Academy Classes Filling Up

August 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , )

Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick

Photo: Hannah KirkpatrickWe now only have a few weeks left of enrolment for our classes for young children and places are filling up fast. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for your child to train with Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds.

Classes range from mini movers (a parents and tots class) to classes for 16-year-olds.

The classes are a great way for children to make friends, stay active and learn more about music and dance as well as working alongside the professional dancers.

To find out more please visit the academy webpage or call to speak to Hannah or Faye in the Academy department: 00113 274 5355.

Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick

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Topping out of NBT’s new home

July 5, 2010 at 10:00 am (Academy, Classical Training, Company News, Events, General Information, Marketing and PR News, momentum, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, )

Dancers from Phoenix and NBT along with Academy students accept gifts of goodwill from Wates Construction

Last Thursday night our new headquarters in Leeds reached a significant milestone as Wates Construction held a topping out ceremony with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Leeds on the Quarry Hill site.

Historically, the topping out ceremony marks the topmost beam being placed in the building to complete the structure. Its origins harp back to pagan times where the purpose of the ceremony was to appease tree-dwelling spirits and bring good luck by placing a yew tree branch in the uppermost part of the building.

To mark the occasion Wates Construction presented NBT and Phoenix Dance Theatre with a miniature ewe tree, some ears of wheat and a bottle of oil, which are all symbols of prosperity, happiness and good fortune for the people who use the building.

The Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Patrick Davey was joined by representatives from Leeds City Council, Wates Construction, NBT and Phoenix, dancers from both companies along with two NBT Academy students as well as key stakeholders and partners in the city. Cllr Davey was invited to bury a memory stick containing electronic memorabilia from both dance companies underneath one of the dance studio floors.

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Former NBT Students to Dance with Rambert

June 25, 2010 at 11:00 am (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , )

Former Northern Ballet Theatre Associates Lauren Wilson and Helen Barlow have been selected by Mark Baldwin to tour with Rambert Dance Company next year. They will be performing ‘A Linah Curva’.

Both Helen and Lauren are just about to finish their second year at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. To be selected to tour with the main company is a great achievement and we wish them the very best of luck.

Hopefully we will be able to update you on how they got along next year.

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Brownies & Guides Take Over NBT

May 12, 2010 at 11:28 am (Academy, Classical Training, General Information, Learning & Access, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , , , , , )

Cara O'Shea on pointe

Sophie Alder showing the perfect Peter Pan poseOn Sunday 9th May 100 Brownies and Guides descended on Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) to take part in a fun filled day of dance classes with NBT staff.

Cara O’Shea, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy ballet tutor, led the ballet technique sessions and Sophie Alder, Dance Education Officer, led the creative sessions.

Cara was really impressed with the standard of the students saying:

“Everyone has had a fantastic day. The students have worked so hard and have been really quick to pick up the exercises.”

Sophie taught the students some extracts from NBT’s productions of  Peter Pan and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They then worked on creating their own pieces based on the steps that they had learnt.

The day was rounded off with a performance to all the parents so they could see what their bidding ballerinas had been up to.

Guides having fun

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NBT International Summer School

April 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm (Academy, Classical Training, General Information, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) ()

NBT has started recruiting for its annual International Summer School. The School takes place at the Company’s studios in Leeds and is open to students who are already in or are hoping to go into full-time classical ballet training.

There are two strands to the Summer School: a one-week an intermediate level course for 12 to 16 year olds which takes place from Monday 26 to Saturday 31 July, and a two-week senior level course for 16 to 19 year olds which takes place from Monday 2 to Saturday 14 August.

Daily sessions are designed to strengthen and improve students’ classical ballet technique while providing the unique opportunity to work with NBT artistic staff and find out more about the Company.

For more information on how to apply or about further training opportunities with Northern Ballet Theatre email the Academy or phone Hannah of Becki on 0113 274 5355

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Local politicians visit NBT

April 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm (Academy, Classical Training, General Information, Marketing and PR News)

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves, and Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, dropped into the Northern Ballet Theatre studios today to watch Academy students taking class with Viki Westall.

They were hugely impressed by the students’ strength and athleticism – especially when the boys did press ups with their feet on the barre!

A quick tour of our facilities left Rachel and Lucinda in no doubt as to why a large and growing professional ballet company needs for a fit-for-purpose facility and they were interested to hear about how NBT’s education and community work will be enhanced in our new purpose-built home.

