NBT says farewell to Chiaki Nagao

October 29, 2007 at 11:27 am (Artist's News, Company News, Events) (, , , , , , , )

On Saturday night NBT said an emotional farewell to Principal Artist Chiaki Nagao, who gave her final UK performance in the role of Juliet in NBT’s Romeo & Juliet at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford.

Prior to the performance NBT’s Artistic Director, David Nixon, addressed the audience that included Friends of NBT, Chiaki’s current NBT colleagues as well as many past dancers and collaborators who had returned especially for this very special occassion. Setting the tone for evening he said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow. 20 years ago a young woman arrived in the UK with a dream. She worked hard and followed her dream and today we pay tribute to an extraordinary career that has lasted more than a decade and a half.” He continued, “Tonight we are joined by three very special ladies, Carole Gable (the wife of the late Christopher Gable, NBT Artistc Director from 1987-1998), Ann Stannard (who founded the Central School of Ballet with Christopher Gable in 1982), and Chiaki’s mother who has flown from Japan to be here this evening.” David then spoke directly to Chiaki’s mother in Japanese, thanking her for sharing her daughter with us for so many years. He recognised the sacrifice that Chiaki’s family made in supporting her throughout her career, especially with Chiaki so far away from home.

Romeo & Juliet was performed beautifully by the cast and the orchestra of NBT and as it neared it’s tragic and dramatic climax there was a heightened sense of emtion as everyone knew this would be the last time we would see Chiaki in the limelight. In every sense the death of Juliet on stage was more poignant than ever, the tears of the audience even more so. As the curtain fell the venue errupted into applause, saving the standing ovation for one very special lady.

NBT Chief Executive, Mark Skipper and NBT’s Deputy Stage Manager Chun-Yen Chia, who is also Chiaki’s husband, each presented Chiaki with a bouquet of flowers. Dancers, technicians, and representatives from the Orchestra and each administrative department at NBT then filed on stage to present Chiaki with a rose, to join the flowers that littered the stage thrown on by the audience. David Nixon introduced long-standing Friend and Patron of NBT, Janet McNulty who presented Chiaki with a framed poster of Madame Butterfly on behalf of the Friends. He then paid tribute to Chiaki, “When I first came to Northern Ballet Theatre I recreated Madame Butterfly for the Company. It was a ballet that I had first created for my wife in the role of Butterfly. Chiaki took on that role, she worked so incredibly hard, so many hours in the studio, weekends and evenings, she did all that I asked of her and more. My wife did this for me out of love, Chiaki did this because she is dedicated to her craft, and because she is so generous as a dancer. Every member of the Company and the audience here tonight will have such fond memories of Chiaki, but for me she will always be my Butterfly.” 

Self-effacing and modest as ever, Chiaki was reluctant to step forward to receive the applause of the audience that was so rightly hers for the evening. As the curtain fell on a very special event Chiaki’s colleagues continued the applause and plaudits backstage and afterwards at a party held in her honour. Chiaki said, “It has been an emotional evening and I am very grateful that I was able to celebrate my final performance with friends and family.” Everyone at the Alhambra on Saturday felt equally grateful to have been there to thank Chiaki for sharing her extraordinary gift with us.

Chiaki Nagao as Juliet and Hironao Takahashi as Romeo, in NBT's Romeo & Juliet. Photo: Merlin Hendy.

Chiaki Nagao, receives flowers from NBT Chief Executive, Mark Skipper. Photo: Brian Slater.

NBT colleagues file on stage to present Chiaki Nagao with a rose after her final performance. Photo: Brian Slater.

NBT Principal Artist, Chiaki Nagao, receives applause from audience and colleagues after her final performance. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

David Nixon leads Chiaki Nagao forward to receive applause from audience and colleagues after her final performance. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

David Nixon leads Chiaki Nagao forward to receive applause from audience and colleagues after her final performance. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

Chiaki Nagao with Carole Gable (left) and Ann Stannard (right). Photo credit: Brian Slater.

Chiaki Nagao (centre) with ex-NBT dancers Jeremy Kerridge and Charlotte Talbot. Photo: Brian Slater.

NBT Chief Executive, Mark Skipper with Chiaki Nagao. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

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T&A – “A Fairy Tale Recreated”

October 26, 2007 at 9:15 am (Artist's News, Events, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , , , )

A feature on NBT’s Cottingley Faires is in today’s Telegraph & Argus.

