Ballet on Briggate 2010

August 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm (Events, General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , , , )

Hironao Takahashi & Michela Paolacci - Photo by Ryan Hopkinson

Hironao Takahashi & Michela Paolacci - Photo by Ryan Hopkinson

This Saturday we will be taking to the streets of Leeds with Ballet on Briggate – a chance to see Northern Ballet for free while you do your shopping! We will have a large stage outside Debenhams in the centre of Briggate where there will be performances by Northern Ballet dancers, Northern Ballet Academy and Phoenix Dance Theatre Academy students, prize giveaways, a chance to join in with some ballet moves and much more!

Dancing in the street - Photo: Jo Dean

Dancing in the street - Photo: Jo Dean

The dancers will be performing extracts from The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and we will be encouraging the public to have a go themselves, with our ballet barre and energizer activities. There will be a chance to win free tickets for Northern Ballet performances, as well as discounts and vouchers for everyone who attends.

Northern Ballet Academy students

Northern Ballet Academy students - Photo: Ryan Hopkinson

There aren’t many opportunities to see your favourite ballet company for free, so pop along to Briggate between 12pm – 2pm on Saturday to join in all the action!

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Northern Ballet Theatre supports Dancing on Parliament tomorrow!

July 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm (Events, General Information) (, , , , , , , )

Arlene Philips launching Big Dance 2010

Photos: ©David Parry/ PA & © Hugo Glendinning

Our friends at Dance UK and English National Ballet will be Dancing on Parliament tomorrow, Thursday 8 July between 12noon and 2pm. If you’re in London and can join them please go along and show your support. Please also contact your MP and ask them if they are going. Ask them to do something brilliant with their lunch break tomorrow. You can do this through www.dancevote2010.com.

The T-Mobile Big Dance Bus will be travelling across London during Big Dance week and is making a one off stop at the prestigious and stunning Horse Guards Parade, in between Parliament Square and the edge of St James Park. Dance UK has been working in partnership with English National Ballet and City of Westminster Council to produce a diverse showcase of local and national talent for this event.

Let’s show MPs from across the country the thriving dance the UK has to offer and all its successes.

The T-Mobile Big Dance Bus has a ‘pop up’ mobile dance floor and on board this double-decker bus you’ll find an interactive space to learn more about the UK dance sector. For more information on Big Dance Bus activities, visit www.bigdance2010.com.

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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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Groups enjoy ‘cracking’ evening in Manchester

June 25, 2010 at 9:56 am (Events, General Information) (, , , , , , , , )

David Nixon, OBE, and the attendees watching Julie Charlet performing an excerpt from Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy.

David Nixon, OBE, and the attendees watching Julie Charlet. Photo: Rachel Poole.

Last Thursday Northern Ballet Theatre hosted a special event at City Inn, Manchester, to introduce group organisers to the wonderful world of The Nutcracker. Guests were given a greater insight to the production with a talk from the man behind the ballet, NBT Artistic Director, David Nixon OBE. They were then treated to the Chinese Dance and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy performed live by NBT dancers – a fantastic opportunity to enjoy these dances in an intimate setting.

Amidst the wine and fabulous canapés (the mini fish and chips went down a particular treat!) guests were able to see the Company’s new brand in all it’s glory – including previews of all of autumn’s new posters.

Whilst the group organisers booked their outing to The Palace Theatre this November to see the full production of The Nutcracker, one guest, budding ballerina Hannah (pictured below with dancers Ben Mitchell, Thomas Aragones and Julie Charlet) was delighted to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Budding Ballerina Hannah with Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers

Budding Ballerina Hannah with Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers Ben Mitchell, Thomas Aragones and Julie Charlet. Photo: Rachel Poole.

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First Experiences of Ballet

June 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm (Events, General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , , , , )

Pupils from Thorn Park School for the Deaf in Bradford have produced a video reporting on their experiences of learning ballet for Headliners, a UK charity which encourages personal development through journalism. The students were taught by Northern Ballet Theatre‘s Dance Education Officer, Caroline Burn and Learning & Access Musician, Dave Burnett.

They also attended a performance of Wuthering Heights at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford and they give their thoughts on the production.

Headliners is a UK charity which encourages personal development of young people through journalism.

Original article on Headliners: Ballet a Hit With Deaf Young People

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Charmed, I’m sure

May 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm (Company News, Events, Fundraising, General Information, Marketing and PR News)

NBT Dancers Martha Leebolt and Toby Batley wear Azendi jewellery at the Leeds store

Last night NBT and Azendi launched their unique new partnership with a special event at Azendi’s store in Leeds. The new partnership will see Azendi designing jewellery for future productions as well as creating an exclusive range of sterling silver ballet charms to support the development of NBT’s new home in Leeds.

