Ballet on Briggate

September 7, 2009 at 11:08 am (Learning & Access, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , )

Jo Dean of Northern Ballet Theatre tells us all about the great day in the heart of Leeds…

Saturday morning at 8.30am it was pretty cold on Briggate as Litestructures pulled their vans up in front of Debenhams and started unloading the stage for our Ballet on Briggate event. We had a couple of hours in which to get the stage and banner, generator and sound system setup and to blow up hundreds of balloons so it was all hands to the deck.

Preparing for the afternoon's performances and setting the stage.

Preparing for the afternoon's performances and setting the stage.

Admin staff from all departments, Friends of NBT and parents of the Academy students all helped to give out leaflets throughout the event, to hand out cake and to talk to the public about NBT. There was a real interest from the public about what we were doing and why we were performing in the centre of Leeds.

Lots of information about Northern Ballet Theatre & Phoenix Dance as well as that essential ingredient, cake!

Lots of information about Northern Ballet Theatre & Phoenix Dance as well as that essential ingredient, cake!

Acting as runner for the event, my job was to make sure that the performers were ready to go on stage and that we kept on track with the schedule. I think this was probably the best job to have as all the running around to check on everyone kept me warm in the chilly breeze! The poor performers threw on all their warm clothes and coats the second they got off the stage. The Phoenix dancers in particular, with their bare feet, looked very cold.

The audience however, seemed oblivious to the cold as some of them stood for the whole two hours watching the performances, eating cake and having a go at some moves on our ballet barre. I think some people were surprised to happen upon a ballet performance in the middle of Briggate while they were doing their shopping, but they were soon moving closer to the stage to get a better view.

The whole event went very quickly and it was all too soon that we were packing up boxes of leaflets and taking down the banners. After all the fresh air and running around, I was exhausted but had really enjoyed meeting the public and talking to them about all the opportunities NBT could offer them.

Professional dancers and Academy students put on a great show for an enthralled crowd.

Professional dancers and Academy students put on a great show for an enthralled crowd.

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