Click the link below to read more:

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/display.var.1787890.0.fairy_tale_recreated.php

Michael Schofield's Cottingley Fairies recreation is presented to NMM by NBT dancer Lori Gilchrist

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Romeo & Juliet on T&A TV

October 25, 2007 at 9:20 am (Artist's News, Company News) (, , , , , )

Yesterday at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, T&A TV interviewed David Nixon (NBT’s Artistic Director) and filmed Company Class, in the run-up to Saturday night’s Gala performance, where Principal dancer Chiaki Nagao will perform as Juliet for the last time.

See the interview on their website

Read T&A’s review of Romeo & Juliet here

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Cottingley Fairies recreation

October 23, 2007 at 3:40 pm (Artist's News, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , , , )

Cottingley Fairies - Image by Michael Schofield 

To mark the revival of David Nixon’s dance version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, NBT, in conjunction with the National Media Museum (NMM) in Bradford, recreated the famous Cottingley Fairies photograph. Dancers Lori Gilchrist and David Ward posed for the photographs which were edited onto an image of Jenny Layton (from NBT’s Centre for Advanced Training) by NBT’s Graphic Designer, Michael Schofield. On Wednesday 24 October at 2pm, Lori Gilchrist will present an enlarged and mounted version of NBT’s photograph to the NMM. The image will then be included in talks and presentations about the Cottingley Fairies at the NMM. For information on when these will be visit the NMM website

http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/

NBT Press Release for more info.

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“Parting is such sweet sorrow…”

October 22, 2007 at 9:41 am (Artist's News, Events, Tour News) (, , , , , , , )

Chiaki Nagao as Juliet .

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 Chiaki Nagao’s final performance:

This week marks the final week of Chiaki Nagao’s 15 year career with Northern Ballet Theatre. She will perform as Juliet for the last time on Saturday 27 October in Bradford. She will be greatly missed by the Company and the many thousands of audience members she has performed to over the years. Artistic Director, David Nixon, pays tribute;

“Chiaki is an incredibly gifted dancer who has shown total commitment and dedication to each role she has performed with NBT. Someone with such breadth of experience is irreplaceable and we will miss her terribly. We wish Chiaki all the very best for the future and thank her for her invaluable contribution to the life of NBT over these past 15 years.”

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Romeo & Juliet is at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from 23 – 27 October 2007. .
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Sunday Times review of The Nutcracker

October 22, 2007 at 9:22 am (Company News, Marketing and PR News, Tour News) (, , , , , )

 

The Sunday Times review of The Nutcracker can be found via this link. The article starts with reviews of ENB and BRB but goes on to discuss Nutcracker – you will need to scroll down a bit!

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/dance/article2689772.ece

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Review of The Nutcracker in Sheffield

October 18, 2007 at 2:38 pm (Marketing and PR News, Tour News) (, , , , , )

Click the link below to read The Star’s review of David Nixon’s The Nutcracker, on stage this week at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre.

http://www.thestar.co.uk/reviews/The-Nutcracker-The-Lyceum.3389874.jp

Click the link below to read the Sheffield Telegraph’s review.

http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/theatre/The-Nutcracker-Lyceum-Theatre.3396609.jp

Book Tickets

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The Nutcracker – Casts (Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield)

October 17, 2007 at 1:14 pm (Artist's News, Casts, Tour News) (, , , , , )

Wednesday 17 October/Thursday 18 October Matinee:

Clara – Pippa Moore
Drosselmeyer – Darren Goldsmith
Cavalier – Hironao Takahashi
Sugar Plum Fairy – Keiko Amemori
The Nutcracker – Christopher Hinton – Lewis
Mouse King – Kenneth Tindall

Thursday 18 October Evening:

Clara – Christie Duncan
Drosselmeyer – Darren Goldsmith
Cavalier – Yi Song
Sugar Plum Fairy – Georgina May
The Nutcracker – Ashley Dixon
Mouse King – Tobias Batley

Friday 19 October Matinee:

Clara – Pippa Moore
Drosselmeyer – Kenneth Tindall
Cavalier – John Hull
Sugar Plum Fairy – Julie Charlet
The Nutcracker – Christopher Hinton – Lewis
Mouse King – Michael Berkin