Rachel and Lucinda are currently campaigning to keep the West Park Centre open after NBT moves. As one of the busiest community centres in Leeds, the West Park Centre receives up to 3000 visitors per week, in addition to the staff and tenants who work here. As well as hosting local residents’ associations, it is also home to several orchestras, choirs and music groups, a Baptist church, various artists and a wide range of vulnerable adults and pupils with Special Educational Needs. To find out more about the campaign visit Rachel’s website

Rachel Reeves and Lucinda Yeadon with Academy students in West Park

Rachel Reeves and Lucinda Yeadon with Academy students in West Park

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Excellent! Participants Podcast…

March 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , )

Northern Ballet Theatre Academy and other participants of the Excellent! event tell us about taking part and the challenges they faced in preparing for their performance.

Hannah Kirkpatrick, Academy Officer, said:

“It was a big success” and went on to say, “We’re really proud of all our students…”

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Northern Ballet Theatre Academy is EXCELLENT!

March 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , )

This Saturday (6th March) 5 students from the Northern Ballet Theatre Academy will be taking part in ‘Excellent! 2010‘ at the Riley Theatre, Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Photo by: Gavin Joynt

Photo by: Gavin Joynt

Excellent! 2010‘ will be an exciting and exhilarating evening of music and dance to celebrate the stars of tomorrow.

The evening is to celebrate the DCSF’s Music and Dance Scheme and the sheer talent of young dancers and musicians in the North.

With students performing from The Hammond, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, The Junior Royal Northern College of Music, Yorkshire Young Musicians, The Lowry Dance CAT, Chetham’s School of Music and Northern Ballet Theatre Academy it will be an evening not to be missed.

The performance will start at 19.30 and tickets are now on sale and can be bought from the Riley Theatre box office: 0113 219 3018
The tickets will cost £6.50 or £4.50 concession.

Northern Ballet Theatre Academy’s piece has been choreographed by ex-company Dancer, Omar Gordon. He has been busy rehearsing the students in between trips to Paris and Belfast and we are really excited about it being premiered on Saturday night. Here are some photos of rehearsals to give you a quick glimpse of the choreography…

Photo by: Gavin Joynt

Photo by: Gavin Joynt

Photo by: Gavin Joynt

Photo by: Gavin Joynt

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Northern Ballet Theater Academy Stars Shine

February 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , )

We have spent another weekend glued to our televisions as things became more and more tense in BBC1’s ‘So You Think you Can Dance’ and Sky 1’s ‘Got to Dance’.

Academy student Matthew Koon took part in the semi final of ‘Got to Dance’ on Sunday night and secured his place in the final. Once again he received a standing ovation from all three judges and his performance brought judge Kimberley Wyatt to tears.

Watch his amazing performance.

Ex Associate Robbie White is now in the top six of ‘So You think You Can Dance’ . We are getting closer and closer to the final so every vote helps. Make sure you tune in this Saturday.

Watch Robbie’s performance

We are so proud of both students, two fantastic dancers who deserve this chance to show everyone what they can do. Please keep supporting them and thanks to everyone who has voted so far.

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February & March at the Academy

January 26, 2010 at 9:31 am (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , , , )

The Professional Division students will be busy during their February half-term break with an intensive course including a daily classical technique class, contemporary class and the start of rehearsals for the End of Year show. The intensive courses are really beneficial for the students to help them improve their technique and strength through daily, consistent work.

Shortly after the February half-term Academy students will be visiting Leeds Grand Theatre to see Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The students all love going to the theatre and it is always exciting to see their reactions to the performance highlight their passion for dance. Look out for us at the Grand on Saturday 27th February!

During March and April 2010 the Music and Dance Scheme (the parent group for the Centres for Advanced Training which the Academy’s Professional Division programme runs under) are holding events up and down the country to celebrate the wealth of talent that the scheme supports at its family of specialist music and dance schools and Centres for Advanced Training (CATs). The regional event for the North is taking place on 6th March 2010 and will include performances of the CATs from Northern Ballet Theatre, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, The Lowry, Yorkshire Young Musicians, the junior department at the Royal Northern College of Music, and from the MDS schools at Chetham’s School of Music and The Hammond School.

Northern Ballet Theatre’s CAT Professional Division students Megan Hughes, Paul Smith, Andrew Tomlinson, Sally Hind and Charlotte Tonkinson have been chosen to work with ex-NBT dancer Omar Gordon (who played the part of Young Scrooge in the NBT Alumni performance of A Christmas Carol) to create a new piece for the event in March. This is a fantastic opportunity to join together to celebrate the scheme and display the exceptional talent of young dancers and musicians across the region, and the Academy is really excited to be a part of it.

