Ballet with bite: Northern Ballet’s Dracula returns exclusively to Leeds

By July 23, 2014

Theatre & Dance. Leeds.

Image: Northern Ballet dancers Christopher Hinton-Lewis (Dracula), Hannah Bateman, Victoria Sibson and Rachael Gillespie (The Brides). Photo Merlin Hendy.


Northern Ballet is the busiest touring ballet Company in the UK, performing live at more venues than any other ballet Company. Following our recent review of their Mixed Programme at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, we are excited to hear about the Company’s packed touring schedule for Autumn & Winter 2014 including the new announcement of David Nixon’s Dracula, exclusive to Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Created by Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director, David Nixon OBE and last performed by the Company in 2009, Dracula is an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s legendary novel first published in 1897. The ballet reveals the tormented world of the immortal Count, a creature who should inspire repulsion in every living thing but has instead seduced countless generations with his mesmerising sensuality. This dark and sinister tale will be played out through Northern Ballet’s unique blend of dance, gripping theatre and gothic sets and costumes.

After recently receiving a 23% increase in its funding from Arts Council England, Northern Ballet has secured a place as a National Portfolio Organisation for 2015-18. Northern Ballet currently tours full-length ballets, mixed programmes and ballets for children to more than 30 venues across the UK reaching in excess of 146,000 people. Already announced for Autumn/Winter 2014 are Children’s Ballets Three Little Pigs and Elves & the Shoemaker, as well as the return of The Great Gatsby, Cinderella and Peter Pan with Romet & Juliet and Wuthering Heights already set for 2015. Next year the Company celebrates its 45th anniversary, and the increased funding will allow Northern Ballet to extend its tour to include nine additional venues, adding a further 55 performances, with the potential to reach more than 36,000 additional people.


NBT's 'Dracula', Ch. David Nixon, 2009.
Image: Northern Ballet dancers Christopher Hinton-Lewis (Dracula) and Martha Leebolt (Mina). Photo Merlin Hendy.


Northern Ballet’s productions mix classical dance and theatre, embracing popular culture and taking inspiration from literature, opera, or giving a unique interpretation of popular classical ballets:

“The popularity of Bram Stoker’s Dracula has not only outlived its author but also gained popularity and many new interpretations. What would you give to live forever rather than facing the unknown of death? To what ends are we prepared to let our bonds of friendship and love take us? These are among the questions that fascinated me when I approached the ballet.” David Nixon

David Nixon’s choreography and costume designs are complemented by Ali Allen’s set designs which bring the Gothic style of Victorian England and the mysterious medieval world of Transylvania to the stage. Music by Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, Michael Daugherty and Sergei Rachmaninov will complete this spectacular tale of love and immortality.

If you think you know what to expect from ballet, think again. Dracula will take you on a dramatic journey as the hunter becomes the hunted.

We can’t WAIT!

Dracula will run at West Yorkshire Playhouse from September 5th – 13th. Tickets are now on sale at or via the box office on 0113 213 7700.

There will also be a post-show talk on Friday 12th September with the company and production team. Free to ticket holders!

Also visit for more information on the Company and its other touring shows.

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