You Dancing? We’re Asking!

October 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm (General Information)

This Friday will be Leeds’ Fifth annual Light Night. I’m really excited that it’s finally here, it seems like we have been working on it for ages and overcome quite a few dilemmas along the way!

I remember meeting with Sharon Watson (now Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre) back in March, we were trying to think of ways to make ballet user-friendly and show people it’s not always tutus and tiptoes. We knew that Dance Mats and Wiis had basically featured on everyone’s Christmas list for 2008 and thought why not follow the trend? Our big idea was to produce a ballet version of these interactive step-by-step games and get the general public giving it a go.

For Light Night 2009 we also wanted to work with Phoenix Dance Theatre who we will soon be sharing a building with, so we put the idea to them and they loved it. They were going to work on a contemporary piece of dance for the video and we just had to decide on a ballet piece. We quickly agreed on Dance of the Knights from Romeo & Juliet as a piece that was dramatic and relatively easy with great music that everyone would recognise (theme tune to The Apprentice TV show).

The other question, which proved a lot more difficult to solve, was where to screen these videos on the night? We didn’t want to be inside, tucked away in a dark room. We wanted to be in the heart of the action. “Why not put it in a tent” I said! So we have…just about. It’s taken 3 attempts to find a marquee company that could help us with this request, at the beginning of the week we thought we might just be stood there with a plasma TV and nothing to cover us, but fingers crossed we will be on Millennium Square on Friday ready to invite people in and transform the people of Leeds into semi-professional dancers.

I have to say a big thank you to Jo Dean (NBT Learning & Access Co-ordinator) who has spent the last 2 months filming, editing and recording the voice-overs. But now the video is complete and all we need are some people willing to give it a go. So if you feel up for the challenge please come and find us from 6pm onwards on Millennium Square and you can learn moves from either Romeo & Juliet or Phoenix’s brand new piece Fast Lane. And for anyone doubting whether they can do it, the whole Marketing and Press Department gave it a go this morning and we all managed to keep up, even Emma who was initially very reluctant and has never followed any kind of dance routine in her life.

Stephanie Bell (Audience Development Officer)

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