Laverne Meyer (1935 – 2008)

May 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm (Artist's News, Company News)

Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) was very sad to hear the news of the death of Laverne Meyer, the Company’s founding Artistic Director, on Friday 25 April 2008 aged 73.


The Company dedicated the final performance of Hamlet at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London to Laverne. Daniel de Andrade, NBT’s Ballet Master, addressed the audience with a speech written by Artistic Director, David Nixon, who is away in America, which said:


“Laverne was instrumental in forming this small company which over its’ nearly 40 years of existence has risen to one of the four largest ballet companies in England with a loyal audience. We are extremely grateful to his pioneering spirit and passion for dance.


In honour of his memory and contribution to NBT we wish to dedicate this final performance of Hamlet to his memory. What better way or place to celebrate his love and passion for our beloved art of dance than here in the dance house of Sadler’s Wells.”


The Company would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Laverne.


Laverne Meyer was a Canadian-born dramatic dancer who trained at the Sadler’s Wells School and whose formative years as a dancer were spent with Bristol based Western Theatre Ballet. Laverne founded Northern Dance Theatre, as the company was then known, in 1969 and it gave its first performance at the University Theatre, Manchester, on the 28 November, accompanied by musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music. The Company was formed of just 11 dancers, compared to today’s 40, with an emphasis on small-scale classical and modern works. Based in Manchester, Northern Dance Theatre set about building itself a strong identity and a loyal audience in the North. Robert de Warren took over as Artistic Director in 1976.

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