MATTHEW Bourne's New Adventures dance company doesn't do 'conventional'.

The maverick choreographer gave us an all-male ensemble in Swan Lake, turned Bizet's steamy opera Carmen into 1950s Americana and set Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray in the London fashion world. And Bourne's thrilling take on Cinderella sets it as a wartime romance, with a twist, in Blitz-hit London. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing RAF pilot, before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.

Dominic North, who started dancing at Nydza School of Dance in Bingley, plays Harry, the "Prince Charming" pilot. "Both my grandfathers were in the RAF and I did some research," he says. "There was a sense of going out and having a good time, because it might be the last night of your life. The Cafe de Paris, in the show, was a real place in London that was bombed. One of the band leaders was killed but the news wasn't made public because they didn't want to lower morale. It was all about keeping spirits up during the Blitz."

Dominic, a former pupil at St Mary's School, Menston, joined New Adventures a few months after graduating from the Central School of Ballet in London. "Someone had dropped out of Swan Lake and they needed a "mid height swan". I'm 5ft 10 so I fitted the bill," says Dominic. He has appeared in more of New Adventures productions than any other of the company's dancers, taking lead roles in The Car Man, Edward Scissorhands, Dorian Gray, Swan Lake, Lord of the Flies, Nutcracker! and Sleeping Beauty.

Described as "dance theatre", New Adventures shows are bold and colourful, with humour, making ballet accessible to wider audiences. "Blokes come along, complaining they've been dragged to a ballet, then by the end of Act 1 they're really into it," says Dominic. "The humour breaks the ice, and you can follow the stories and get lost in them."

Each dancer makes their presence felt, as individual characters rather than a faceless ensemble. "When I first joined I was totally a dancer. I'd done drama at college, but acting and dancing together is a skill in itself. I learned on the job," says Dominic. "Each character has their own story. You research your character and how they'd walk and move in a particular period."

Dominic started dancing at Nydza aged nine. "My sister went there and I pestered my mum to let me give it a go. It was a hobby till I was 18, then I got a scholarship at the Central School of Ballet," he says. "I wanted to dance like Gene Kelly and Michael Jackson. My mates were cool with it. These days there are people like Ashley Banjo who inspire boys, and rugby players dancing in sequins on Strictly."

When he's not with New Adventures, Dominic performs with comedy Morris dance troupe the Bo Diddlers. "My mates who trained at the Royal Ballet had to learn Morris dancing. I picked it up and we started messing around, making it a bit theatrical. It keeps us out of mischief," he smiles.

* Cinderella is at the Alhambra, Tuesday to Saturday, May 12. Call (01274) 432000.