Leigh Alderson

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Leigh Alderson
Born (1986-12-05) 5 December 1986 (age 27)
Origin Northern Ireland
Genres Pop, dance, disco, house, electronica
Years active 1998- Present
Website leighalderson.com

Leigh Alderson (born 1986) is a male ballet dancer, model and actor from Portadown, Northern Ireland. He began dancing at the age of seven at The Donna Whitten Dance School, and later The Susan McMillan Ballet School. After training with both teachers for three years, Alderson went on to the Royal Ballet School in London for eights years training.

Alderson received several awards including The Lynn Seymour Award for Most Expressive Dancer 2004, The Royal Ballet School Achievement Award 2005, The NJL Sponsored Award for Choreographic Development 2005 and The Royal Ballet School Achievement Award 2006. Alderson was also nominated for 2 consecutive years for Arts Personality of the Year 2009/10 for the Ulster Tatler: People Of The Year Award.

Whilst in the last three years of his training, Alderson travelled to Toronto, Canada to perform in a production of Four Last Songs's by Rudi van Dantzig, and then performed it again in Stuttgart, Germany. He also performed Colourblind, a duet with Jay Hale-Christofi which he himself choreographed to much critical success, both in Palermo, Sicily and at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.

After graduating in 2006 and up to 2008, Alderson danced with the Scottish Ballet. He danced in Page's Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, Pastor's Romeo and Juliet and In Light and Shadow, Brown's MG the Movie and forsyth's Artifact.

In 2008, Alderson signed a contract with new ballet company New English Contemporary Ballet, and began dancing with them in February 2009. Alderson was a guest artist with Ballet Russe, the UK's Russian Ballet Company, performing principal roles in their production of Swan Lake, Cinderella, Nutcracker, Coppelia and Giselle, guesting also as a principal dancer with Cork City Ballet, Ireland's premiere ballet company at the same time.

In March 2009, Alderson was signed with Dublin-based modeling agency, Rogue Models.

Alderson was nominated for The Arts Personality of the Year Award for the Ulster Tatler Awards 2009 and 2010. The Nominees would feature in the September edition of The Ulster Tatler and the winners announced on 24 September at The Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Alderson lost out to actor Dan Gordon.

Alderson re-joined Cork City Ballet for their sell-out, critically successful winter season of Nutcracker and would continue with them until June 2010 dancing a new version of the Male Swan Lake, Dying Swan Solo, created on him by Artistic Director Alan Foley, which was first performed for the Music For The Ballet Gala and later on The Opera House in Cork.

Alderson Presented his own gala in June 2010, 'Stars of The Arts' where he and fellow professional ballet dancers performed new works to raise money for the Haiti appeal.

Alderson was then offered a contract with Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and began dancing with them in July 2010. That same month Alderson was once again nominated for Arts Personality of the Year 2010 for the Ulster Talter People of the Year Awards. The winner was announced at an awards ceremony at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast in September.

2011 and 2012 saw Alderson touring Canada and the USA in leading roles such as Raoul in Phantom The Ballet (Phantom of The Opera) Amadeus in Amadeus which toured internationally, dancing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet in association with Theatre New Brunswick, and as the lead male 'HE' in the acclaimed ballet Ghosts of Violence that crittings called 'stunning' and 'Powerful' and remarked on Aldersons performance 'is a perfect young-man icon, good actor to show his violent side also' In 2012, Alderson took his first lead with the ballet Amadeus, it premiered at the Capitol Theatre in New Brunswick before having its Atlantic Tour, followed by its international tour.

The album Curly Disco, was officially released on iTunes on 1 October 2012, and also made available on amazon on demand, with a physical CD release available through special purchase. The album was met with positive reviews, meriting its dynamic electro sound.

In the winter of 2012, Alderson was invited to perform as the prince in The Kittiwake Dance Theatre's production of The Nutcracker, at the Arts and Cultural Center in St Johns, Newfoundland.

2012 saw the launch of Alderson's ballet web series blog, A Back Stage Pass : a ballet blog. A web documentary series following Alderson and the other dancers in The Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada following the ups and downs of a dancers career on the stage and on the road.

In 2013, Alderson was offered a contract with the prestigious Les Grands Ballets in Montreal. Also that year saw the release of his second Album BOY, which he dedicated to his fiancé who took his life in 2012. 100% of the proceeds from the album went to a variety of charities and organizations set up to deal depression and prevent suicide.

