Northern Ballet School set for Dancehouse Show.

Manchester’s Northern Ballet School is set to take to the stage again for A Showcase of Dance running from Thursday 10th July until Saturday 12th July.

Northern Ballet School was launched in 1977 under the direction of Patricia McDonald, a former partner in the long established Muriel Tweedy School of Dancing. It was in 1989 when she founded the school’s classical company Manchester City Ballet and musical theatre company Jazzgalore, which moved into the Dancehouse in 1992, where it has settled to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the training of dancers for classical and musical theatre careers, with students going on to take up work with ballet companies, cabarets, cruise lines, as well as film and television work and taking roles in West End productions.

After this years stunning shows of Swan Lake in December 2013 and Evolution of Dance in March 2014, the Northern Ballet School ‘s latest show will combine completely new choreography with the best of the year’s previous shows.

We recently caught up with Bernardo Ribeiro, a student at the Northern Ballet School, who performed the role of Siegfried in Swan Lake, to discuss the forthcoming show.

A lot of hard work has gone into the pieces and specific attention is being paid to the finest details – “We’re very concerned with taking care of small details” and Bernardo is certainly convinced that the professionalism of the teachers and choreographers filters through and pays off. “It’s really worth it. Dancers are very self-critical and when you get to the show you think it’s still not perfect, but when you get to see the show you’re like ‘oh, it’s actually really good’.”

The show will have something for everybody, Bernardo tells us. “It’s very varied and will suit quite a different audience. There’s a little bit of ballet, there’s neo-classical pieces, there’s contemporary, there’s jazz. You won’t be bored!” He’s certainly right about that. Evolution of Dance was an exhillerating, energetic feast with a mixture of dance styles from across the ages, which left us with our hearts racing – there was power, poise, energy, drama, even tricks and tumbling. “We’re going to perform the fourth act of Swan Lake – approximately twelve minutes of dancing – one of the most dramatic acts of Swan Lake. There are also some jazz pieces – Bad, choreographed by Mr [David] Needham, Johnny B Good as choreographed by Mr [Eric] Carpenter. I’ll also have a duet with Honoka” [Nishimura – they’ll be performing Bali Hai together].

Bernardo, who came to the Northern Ballet School from Portugal, started dancing at the age of nine. So what’s next for him? “I’ve got a contract with an American company” he tells us, “I’m so thrilled – it’s a dream job. I’ll be going to Connecticut on the 15th July after I finish my course here. I’m going to start as an apprentice and learn the repertoire. It’s neo-classical and contemporary, which I love. After that’s they’ll promote me as a full time dancer”.

The final words from Bernardo … “The show is great. Come and see it”.


Image courtesy of Caroline Holden