National Youth Ballet returns to Birmingham for 2019

The National Youth Ballet will return to Birmingham with 'Wonderlands', a mixed programme of new works choreographed by some of the country’s rising talents, performed by a company of young dancers from across the UK.

The organisation returns to the Crescent Theatre for the third year, with three performances on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 August following a residential programme at Elmhurst Ballet School in Edgbaston.

The 2019 Season is led by interim artistic directors Drew McOnie and Ruth Brill, both National Youth Ballet alumni with a longstanding association with the city of Birmingham. Ruth Brill is currently a First Artist and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Drew McOnie grew up in Walsall, before embarking on a career as an international choreographer. Drew and Ruth said:

“As proud alumni of the National Youth Ballet, we are thrilled to be part of a team leading a season in which seven world premier ballets will be presented.

"The company delivers its young artists an unparalleled level of professional involvement across all departments, and seeing them excel in uncharted territories is so thrilling.

"It was the belief in our early creative aspirations from The National Youth Ballet that undoubtedly lead us to where we are today, and we are so excited to now watch the rise of these incredible young artists, both those on stage and off.”

Wonderlands leaps into magical, enchanted landscapes where words hold no power and dance is the only way to exist. The show is billed as 'an exciting mixed programme of completely original works, the country’s finest young dancers are paired with the creative imaginations of a carefully selected dream team of dynamic choreographers'.

Now in its 32nd year, The National Youth Ballet company provides empowering and transformational opportunities for young people to participate in, create and perform ballet. It aims to extend the national reach and network, provide equality of opportunity through bursaries, remain innovative by developing and creating work for young people and secure the future of National Youth Ballet through sustained funding.

At the heart of its annual season is a two-week residential programme that sees the young company come together with a team of professional dancers, choreographers and teachers to take them on a journey from studio to stage, emulating the experience of being in a professional dance ensemble. This year dancers from across the country auditioned for the highly coveted places. 105 aged between 9-18 were offered places with the Company and will perform in the 2019 season.

Many National Youth Ballet alumni have gone on to work professionally, with recent success stories including James Lovell and Max Westwell, currently playing The Prince and The Swan in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake; Jack Wilcox who features in the London Palladium production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Niamh O’Flannagain who has been offered the post of Apprentice Dancer for Ballet Ireland’s production of Nutcracker.

Tickets for the performances can be bought online at


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