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Deborah Ward Director / Choreographer

Deborah (Norris) Ward is a choreographer and doctoral candidate at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her research explores narrative works by women ballet choreographers using a feminist narratological lens. A graduate of Elmhurst Ballet School, Surrey, Deborah holds an MA in Dance Studies from De Montfort University, a BA (Hons) in Communications Studies – Dance from the University of Leeds and a Professional Performance Diploma from the José Limón Institute, New York. As a dance educator Deborah has taught internationally at conservatoires in Taiwan, Slovakia, and Lithuania. With a focus on Contemporary Ballet, Limón-based technique and Choreographic Practices, she has taught across the UK in both in professional and educational settings including  Rambert, Rambert 2, Edge Hill University, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Elmhurst Ballet School.


As a choreographer Deborah has presented works internationally in London, New York, and Barcelona, in both educational and professional settings. Her work has a narrative focus and is embedded in folk traditions and music from the British Isles. Combining contemporary ballet, folk dance and music to create theatrical works for non-traditional stages she works with multi-faceted artists to explore folklore. Her publications include writing for The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet (2021) and the Istanbul University Journal of Women’s Studies (2023) with a focus on the role of women as ballet choreographers and ballet choreography in education. She has presented at many international conferences including for the Royal Academy of Dance, CORPS de Ballet International, University of Limerick, and the Center for Ballet and the Arts on various aspects of dance performance and pedagogical/choreographic approaches.

Deborah is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and she currently serves as a committee member for Dance HE,  as Chair of the British and International Federation of Festivals and as a board member for CORPS de Ballet International.

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