NBT dancers Rym Kechacha and Georgina May with NBT Chief Executive Mark Skipper

The range of twelve charms includes the an enamelled fan from NBT’s Madame Butterfly, the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker, a swan from Swan Lake, pointe shoes and a ballerina’s tutu to name but a few.

Azendi’s range of ballet charms will be on sale from early July both online and across the Company’s 18 stores in the UK. 20% of all profits made from the charms will be donated to momentum, NBT’s fundraising campaign for a new purpose-built home in the centre of Leeds.

Like NBT, Azendi takes pride in its Yorkshire heritage and has had success taking its brands across the UK. It is hoped this new partnership will provide both organisations with more opportunities to reach new audiences, perfectly aligning their visually stunning products and high quality brands.

Ian Jones, Managing Director of Azendi said, “We are delighted to announce the beginning of an exciting working partnership between Azendi and NBT. We believe there is a strong alignment between our two brands, both taking inspiration from a wide range of areas, classical and contemporary. Our philosophy is a close fit with the qualities NBT embodies; passion, attention to detail, creativity, fine workmanship and elegance.”

Mark Skipper, NBT Chief Executive agreed, “There are many reasons as to why our alliance makes such perfect sense, we both share a number of the same values and we look forward to seeing how the partnership develops.”

Have a look at our Cleopatra mini site to see how you could win the stunning Azendi Cubist necklace worth £385, as seen in the sneak peak picture of Cleopatra.

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Cleopatra, our new production for 2011

May 17, 2010 at 8:26 am (Company News, Events, General Information)

Northern Ballet Theatre

We’re very excited to share with you the news of our new production for 2011…Cleopatra.

Cleopatra will be Artistic Director David Nixon’s first new full-length work for three years, and will feature a new score by acclaimed composer Claude-Michel Schönberg. We can’t wait to see one of histories most powerful women brought to life through dance.

Cleopatra is an iconic story…it has such a strong focus on the central female character and it is a story that has a wide popular appeal.” David Nixon

Make sure you don’t miss out – sign up online now at http://www.northernballettheatre.co.uk/cleopatra and we’ll send priority booking information and behind the scenes updates.

Cleopatra will première at Leeds Grand Theatre in February 2011, before touring to venues throughout the UK. Make sure you keep checking back for further details!

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Easter Course Day One!

April 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm (Easter course, Events, General Information, Learning & Access) (, , )

 

This morning saw the West Park Centre buzzing with activity, as 31 budding young dancers arrived at NBT’s headquarters for the annual Easter Course.  The early start and the fact that it is the beginning of the school holidays did not seem to deter anyone taking part, the group was raring to go!

The morning began with a short introduction by our Dancer Education Officer, Caroline Burn, who is leading the course.  Caroline introduced other members of the team who will be around during the week – including Megan, Selina and Mike (Michael Berkin, Company dancer) who are going to be ‘on hand’ to provide advice on movement and help develop the choreography.  The group also met the man himself, Philip Feeney, who has written the music on which the final piece is to be based.  Despite the threatened rail strikes, Philip made it up from London to accompany the course today and will be back again on Friday. 

Caroline took the group through a couple of exercises to ‘break the ice’.  One of these exercises involved all 31 dancers putting themselves in order of their birthdays without speaking – simply through miming and using hand signals.  Despite some of the group trying to get away with whispering to each other (tut tut!), it was remarkable how quickly they successfully lined up in more-or-less perfect order.  After a short break it was time to begin daily class.  Although the inclusion of a couple of press-ups was a challenge after a weekend of Easter eggs, the varied exercises got the dancers warmed-up, their muscles stretched, and limbs moving before the serious work began! 

Once the group had heard the music Philip has composed, it was time to brainstorm ideas for the piece including possible themes, types of movement and its general overall dance style.  The creativity continued after lunch with the group learning a small section of choreography to the music, which they then had to expand and develop in smaller groups.  Having looked at partnership work during the morning, the dancers were able to get together in pairs to experiment with lifts, counter-balancing, and explore different contact-points between their bodies.  Dancer Mike Berkin was on hand to help them, giving advice and suggestions to groups as they developed their ideas. 

From a quiet start with little chatting between the course participants, I have just left a hubbub of noise down in the main hall at West Park.  Everyone seems to be thoroughly enjoying themselves and coming up with some wonderful ideas for the piece.  More tomorrow…

Philippa Plumtree-Varley

Learning & Access Coordinator

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Leeds in Barcelona

March 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm (Events, General Information) (, , , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT), along with Opera North and Phoenix Dance Theatre are leading Live in Leeds – a cultural showcase as part of Leeds in Barcelona.

