Former CAT student Matthew Topliss (Northern Ballet Academy 2005 - 09) is now in his third year with the Royal Conservatoire Scotland. He is currently working with Scottish Ballet as part of the cast for Ashley Page's production of Sleeping Beauty, performing in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle. Viki Westall, Northern Ballet Academy Deputy Associate Director, caught up with him in a short break between rehearsals.
"I've been here since November, it's going really well, and the Company are so supportive and welcoming. I have a season contract which is just what I wanted. The experience is fantastic - just watching everyone else is amazing and they seem pretty happy with me. I'm one of the Uncles, an Elfin Prince and part of 'The Ballet' dancing alongside members of the Company. The kids will love Ashley's Sleeping Beauty as it's full of fairytale characters, but there is also a lot of suspense throughout the show.
“I'm hoping that this will be my audition for the Company, but I also really want to audition for Northern Ballet as I love the work David does and I have such close connections there. Training at the Conservetoire was similar to my training with the Academy in many ways. Yoko (Ichino) encouraged us all to be thinking dancers, to consider the whole picture. Likewise at the Conservetoire, you are treated as individuals not as machines, (we are not all the same) and the training is very intense. It's been a great preparation to work with teachers at the school only recently retired from Scottish Ballet who know the standard expected and the style of the Company. When I finish at the end of February I'll go back to prepare for our graduation performance, but I hope to come to Leeds and visit and take class at Easter during the Northern Ballet Academy International Easter Course.”
So if any of your have any questions for Matt – about his training here, life as a Company dancer, the training at the Conservetoire, come on down at Easter! We are very proud to have set the lovely Matt up for stardom.
Northern Ballet Academy's International Easter Course runs for Ages 12 – 19 from 10 – 14 April.