When we are not in the office we will be avidly watching our television screens to follow the progress of our Associate students on two of the dance competitions mesmerising the nation. You may already read about Robbie White, an ex-Associate taking part in the BBC1 programme ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and about Matthew Koon, a current Senior Associate who is through to the live finals in Sky 1s ‘Got To Dance’ programme. We’ll be sat on the edge of our sofas watching with our fingers crossed for the boys and the News Blog will keep you updated with their progress.

Don’t forget to vote!

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Academy Open Days and School Workshops

January 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre Academy Open Days

The Spring Term is always a busy one for the Academy as this is the time of year when we begin our Open Days and school outreach programmes to help us find the next intake of talented young dancers for our Academy training programmes.

The Open Days take place on Sundays across Yorkshire in Sheffield, Huddersfield, York and Leeds. This allows us to do ballet and creative workshops with youngsters from across the entire region who already have some experience in dance. The Open Days act as informal information giving sessions for students and parents who are interested in training at the Academy. At each venue Northern Ballet Theatre run a morning session for 10 to 12 year olds and Northern School of Contemporary Dance run an afternoon session for 13 to 17 year olds with a contemporary focus.

The school workshops the Academy delivers as part of our school outreach programme happen across Leeds through January and February. Cara O’Shea (Academy ballet tutor) will be going into seven different schools and doing workshops with Year 5 and 6 pupils to introduce them to ballet and creative movement. School workshops are a brilliant way for us to identify students who have raw dance potential and encourage them to learn more about the opportunities that the Academy can offer. It is also an excellent opportunity for us to meet school pupils and teachers from the area and introduce them to Northern Ballet Theatre and the Academy.

The Open Days and school workshops lead up to our annual audition process, which this year will be in March. We audition every student who applies for our Associate and Professional Divisions, and also hold auditions for the International Summer School. This is an incredibly busy process and the applications are already arriving so we’re looking forward to meeting everyone at the auditions and welcoming all the potential students.

Useful Links:

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Easter Course!

January 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm (Academy, Company News, Easter course, Learning & Access, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy)

Happy New Year! You may think it is way too early to be thinking about Easter as we have only just leapt into 2010, but I want to give you a heads up on Northern Ballet Theatre’s (NBT) exciting plans for our Easter Course which is open for booking now. 

I am really excited because this year Philip Feeney has agreed to write a brand new piece of music for us to dance to. You might not have heard of Philip, but he has written some exciting and dramatic music for NBT over the years.

Years ago, while I was a student myself, I saw NBT perform Dracula. The dancing was incredible, but what made it an electrifying and memorable experience was the atmosphere created by Philip’s music. On my first tour with NBT to Sadler’s Wells in London (6 years ago) I also saw Philip playing for the NBT dancers, as Philip was playing I could sense his music was making the audience want to dance too.

Philip has worked with choreographers such as Christopher Gable (Director of NBT 1987-1998), David Nixon (Director of NBT 1999-present) and Adam Cooper. I can’t wait to hear the music he creates for us. I will keep you posted on how it is coming along after I go down to London and meet with Philip later this month.

In the past our Easter Courses have been a week of great fun and dancing, finishing with a performance to a live audience. This year we hope to take it even further, the Easter Course is only the beginning…

NBT are getting a new home, a building in the centre of Leeds where the company will rehearse, the Academy will train and where we will be able to hold classes, workshops and more exciting projects. I would like all the dancers who join us for the Easter Course to come back and perform again at the opening of the new building! This would involve extra rehearsals leading up to the opening but also the chance to meet members of the NBT orchestra (who will perform Philip’s music live at the opening) and see the dancers rehearsing.

To book your place just call Jo Dean on 0113 274 5355. Places are limited so make sure you sign up fast!

Caroline Burn

Dance Education Officer

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Got To Dance!

January 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm (Academy, Artist's News, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , )

Television seems to be going dance crazy this year. As well as the BBC programme So You Think You Can Dance featuring former NBT associate Robbie White, Sky 1 has also launched its own dance talent show.

Got to Dance premiered on Sky 1 on Sunday night and the star of the show was current Northern Ballet Theatre Senior Associate Matthew Koon.