NBT’s Technical Director, Andy Waddington, has been leading on the organisation of Live in Leeds. His work began back in September 2009, when he battled uncharacteristic cold weather conditions to find a location for the event. Here he tells us a bit more:

NBT, Opera North & Phoenix Dance Theatre will be providing the entertainment for the Leeds in Barcelona delegation and VIPs.

This gives three artistic companies the opportunity to showcase their talents on an international stage.

We’re supplying the technical support and theming for the evening’s entertainment and dinner. It’s being held at the five-star Melina Barcelona Hotel where the business and artistic delegations are staying.

As we aren’t performing in a theatre it has been something of a logistical challenge. We’ve created a central stage which is surrounded by the delegation’s tables – effectively ‘Dancing & Opera in the Round.’

NBT are performing sections from ‘As Time Goes By’, the choreography has been tweaked by David Nixon to suit the different type of stage and ballet master, Daniel de Andrade, is carrying out the staging on location.

As the Company are currently performing Peter Pan in Woking technical is being provided by Events & Technology Ltd, Barcelona. Our contact, Nacho Murillo, has been invaluable helping with the infrastructure for the evening.

All is going to plan for the night – the truck containing costumes, leaflets and ballet barres left West Park on Saturday and is due to arrive Monday evening. The dancers and technical crew are travelling out on Tuesday giving them only a day to rehearse on the stage in the round.

Everybody’s really looking forward to taking part, to showing off the amazing skills from the heart of Leeds.

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Events at Sheffield…

March 12, 2010 at 11:17 am (Events, Learning & Access) (, , , , , )

Tobias Batley as Heathcliff and Georgina May as Cathy. Photo: Merlin Hendy

Tobias Batley as Heathcliff and Georgina May as Cathy. Photo: Merlin Hendy

Northern Ballet Theatre are returning to the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield between 16 – 20 March with their powerful adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights

Ever wanted to know more about how a ballet such as Wuthering Heights is created?  Intrigued about the set and costumes?  Interested in what goes on ‘behind the scenes’?  Then there are a number of events taking place during NBT’s time at the Lyceum that might be of interest to you!

Ballet Explored:

Thursday 18 March: 11.15am – 12.45pm (Cost £3.50 per person)

Join our Dance Artist to find out more about the process involved in designing and producing the wonderful set and costumes, which help create such a wonderful atmosphere and absorbing setting for the production.  After the talk, you will be able to watch the company take their daily class on stage at the theatre. 

Production Event

Thursday 18 March: Following matinee performance for ½ hour (Free)

After the matinee performance relax in your seats to hear about what’s involved in creating the show you have seen.  You will find out about how our technical team cope with the complex lighting changes involved in our productions and what it means to ‘fly’ scenery, in this captivating behind-the-scenes insight.

Pre-Performance Talk

Thursday 18 March: 6.15 – 6.45pm (Free)

Join Northern Ballet Theatre for a fascinating talk about our current production.  The pre-performance talk will be led by a member of the Northern Ballet Theatre team.

To book for all the above events contact the Box Office at Sheffield Lyceum on 0114 2496000.

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Events at the Theatre: Mature Movers

March 11, 2010 at 11:02 am (Events, Learning & Access) (, , , )

Last Thursday I went down to Leeds Grand Theatre to find out what happens at the Mature Movers and Ballet Explored events. There will be more on the Ballet Explored in a later video but in this you can see how fantastic the Mature Movers events are.

Dance Education Officer, Sophie Alder, led the event warming up the participants before moving on to teaching everyone a segment of The Knight’s Dance from our production of Romeo & Juliet. People were laughing as they strode across Leeds Grand’s raked stage with their Knight’s staffs, dancing in unison with Prokofiev’s famous score played live for the workshop.

Once the moves were perfected people improvised a final section to the dance showing off their new-found skills.

The morning was completed with warm-down exercises and a cup of tea in the theatre’s bar where friendships were forged and people talked about how much fun it was.

We have similar events at many venues on our tour, for more information check our Talks & Events page…

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Where for art thou, Romeo?

February 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm (Events, General Information) (, , , , , , )

No need to bury your head beneath a pillow as Valentine’s Day approaches. Northern Ballet Theatre and Harvey Nichols Leeds have teamed up to create Where for art thou, Romeo?: a one-off evening of true romance, at Harvey Nichols’ Fourth Floor Restaurant on Monday 15 February at 7pm.

