This season you may have seen some new faces on stage as we welcomed six new dancers to the Company.
Dancer Kirica Takahashi joined us from Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Dancer Alessia Petrosino joined us from Ballet de l’Opéra de Metz in France. Dancer Katharine Lee and Apprentice Gemma Coutts joined us from English National Ballet School.
At the end of this season we will sadly be saying goodbye to the following dancers.
Premier Dancer Antoinette Brooks-Daw will be retiring from the stage after 13 years with Northern Ballet to undertake full time Pilates Teacher Training. Antoinette's career highlights include dancing the roles of: Cathy (Wuthering Heights); Daisy (The Great Gatsby); Lucy (Dracula); and performing in Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria on the Royal Opera House stage. Most recently she created the roles of: Young Jane in Jane Eyre; Nannerl Mozart in The Kingdom of Back; Gretel in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; and Morgan in Merlin.
The performance of Merlin at Leeds Grand Theatre on Friday 19 November will be dedicated to Antoinette and her career with the Company.
Leading Soloist Mlindi Kulashe will be exploring other passions, moving on to freelancing work. Mlindi joined Northern Ballet in 2013 and has danced many iconic roles including: Dracula; Uncle Drosselmeyer and Cavalier (The Nutcracker); Rochester (Jane Eyre); Albert (Victoria); The Magician (Cinderella); Beast (Beauty & the Beast); and George Wilson (The Great Gatsby). He created the roles of John Brown in Victoria and The Fury in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. In 2018 Mlindi made his choreographic debut with Mamela... as part of Northern Ballet's Mixed Programme and went on to choreograph Men Dances as part of our Digital Season in 2020.
After eight years with Northern Ballet, First Soloist Matthew Koon has also made the decision to move on and pursue other artistic endeavours. Matthew's career highlights with Northern Ballet include: Romeo and Mercutio (Jean-Christophe Maillot's Romeo and Juliet); Edgar (Wuthering Heights); Cavalier (The Nutcracker); Peter (Peter Pan); George Wilson (The Great Gatsby); and dancing on the Royal Opera House stage in Gloria. He is currently performing the role of Merlin. Matthew created the role of Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
We also say goodbye to Dancer Matthew Morrell, who is leaving the Company after three years. We wish him all the best for the future.