The Northern Ballet Archive tells the story of the Company’s development from foundation in 1969 to the present day.
Swan Lake Archive
Cataloguing Northern Ballet's dance with Swan Lake through the years.Read more
Laverne Meyer Poster Collection
Take a look at Northern Ballet's poster designs throughout its 50 year history, starting with productions under Laverne Meyer's artistic direction from 1969 - 1976.Read more
Robert de Warren Poster Collection
Take a look at Northern Ballet's poster designs under Robert de Warren's artistic direction from 1976 - 1987.Read more
Christopher Gable Poster Collection
Take a look at Northern Ballet's poster designs under Christopher Gable's artistic direction from 1987 - 1998 and Stefano Giannetti from 1999 - 2000Read more
David Nixon CBE Poster Collection
Take a look at Northern Ballet's poster designs under the leadership of current artistic director David Nixon CBE from 2001 to present.Read more
A Cinderella Story
The title of Cinderella has been returning to our repertoire since 1973, just a few years after the Company was founded.Read more
About the Archive
The Archive comprises organisational and personal collections, from posters to pointe shoes and programmes to production Bibles and covers more than 200 productions in our stage and screen repertoire.
The collections are a rich resource for educators, dance artists and researchers of social and cultural history. They have untapped research potential, for example for those interested in how a regional dance company developed from humble beginnings to commanding centre stage in Leeds’ international dance scene.
Some of the collection strengths and highlights are:
Photographs, press scrapbooks and other publicity material; audio-visual recordings; cast sheets
Board of Directors minutes from 1969-present
Production files from 1969-2010s
The cataloguing of Governance & Administrative papers was supported by the Business Archives Council.
Our records also cover: Company & Stage Management, Learning, Development, Academy, Music, Technical and Estates.
The Archive service was formed in September 2018, and in 2019/2020 the Business Archives Council supported the cataloguing of the Governance & Administrative papers. The majority of the Archive has now been catalogued and transferred to Leeds University Special Collections (excluding some audio-visual material, Estate records and posters), to enable long-term preservation and widen public access.
Please contact Northern Ballet in the first instance, but we may direct you to Special Collections. Some of the material has been digitised and is available via Google Arts & Culture.
Want to explore more?
Want to find other performing arts collections?
- Leeds University Library Special Collections - Theatre and Performance
- Association of Performing Arts Collections (APAC)
Want to find out more about what we collect?
Want to contribute to the archive?
Contact & Access
We welcome visitors and researchers by appointment only.
For enquiries and appointments, please contact:
Archive & Records Manager
Please get in touch to find out more about our research service.
The collection contains material which is not yet available to external researchers as it is restricted under the Data Protection Act (2018).
- 1a - Photographic contact sheet featuring Dame Alicia Markova rehearsing her production of Les Sylphides, premiered by the Company in Manchester, 1978. Dancers include principal Jenny Sui Kan Chiang. One of the 10,000+ photographic prints in the archive. Photo Brian Linney
- 1b - Programme from Wallasey Arts Festival in 1970, one of Company’s earliest festival performances. Entry just one shilling and sixpence!
- 1c - Manchester Sketch article by Company founder Laverne Meyer showcasing the North West’s new ballet company, November 1969. Featuring pictures of Meyer and two original dancers, Suzanne Hywel and Carol Barrett. From one of the many press and programme scrapbooks in the archive
- 1d - Designer Peter Farmer’s Cinderella costume sketches for the 1979 version of the famous fairy-tale, choreographed by Robert de Warren. One of the many costume sketches in the archive
- 1e - Sketch of rehearsals for Robert de Warren’s Miss Carter Wore Pink in the Company’s Zion Institute headquarters, Manchester. MCWP explored the childhood of painter and writer Helen Bradley. Illustrator ‘HW’, 1980
- 1f - ‘Dancin ’85: A New Year’s Extravaganza of dance for everyone’, one of hundreds of fliers in the archive advertising the Company’s productions and workshops. 1985
- 1g – PR shots, 1970s-1980s
- 1h – Design transparency showing layers of a poster creation, [1980s]
- 1i - Preparing the 5000+ photographic slides for sorting and digitisation, 2020. Photo H Jonkers
- 1j - A Midsummer Night’s Dream poster, one of more than 500 production posters in the archive
- 1k - Thank you letter from school pupil who saw Cinderella courtesy of the Learning Department’s outreach programme in 2014
More about Northern Ballet
About Northern Ballet
One of the world's leading ballet companies. Based in Leeds, UK, we tour the UK with our unique brand of dance storytelling, on a mission to make ballet accessible to everyone.Read more
Northern Ballet was set up in 1969 and has since grown to become one of the best-loved dance companies in the world.Read more