Director of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare joins Board of Directors

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Press release date 
Wed 13 May 2015

Northern Ballet has appointed Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, to its Board of Directors. Award-winning Northern Ballet, which is currently celebrating its 45th anniversary and was recently voted Best Company at the Taglioni European Ballet Awards, specialises in creating and performing full-length classical narrative ballets. The new appointment comes as Northern Ballet continues to pursue its ambitious plans for the future which include extending the Company’s repertoire by working with established and emerging choreographers to create new short and full-length ballets and increasing the extensive reach of its national tour.

Former-dancer Kevin O’Hare was born in Kingston upon Hull and after training at The Royal Ballet School, progressed to become a Principal Dancer at Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, later Birmingham Royal Ballet. After retiring from the stage in 2000, Kevin held a number of Company Management positions before being appointed Administrative Director of The Royal Ballet in 2009 and, following Monica Mason’s retirement, Director of The Royal Ballet in 2012. Since then, in addition to presenting the Company’s heritage repertory, he has demonstrated his commitment to new work by commissioning many one-act and three full-length ballets. Aside from promoting outstanding creativity his role includes responsibility for artistic excellence, developing talent and widening the Company’s performing platform.

On joining the Northern Ballet Board, Kevin O’Hare said:

‘I was born in Yorkshire and as a long-time admirer of Northern Ballet's work I am delighted to join the board in this, the company’s 45th year. I look forward to working alongside Sir David Wootton and fellow board members in supporting the future of such a vital dance Company.’

Alongside Kevin O’Hare, Harrogate-based Independent Director Elizabeth Jackson has also been newly appointed to Northern Ballet’s Board. A Chartered Accountant with considerable experience in Corporate Finance gained with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Elizabeth left in 1999 to join a start-up business specialising in the recruitment of board directors to private equity backed businesses. Having played a key role in the formative years of Directorbank Executive Search, she led the secondary buy out as Chief Executive in 2006 and subsequently led the acquisition of Hanson Green, a City head-hunter in 2008. Since 2011 she has turned her attention to developing her interest in horticulture starting up a new business in support of the British Flower movement. 

Sir David Wootton, Chairman of the Board, said:

‘It is a good compliment to Northern Ballet that persons with the skills and experiences which Kevin and Elizabeth will bring are joining our Board. We continue to strengthen our Board so that the Company has top-class guidance and advice to match our top-class artistic and management standards. I warmly welcome Kevin and Elizabeth.’

Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper DL, said:

‘I am delighted that two such distinguished people have joined our Board, both bringing hugely valuable but different skills to the Company. Elizabeth’s extensive corporate experience will add further business perspective to our hugely successful organisation and Kevin’s wealth of knowledge in the dance world will be a great asset to the Company. We look forward to developing our relationship with The Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House both in terms of performances and looking at the possibilities to present work collaboratively in London and Leeds.’

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