Documentaries, film and TV[edit]

The BBC produced three documentary films about him, the first, Lost To Dance broadcast in October 1998, the second A God Given Gift in September 2005, and the third,[1] also A God Given Gift in December 2007. All Directed and Produced by documentary film maker Clare DeLargy. The 2007 biography of Fredrick Franklin notes Franklin's involvement with Alderson and his involvement in Alderson's 2005 and 2007 BBC documentaries[2]

Alderson began filming the independent film 'Angel' in June 2009 with co-star ballet dancer Kyle Davey. The film features the score of Scottish singer, Jerry Burns and is directed by David Council. The film had its premiere screening in The Market Place Theatre at The Stars Of The Arts Gala 2010 on 19 June. An official trailer was released in July for a limited time only to mark its impending release onto iTunes worldwide. The film made its premier at the Market Place Theatre at the 2010 'Stars Of The Arts Gala' and was subsequently shown at the Festival International du Court Métrage à Clermont-Ferrand and also the 10th Annual Two Short Nights Film Festival.

In July 2009, it was announced that Alderson would be attached as a featured dancer in Vertigo Films, StreetDance that commenced shooting mid August 2009 and is to be released in May 2010. The film subsequently became #1 at the UK boxoffice.

Alderson was the featured artist on BBC's arts and culture series Art Space. Alderson was featured in the sixth and final episode of season one which was telelvised on Wednesday 2 June 2010 on BBC1.[3]

Modeling[edit]

In March 2009, Alderson signed with Dublin based model agency Rogue Model Management. Shorty after signing, he was introduced to Karin Pritzel, a photographer from Dublin and created the photo 'Flight of Freedom' which was later picked up by New York fashion designer, Malan Breton (Project Runway Season 3, The Malan Breton Show for Bravo) and subsequently became the inspiration for his Spring 2010 line for New York Fashion Week. The picture was widely published in the American Press and was also featured in ELLE Magazine America in 2009.

In October 2009, Pritzel's 'Flight of Freedom' of Alderson was auctioned off at The NCAD gallery in Dublin, which was organized by Fairley Pilaro in aid Of Operation Smile, a charity that raises money for children to have clef pallet operations in poor and underdeveloped countries.

In November 2009, 'Flight of Freedom' went on to win an award for the photographer Karin Pritzel, from KPS Colour Printer Ltd in their arts section resulting in its inclusion in KPS's annual calendar.

In May 2010, Alderson and other members of Cork City Ballet performed at the Expose Live for TV3 for Cork Fashion Week and later he walked for Yoke and Rochambeau for FauxFashion at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, in aid of 'Pretty in Pink', raising money for Breast Cancer.

2011–present: Music, Curly Disco & BOY[edit]

'I Felt Space Or So I Thought' went live on iTunes on 18 August 2011. The song was the official song used to promote a brand new club in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was subsequently used in all of their promotional video footage.[4]

The title track 'Curly Disco' made its first official radio play on 16 June 2011 with DJ Marc 'Bones' LeBlanc during his show on RADIO-J 93.5. broadcasting in the East Coast of Canada.[5] 'Curly Disco' was released on 1 October 2012 to positive reviews.

Anderson's second musical offering came in the form of BOY. Dedicated to the memory of his fiancé who took his life in early 2012. Alderson wanted the proceeds of both albums to be given to a variety of charities set up to help those suffering with depression and to also help those left behind because of suicide. The album was met with a positive response, meriting its' dynamic, dramatic electronic sound.'

'Flight of Freedom and Karin Pritzel[edit]

Flight of Freedom was the product of a collaborative photo-shoot between Alderson and award winning photographer from Dublin, Ireland. The photo first came to media attention in New York with the help of famed fashion designer Malan Breton when he chose it to be his official muse for his 2010 Spring Collection. Shortly after that the piece of art became an award winning photograph. It was then commissioned as a large scale art piece which was auctioned off at The NCAD gallery in Dublin, which was organized by Fairley Pilaro in aid Of Operation Smile, a charity that raises money for children to have clef pallet operations in poor and underdeveloped countries. The picture was once again auctioned off for the Stars Of The Arts Gala in aid of the Haiti Appeal.[6][7] In 2011 it came into the media attention again when it was selected to be included in a new book which was a collection of art and famous inspiring quotes. The book 'Quoted Moments' was launched in July 2011 and in association with the Irish Cancer Society

Books and published material[edit]

In 2007, Leslie Norton published a biography of Fredrick Franklin and documented Franklin's involvement with Alderson and his 2005 and 2007 BBC documentaries.[2] The book made available in all good bookstore and also available to purchase online.

