical ballet, capturing the pain and passion of the conflict between Butterfly’s Japan and Pinkerton’s America that lies at the heart of this tragedy.

HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, KCVO is now the Royal Patron of Northern Ballet. He took the position after HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, the former Royal Patron of NBT passed away.

Artistic Director - David Nixon
David Nixon is in his tenth year as Artistic Director for Northern Ballet.
David trained as a dancer in the National Ballet School of Canada and his career began at the National Ballet of Canada where he progressed rapidly through the ranks to become a principal dancer, dancing lead roles in the classical and contemporary repertoire. In 1985 he joined the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin as principal dancer where he won the Critics Award for Best Male Performance (1987) and continued to increase his own choreographic output. This included producing and directing a successful mixed programme - David Nixon’s Liaisons - at the Hebbel Theatre, Berlin in 1990.
Nixon left Berlin for a series of principal guest artist positions with National Ballet of Canada, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich and Royal Winnipeg Ballet before returning to Deutsche Oper Ballet in 1994 as first ballet master. His guest artist credits also include: Birmingham Royal Ballet; Komische Oper; Deutsche Staatsoper; Hamburg Ballet and Sydney City Ballet.
In 1994 David became Artist Director of BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio USA, During his six-years with the company he added sixteen world and fifteen company premieres to the repertoire. Companies in Canada, the USA and South Africa have since staged David’s productions.
David came to Northern Ballet in 2001 and has added an impressive array of new works into the repertoire including the hugely popular Madame Butterfly, Wuthering Heights, the Gershwin extravaganza, I Got Rhythm, Swan Lake, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Peter Pan, Dracula, The Three Musketeers, A Sleeping Beauty Tale, The Nutcracker and Hamlet. His dark and exciting new production of Hamlet toured in Spring 2008.
His work has received recognition: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Three Musketeers were nominated for an Olivier award; The Three Musketeers won a Manchester Evening News (MEN) Theatre Award and Madame Butterfly and A Midsummer Night’s Dream were nominated for an MEN Award; David was voted Director of the Year by readers of Dance Europe in 2003 and 2006; and NBT received the audience award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for three successive years (2004, 2005, 2006) and the Patron's Award in 2009. In January 2010 David was awarded an OBE for his services to dance in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.