Presented by Divina McCall  Got To Dance looks to discover the country’s most talented dance floor divas. The auditionees are put through their paces by an outspoken panel of judges: West End star and movie actor Adam Garcia, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and Ashley Banjo, lead dancer and choreographer of street dance crew Diversity.

Matthew definitely caught their eye on Sunday night and received a standing ovation for his solo. Adam Garcia told the audience that they had just seen “a world class dancer” and Ashley Banjo added that “The bar has been set… by a 15 year old”.

Matthew has been training on the associate programme for 2 years. He lives in Manchester and comes to NBT for classes in ballet and contemporary every Saturday.

The finalists for the programme have not yet been decided but we have all our fingers and toes crossed for Matthew. He is a huge talent and definitely one to watch. Get ready to vote!!

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Be part of Northern Ballet Theatre’s future…

December 11, 2009 at 1:51 pm (Academy, Classical Training, General Information) (, , , , , , , , , )

View Northern Ballet Theatre Academy’s new brochure for 2010/2011 and find out how you can train alongside the company in our brand new purpose built dance centre. With programmes for all ages and abilities there are opportunities for everyone who wants to dance.

For our Professional Division and Associate Division entrance is by audition only and the closing date for applications is 22nd February so don’t delay, click here to download the form now!

Please give Hannah or Becki a call on 0113 274 5355 if you have any questions.

Academy Brochure

Academy Brochure

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Academy Intensive Weekend…

October 28, 2009 at 10:07 am (Academy, Classical Training, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy)

Professional Division Students (Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick)

Professional Division Students (Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick)

Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick

Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick

The start of the half-term break found the Professional Division students spending their weekend at Northern Ballet Theatre Academy for an intensive course which saw them doing things a little out of the ordinary. . .

Whilst the younger students began a normal ballet class with Cara, the older students had a yoga class with Nichi Green (from the Yogaspace) which made them all very relaxed and perhaps even a little bit sleepy! As they went into their ballet class to be woken up by Yoko, the younger students met Bgirl Firefly who gave them a class in hip-hop and street dance. The students were ‘top-rocking’ and ‘threading’ in no time and enjoyed learning the new moves. After the lunch-break, Firefly worked with the older levels teaching them some basic street dance moves and then giving some slightly more difficult combinations to work on. Meanwhile the younger students were practicing their preparations for Halloween with a make-up workshop taken by make-up artist Ame Boyd. I walked into the classroom to be met by students with broken noses, deep scratches, scars and bullet wounds and as I’m very squeamish I had to keep reminding myself that these were fake wounds and not actually as real as they looked! I left the room with a deep, bleeding scratch on my hand (fake, thankfully!) and gathered all the students to watch Firefly show off some of her moves. The students all sat open-mouthed at Firefly’s incredible performance and there was lots of cheering and clapping as everyone thanked both Firefly and Ame for a brilliant day.

Fun Hallowe'en Make-up (Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick)

Fun Hallowe'en Make-up (Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick)

Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick

Photo: Hannah Kirkpatrick

As the students left at the end of their first day, there were many reminders to ensure they arrived at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford by 7.00pm as we had arranged for all the students to watch NBT perform Wuthering Heights. The production was amazing with fantastic music, a brilliant representation of the story and outstanding performances by all involved. At the end of the performance, the students gave a standing ovation during the curtain call with a lot of cheering, showing how much they had enjoyed the production.

On Sunday morning, the older students had ballet class with Cara first thing and the younger students did a workshop with Catherine and Steph from the communications department. The students talked about advertising and discussed TV adverts and posters, giving ideas about what they liked and didn’t like before they were set a task to design a poster for either A Christmas Carol or Peter Pan. There were many good designs and a selected few are shown below (and some are on display outside our office at West Park). As the younger students finished off their artwork and headed to the studio for their ballet class, the older students moved from ballet class to street dance, this time with Hannah Thompson. Hannah taught the older students some more street dance moves, including locking, popping and waving and put together a short routine from each component. After hard work from both groups in their respective classes, all students had a lunch break before the older students finished their weekend off with a further yoga class and the younger students got their chance to learn some more funky moves with Hannah.

A Christmas Carol & Peter Pan Posters

A Christmas Carol & Peter Pan Posters

The students left to waiting parents who were dutifully shown some of the street dance moves before heading home to look forward to a well-deserved week off. After a weekend of doing something different, the students seemed tired but happy with the whole weekend so it was a successful end to the first half of the autumn term.

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