One of our talented pupils has made leaps and bounds towards his dream dance career after being cast in Matthew Bourne’s new production of Romeo and Juliet at the Lowry Theatre in Salford in June.

Year 13 ballet dancer Brandon Hunter beat more than a thousand young hopefuls from around the UK to be cast in Matthew Bourne’s contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic love story, which will tour the UK in the spring.”

As part of its ambition to support the next generation of on-stage talent, New Adventures’ search began in April 2018 with a call-out for young dancers currently in training aged between 16 and 19. Attracting more than 1,000 applications and following a UK-wide audition tour, Brandon bagged his spot as one of six Young Cast members performing at each of 13 venues on the tour. This unique opportunity will nurture and develop young talent with a view to them embarking on a career in dance.

One of the finest emerging male dancers in the country, Brandon has been dancing since he was five years old in contemporary, jazz, musical theatre, tap, ballet and hip hop styles. He now trains at the Lowry Theatre’s Centre for Advanced Training in Salford and the McClaren Dance Company, in Rawtenstall. Away from the stage, Brandon puts his fancy footwork to another good use as a keen footballer for Bay Leadership Academy’s team.

Brandon, who is taking A-Levels in Geography, History and Sport, will definitely be kept on his toes juggling rehearsals and revising for and sitting his exams ahead of making his dance debut during the show’s performance dates in June 2019. He has also been asked to dance with young choreographer Arielle Smith.

Brandon’s ambitions are to join a contemporary dance group, be in a West End musical and to tour the world performing. He would like to become a dance examiner and adjudicator and to eventually own his own dancing school.

Brandon, 17, said:

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime to dance with a prestigious dance company at the top of its game. Matthew Bourne has been an inspiration to me since day one of my dancing and now to be performing in his company is amazing and I am blessed. It’s a platform for me to move up in my dance career, to develop and learn.”

International director and choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne said:

“New Adventures’ Romeo and Juliet will be a celebration of youthful energy, talent and creativity both on and off-stage and, uniquely, in all aspects of choreography, design and music through the appointment of a series of Young Associate Artists.

“As we enter our fourth decade as a company, I’m finding the development of young talent ever more important and fulfilling. Our new company of Romeo and Juliet features a staggering 97 young dancers making their debuts with us. We have focused on nurturing young male and female dancers, and I have been overwhelmed by the talent that we have had to choose from throughout the UK.

“After 30 years as a professional choreographer, I look forward to being refreshed and inspired by what this team of young artists will bring to Shakespeare’s classic tale of tragic conflict and young love”.

Principal John Shannon said:

“We are all incredibly proud of Brandon as he makes his debut in such a prestigious production. We encourage our students to show excellence not just in their education but also in their passions and to follow their dreams outside of school. Brandon has shown tremendous commitment and maturity managing both his dancing and schoolwork and, as he completes his final few months of education here with us, we wish him all the best in a long and successful career in the performing arts.”

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Further information on Romeo and Juliet at the Lowry Theatre can be found at

BOURNE to dance: Brandon Hunter