Theatre and Dance
David Ward appears on the poster
David Ward is getting used to seeing his face dotted around advertising sites in Leeds. He is the poster boy for the Northern Ballet Theatre's (NBT) production of Hamlet that will have its world premiere in Leeds.
It's the first time David, 21, has been featured on a poster and he's enjoying the experience.
The NBT is known for ballets with strong storylines and dramatic interpretations. It must be a big challenge to see Shakespeare's wordy Hamlet translated onto stage as a ballet?
David Ward says, "The production is different to older classical ballet. We are looking to reach a modern day audience with this production. As you would expect the story is quite dark - just like the play, but it's emotional doing Hamlet. It's not just the physical effort of dancing you need to use the face a lot, almost like acting work."
David is getting used to life in Leeds
David is one of the young dancers at the NBT, yet he has already a long background having started dancing at the age of five years old. It was as he entered his teenage years he realised his interest in dance was something serious. As he says, "I realised I was dancing more than I was playing football."
"During my school years I was usually dancing every evening after school. It was tough at times."
But the work paid off. Following his GCSE exams David left school and studied for an A level in dance at the English National Ballet school. It was a grounding in the profession that was to prove vital.
"I studied hard on technique and at ballet school I got an insight into what you need to get ready for professional auditions."
David's approach was rewarded in success at the NBT's auditions, and after two and a half years with the Leeds-based company David has absolutely no regrets so far.
"Only the other day at the gym I bumped into a guy that I went to school with. He's now at Uni in Leeds and I thought 'I've been working as a professional dancer for three years now'. It's funny how far I feel I've come."
"I'm enjoying life to the full, I've lived in Leeds since I started at the NBT when I was just 18. My first one-bedroomed flat was in Headingley but I enjoyed living right in the middle of the student area. Now I live in Bramley and I am very used to life in Leeds."
"When I go back to London to see family and friends I find myself thinking about 'home' in Leeds."
"The NBT wants everybody to know that we have a ballet company based here - it's home city is Leeds. Really it's like the Leeds ballet company."
This ballet version of Hamlet has been created by David Nixon, and has taken been two years to come to fruition, it uses a specially commissioned score from Philip Feeney. The production, will have its world premiere at the Grand, is set in the 1940s in occupied Paris.
After Leeds Hamlet will then go on a UK tour including a spell at Sadler's Wells in London.
Hamlet at Leeds Grand, Saturday 16 - Saturday 23 February 2008.
last updated: 21/02/2008 at 11:55
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