Street Dreams – Blog Update W/C 13.10.08

October 13, 2008 at 3:04 pm (Events, General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , )

Blog Update W/C 13.10.08


With less than a week to their event in Centenary Square we talk to Bradford College Performing Arts Students Ashley Gobbi (AG) and Jade Smith (JS) about the “Street Dreams” project.


Less than a week to go! Is this a busy time for you all now?

JS: I would say it’s not only busy but also challenging, especially for our Marketing and PR team as we have to try to persuade the media to cover our story, and work to their deadlines as well as our own.

AG: Yes, the Marketing and PR team has deadlines to meet and phone calls to make to various areas of the media. The performers are in rehearsals everyday working on the performance piece itself and the workshops that run alongside it as well. This project is all about the students involved and showcasing their talents, they need to wow the audience, but this doesn’t come without hard work.   


What have you been doing in terms of marketing and media?

JS: Well, the biggest task I have done was creating a press release. It was a real eye opener as I have never done anything like that before, so at first it was a big challenge but once I got the gist of it I started getting ideas and it became easier. I have also been out taking photos of people in the performance, coming up with ideas for flyers and posters, and contacting people in the media for coverage.

AG: Over this last week we’ve been sending out the press release and photo call notice to various media contacts and making follow up phone calls to make sure we’re targeting the right people. We’ve put up posters around the college, handed out flyers and really tried to get people interested in coming down to join in. I’ve also had an interview with the Telegraph & Argus to help promote the event further and have also set up an interview with BCB Radio for later this week to talk more about the event.  


How is the performance shaping up?

AG: Our dancers have done a fantastic job so far: they’ve really tried to include both the ballet and Bollywood dance styles. They’ve also created some fantastic workshops for the public to get involved in, and are continuing to work hard on getting this performance ready for Friday.   


JS: I would say it looks very visually impacting now, as the dancers look like they have had a lot of practice, and the workshops have come on a lot from last week. Overall the dance has a good format, as its very exciting to watch.


Are you looking forward to the event on Friday?

JS: overall it will be nice to see if all of our hard work has paid off, as well as the dancers’, and it will be interesting to see if many people turn up.


AG: Yes, this has been an amazing experience for all of the students involved.  I just hope that the public come down to get involved on the day and make this a truly unforgettable experience!

Has this been a good project to work on?

AG: Absolutely, we’ve all learnt so much about working in the industry and have had fun in the process. We’re all really grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Northern Ballet Theatre and Kala Sangam. Now we just have to give the performance of our careers so far and make everybody involved proud of what we’ve achieved. Working with industry professionals on all areas of the project has been a real insight into what we all have to come in the not so distant future.


JS: It has been beneficial for me. I was concerned about being on the Marketing and PR team as I thought it would be too challenging for me, but once I got over the initial worry that it was going to be too hard, I found it interesting and was happy that I had helped create things like flyers and posters, and tried to develop an audience for the workshop. I now also appreciate the hard work that goes on backstage, and the fact that if there were no media or marketing teams, there’d be no audience!


The Street Dreams performance and workshops will take place from 12-2pm in Centenary Square, Bradford (or in the event of poor weather conditions at the Impressions Gallery on Centenary Square, Bradford) on Friday 17 October. Why not come along to watch the performance and take part in the workshops! The event is FREE, open to everyone and no previous experience is required.

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Hannah’s diary part III

October 13, 2008 at 11:06 am (Artist's News, dancers' diaries) (, , , , , , , )

Hannah Bateman

Hannah Bateman updates us on news from the tour:

I have just seen it’s a month since I last wrote so I have some catching up to do! The week’s run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse went very well and with hindsight I think I should have appreciated the scale of the WYP stage a little more! The next two venues we took A Tale of Two Cities to were Nottingham and Sheffield and although these are wonderful theatres with very warm audiences, they are not known for their stage size and are also raked (on a slope)!