Friday 19 October Evening:

Clara – Christie Duncan
Drosselmeyer – Bendik Mildestveit
Cavalier – Yi Song
Sugar Plum Fairy – Georgina Roberts
The Nutcracker – Ashley Dixon
Mouse King – Tobias Batley

Saturday 20 October Matinee:

Clara – Ayana Kanda
Drosselmeyer – Bendik Mildestveit
Cavalier – John Hull
Sugar Plum Fairy – Julie Charlet
The Nutcracker – David Webb
Mouse King – Michael Berkin

Saturday 20 October Evening:

Clara – Pippa Moore
Drosselmeyer – Kenneth Tindall
Cavalier – Hironao Takahashi
Sugar Plum Fairy – Keiko Amemori
The Nutcracker – Christopher Hinton – Lewis
Mouse King – Michael Berkin

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Light Night Images

October 16, 2007 at 9:34 am (Classical Training, Events, Marketing and PR News, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , )

Last Friday night, some of NBT’s Classical Training students took part in a class in Leeds City Centre.

This event was part of the third Leeds Light Night, an astounding city-wide cultural extravaganza on the night of October 12th. Photos by Amy Dutton.

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Reviews of The Nutcracker

October 15, 2007 at 9:27 am (Company News, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , )

Click here to read a review of Northern Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker, by Robert Beale of the Manchester Evening News…
Click here to read about The Nutcracker on the FringeReview website… 
Click here to read an article on the production in the The Star newsapaper…

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The Nutcracker World Première at Palace Theatre, Manchester

October 12, 2007 at 11:37 am (Company News, Events, Tour News) (, , , , )

Last night at Palace Theatre, Manchester, Northern Ballet Theatre performed its dazzling new production of The Nutcracker for the first time. Photographs taken by Brian Slater and Mick Schofield.

Palace Theatre. Photo: Mick Schofield

Before the VIP reception in the Varieties Bar at the Palace. Photo: Mick Schofield

Palace Theatre. Photo: Mick Schofield

VIP Reception. Photo: Mick Schofield

Olivia Fraser, Joe Butler, Jenny Layton. Photo: Brian Slater

(Front L-R) Hironaio Takahashi as the Cavalier, Pippa Moore as Clara and Christopher Hinton-Lewis as the Nutcracker Prince with Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers in The Nutcracker. Photo: Brian Slater

Christopher Hinton-Lewis as the Nutcracker Prince and Pippa Moore as Clara in Northern Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Brian Slater

Pippa Moore as Clara and Darren Goldmsith as Drosselmeyer with Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers in The Nutcracker. Photo: Brian Slater

Sebastian Loe as the Chinese doll with Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers in The Nutcracker. Photo: Brian Slater

Pippa Moore as Clara in Northern Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Brian Slater

Sebastian Loe as the Chinese doll in Northern Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Brian Slater

VIP welcoming committee. Photo: Mick Schofield

Jon Hammond speaking at the VIP Reception. Photo: Mick Schofield

David Nixon speaking at the after-show party. Photo: Mick Schofield

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Dance at Light Night

October 8, 2007 at 3:18 pm (Classical Training, Events, Marketing and PR News, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , )

Leeds Light Night Class

Ever wanted to have a go at a ballet class? Well, this Friday night, some of NBT’s Classical Training students will be doing class in Leeds City Centre and we’d love you to join them. Come along between 6 and 7pm outside the Art Gallery if it’s dry or in The Light if it’s wet.

This event is part of the third Leeds Light Night, an astounding city-wide cultural extravaganza on the night of Friday October 12th. Check www.lightnight.co.uk for full details, & email james.hill@leeds.gov.uk for a copy of the brochure. Be a tourist, a night-tripper & a sight-seer in your own city.

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October E-Newsletter

October 5, 2007 at 11:19 am (General Information, Tour News) (, , , , , , )

NBT's Hamlet

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L&A October Update

October 1, 2007 at 4:07 pm (General Information, Learning & Access) (, , )

Learning & Access News:

We are busy this month with school workshops to accompany the brand new production of The Nutcracker which opens at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on 11th October. As well as Nutcracker workshops in Manchester and Sheffield, we will also be leading workshops based on the classic tale, Romeo and Juliet in Bradford.

Read More…

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