In 2009, whilst still a dancer with New English Contemporary Ballet, Alderson featured in Jim Rowbothams' photography book 'Strictly Ballet'. In 2010, French author Sébastien Simoni dedicated his latest novel, Labyrinthik to Alderson. The French horror novel went on sale in September 2010.

In 2011, Karin Pritzels, award winning picture of Alderson 'Flight of Freedom' was selected to be included in a new book which was a collection of art and famous inspiring quotes. The book 'Quoted Moments' was launched in July 2011 and in association with the Irish Cancer Society.

Charity and The Stars Of The Arts Gala[edit]

In February 2010, after the Haiti disaster, a press release was issued in the Portadown Times, Leighalderson.com and Fame Magazine, stating that Leigh Alderson was going to produce a show to raise money for the Haiti disaster. The show, scheduled for 19 June at the Market Place Theatre in Armagh, near his home town in Northern Ireland. An impressive list of performers were cited to be performing on the night including famed songstress Jerry Burns. Burns has had her music featured in many hit motion pictures (Cruel Intentions, Crush, Le terbulance et les fluides, Angel). Award-winning photographer Karin Pritzel kindly donated some work to be auctioned off. Leigh Alderson would take to the stage with Australian ballet dancer and co-star of 'Angel', Kyle Davey, alongside professional ballet dancers Michael Munoz and Eddie Pezzopane. Conner Kerr's Faux Fashion would start the proceedings with a runway high fashion catwalk. The Ballet would included works by Alderson, Munoz, Davey and Pezzopane and also that of Ex- Principal ballet dancer and current Artistic Director of Cork City Ballet, Alan Foley, who kindly lent his work 'Gira Con Me' from Cork City Ballets repertoire. The event was highly publicized, featuring in EVE NI, In Magazine, Ulster Tatler and The Dancing Times amongst others and was featured and covered with the BBC.

Aside from this, Alderson is a continuous sponsor, supporter, fundraiser and volunteer for many charities. Being a regular donator to Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and Scottish SPCA, fund-raising for Oxfam and Everychild, and being a volunteer and fundraiser for The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT)

Awards and recognition[edit]

Year Award Category About Result
2012
2010 Ulster Tatler - People Of The Year Awards 2010 Arts Personality Of The Year 2010 Himself Nominated
2009 Ulster Tatler - People Of The Year Awards 2009 Arts Personality Of The Year 2009 Himself Nominated
2006 The Royal Ballet School Achievement Award N/A Himself Won
2005 The Royal Ballet School Achievement Award N/A Himself Won
2005 The NJL Sponsored Choreographic Development Award Choreographic Development Himself Won
2004 The Lynne Seymour Award Most Expressive Dancer Himself Won

TV, film and documentary[edit]

Year Title Production Style Role
2012 A Backstage Pass : a ballet blog Electric Sparrow Films Web Documentary Series Himself/ Director
2011 Atlantic Ballet Theatre Of Canada Presents 'Ghosts Of Violence' Valkaline Productions Independent Ballet Film Male Lead/ 'HE'
2010 Art Space BBC Television Program Featured Star Profile
2010 StreetDance 3D Vertigo Films Feature Film Featured Dancer
2009 Angel Concept&Graph Films Independent Short Film Star
2007 A God Given Gift 2 BBC Documentary Film Star
2005 A God Given Gift BBC Documentary Film Star
1998 Lost To Dance BBC Documentary Film Star

Ballet companies[edit]

Ballet Company Years Active Country Role
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens 2013 – present Canada Corps De Ballet
Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada 2010 – 2013 Canada Soloist Dancer
Cork City Ballet 2008 – present Ireland Guest Principal Dancer
New English Contemporary Ballet 2009 United Kingdom Soloist Dancer
Scottish Ballet 2006–2008 Scotland, UK Corps De Ballet
The Royal Ballet 2005–2006 London Cover, Extra, Dancer

Music[edit]

Title Release Date EP/Single Format
Boy 25 June 2013 Album iTunes/Amazon/Sony Music LTD
Curly Disco 1 October 2012 Album iTunes Worldwide (digital)/ Physical CD
I Felt Space Or So I Thought 18 August 2011 Single iTunes Worldwide (digital)/ Physical CD

References[edit]

External links[edit]