This production was slightly unusual as we only had two casts. We normally work with three to four casts and the corps de ballet are interchangeable within each one. I only performed in the first cast so I had the rare chance to sit out front and watch the show as an audience member. I tried to sit and watch the show as if it were new to me and not just look at the part I also perform. The only time I was caught out was when I was sat flinching in preparation for the gunshots! I have to say, I really enjoyed the show: I thought it was a very attractive piece, the costumes and the lighting. For us on stage the lighting felt very dark and didn’t allow for much sight beyond the orchestra pit but from out front it looked fabulous and there were moments when Georgina looked like she had been borrowed from the set of a Jane Austen adaptation.

The week after the Playhouse saw us back at base at West Park in rehearsals for The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, for the girls, La Bayadere. We also had a few rehearsals for Rhapsody in Blue from I Got Rhythm, which is one of the pieces we are taking to Milan. David and Yoko weren’t there for the whole of the week as they had both travelled to Slovenia to set David’s Nutcracker. So, while we rehearsed in Leeds for two weeks, David and Yoko were representing NBT in Slovenia and Kenny and Keiko were representing us in Miami. Out of the many couples in Miami, from major companies around the world including the likes of Stuttgart Ballet and Royal Ballet of Flanders, Kenny and Keiko were one of only two couples to be reviewed very warmly in the press. It was a huge accomplishment to be invited there and to be reviews so positively is the icing on the cake. It seems that NBT is becoming internationally recognised, not just for its dancers but also its director and his choreography.

Dan kept us all busy and base with the help of Andria Hall. She is a great coach and soon had all the Snowflakes and Flowers under control, looking clean, crisp and very together. She also worked a lot with the pas de deux couples and I watched a couple of those rehearsals; it still amazes me that we have four couples who can all do the pas to such a high standard – not bad for a company of just 40 dancers, The fouettes at the end of all that work for the girls are so hard and they can all do them so easily and actually make them look fun and exciting! Yi Song has come into his own this season and looks very Prince like – he must have been inspired by the Olympics in his home country. It’s a joy to watch someone’s talent really start to blossom.

Our next venue on tour was Nottingham. I love this theatre as it holds special memories for me. I loved dancing one of the sisters in Beauty and the Beast there in my first year; dancing the Nurse to Chiaki’s Juliet and I also danced my first Juliet there as well. But it is raked so Tuesday tech days are always difficult. You get to the stage after two days off; it’s raked so you know it will take double the time to get back on your legs after the weekend. It’s always amusing spotting the new members faces as they realise they have to negotiate the rake. Some have never been on a rake before and it’s scary at first but you soon get used to it. There will always be those who don’t get affected by it though – oh to be Keiko for a day! Also, because the stage slopes down, you must remember to use the brakes on props. We almost lost Scrooge to the orchestra pit one year as his bed went wheeling down. The audiences in Nottingham, while not huge, were warm and it felt like they were really captured by the piece.

The week after saw us in Sheffield, again a lovely theatre but raked and even smaller than Nottingham. We had to change some entrances and exits of people and props but I think it worked well in the space and provided an intimate experience. Space is so important to dance; it can make the atmosphere cosy or cold and also help or hinder our work. It did feel like we were doing Flintstone runs at times (where you run on the spot imagining you are running a great distance at speed) but Dan assured us we didn’t and he was pleased with the shows.

We are back at West Park now for another week and in full Nutcracker mode as well as keeping A Midsummer Night’s Dream ticking over. Midsummer will see all the new members of the Company on stage and by the time we open The Nutcracker in Hull I am sure they will be feeling a lot more confident and comfortable.

Milan this week for a lucky few of us so I promise to write all about that and I may even test my technology knowledge and try to include some photos! The end of last week saw a photo shoot for Wuthering Heights, Swan Lake and La Bayadere pictures for next season, which will be on us before we know it. In the back of our minds is the thought that this year we will be at home in Leeds for Christmas and not on tour. But that is far off – before that we have over 50 shows of The Nutcracker – that’s a lot of snow!

Till next time. Hannah xoxo

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