Northern Ballet School 40th anniversary celebrations

Students perform From Verona to the West Side

Students perform From Verona to the West Side - Credit: Archant

ALMOST 300 graduates and former staff of the Northern Ballet School attended a reunion at its Oxford Road home in Manchester to celebrate the founding of the school 40 years ago by its principal, Patricia McDonald.

A buffet reception was followed by a performance in the Dancehouse theatre of ‘From Verona to the West Side’, a dramatic fusion of Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story to Prokofiev’s and Bernstein’s music, acted, sung and danced by a 100-strong cast. They were all current students on the school’s three year full-time professional dance diploma course.

Guest of honour at the celebration was former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips who had been a fellow student and subsequently a fellow teacher with Patricia McDonald at the former Mollie Suffield and Muriel Tweedy School of Dancing in Manchester.