2 St. Cecilia Street Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7PA

The Northern Ballet is one of the biggest dance institutions outside of London. The Northern Ballet is located just outside Leeds city centre, next to the Leeds College of Music in Quarry Hill.

The building was funded through a public and private partnership between Leeds City Council, a grant from Arts Council England and fundraising by the Northern Ballet itself.

The building features seven dance studios including a 230 seat studio theatre. 6 of the dance studios are installed with specialized harlequin floors. Shared with the contemporary dance company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, it is the only facility for dance to house both a national classical and contemporary dance company alongside each another.

As such, the North Ballet has a style all its own. Its ballets focus on elaborate storytelling alongside classical ballet. This gives each performance a modern, engaging feeling.

The company was originally known as the Northern Dance Theatre and was founded in 1969 by Laverne Meyer. The company’s first performance was on 28 November 1969 at the University Theatre, Manchester, with the orchestra being supplied by musicians of the Royal Northern College of Music.

The Ballet has seen four Artistic Directors in the last 50 years. Over that time, the company has created a variety of original works, including a ballet based on the life of Casanova, one based on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and a third based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

The Phoenix Dance Theatre, which the Northern Ballet calls home, is a state of the art teaching and performance space. In addition to first class ballet, visitors can refresh themselves on locally sourced food at the café.

So, there is a lot to like about the Northern Ballet, even if you aren’t a fan of classical ballet.