For all those dreading Valentine’s Day, this unique speed-dating event will give single men and women in Leeds a fun chance to forge new connections, with tickets to NBT’s production of Romeo & Juliet at Leeds Grand Theatre to be won.

Champagne and canapés on arrival, live music from members of the Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra and an open bar at the end of the night will lend a relaxed and elegant atmosphere.

Places are limited.

To book or to find out more about this special event contact Ruth Burke-Kennedy (ruth.burke-kennedy@northernballettheatre.co.uk) on 0113 274 5355.

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An Enchanted Evening

December 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm (40th Anniversary, Events, General Information) (, , , , , )

On Such a Night by Gillian Lynne - Photo Bill Cooper

On Such a Night by Gillian Lynne - Photo Bill Cooper

On Saturday 12 December Northern Ballet Theatre’s Anniversary Gala Performance took place in front of a packed out auditorium at the Grand Theatre in Leeds.

Stars of the ballet world joined NBT dancers on stage to celebrate the Company’s 40th birthday and together created a truly enchanting evening.

The evening featured artists from the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company and Phoenix Dance Theatre. Dancers from Ballet Du Rhin, Zurich Ballet and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo travelled to the UK especially to perform at the Gala.

NBT performed the world première of a short dance created especially for the anniversary by Gillian Lynne, respected choreographer of Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and NBT’s own signature work A Simple Man.

NBT soloist Victoria Sibson performed Ossein, a short dance choreographed by Wayne McGregor, resident artist of the Royal Opera House and Artistic Director of Random Dance Company.

Powerhouse Rhumba by David Nixon - Photo Bill Cooper

Powerhouse Rhumba by David Nixon - Photo Bill Cooper

Another highlight of the evening was David Nixon’s breathtaking new work Powerhouse Rhumba: “a sensational showcase” (The Times) which he created especially for the performance.

The Anniversary Gala was performed in aid of the momentum capital fundraising campaign for NBT and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s new purpose-built home in central Leeds. It was attended by over 14,000 people including NBT’s Patron, HRH The Earl of Wessex, and raised in the region of £60k.

HR, The Earl of Wessex greets the performers at Northern Ballet Theatre's Gala Evening

HRH, The Earl of Wessex greets the performers at Northern Ballet Theatre's Gala Evening - Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

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Children’s thoughts on their first ballet

December 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm (Events, General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , , , )

As it draws near to Christmas you might think that things are quieting down here at Northern Ballet Theatre but it’s as busy as ever for the Learning and Access team as our START project gets into full swing.

Last Thursday we had 400 school children come to Leeds Grand Theatre to watch a performance of A Christmas Carol and I have to say, it took a lot of organizing but it was an amazing day and well worth all the effort! From the moment they arrived in the foyer, the children started getting excited as they recognized Caroline and Sophie who had already been into their schools to teach a workshop, and there was an excited buzz around the theatre as children bought sweets and drinks for the show.

As they settled into their seats for the performance, which for some was their first time to a theatre, there were many wide eyes as they admired the ornate Victorian auditorium. David Nixon welcomed them and then the children were engrossed throughout the performance. The cheering and clapping at the end was incredible – I could hear it from out in the foyer! It wasn’t only the children who enjoyed the show, the teachers I spoke to afterwards were in raptures about the performance and one even said it was better than Disney’s new blockbuster film!!

After we had got some of the pupils on to their buses and on their way home, some of the schools stayed behind to see a half hour demonstration by NBT’s technical team about how the production is put together. The stage manager described how she runs the show to make sure all the scenery comes in at the right point and the lights change on time, and the technicians gave away the secret of how the snow is made. The pupils came up with some great questions about how the trap door works, how long it takes to put the show together, and how they made the set, which gave them a new understanding of the creation of the magical show.

The will all be back in the theatre in February to see As Time Goes By and I hope they are as excited second time round because when the auditorium was full of eager children, the atmosphere was electric and the theatre really came to life.

START is supported by The Princes Foundation for Children and the Arts and is in partnership with Leeds Grand Theatre.

Video photos by Brian Slater

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NBT Dancers Spread Festive Cheer on School Roadshow

December 10, 2009 at 10:32 am (Events, General Information) (, , , , , )

Pupils at Armley Primary School in Leeds got a special treat on Tuesday when dancers Anna Blackwell and Daniel Clarke came along to speak to pupils as part of Northern Ballet Theatre’s School Roadshow. The Armley pupils were delighted to meet the dancers and were especially excited to see them in costume and even demonstrating a few ballet moves.

Anna said, “It’s great to come and meet school children in Leeds, especially when they are coming to see the performance like these children are on Thursday. They all seemed to learn something new about ballet, it was lovely to meet them all and speak to them about life as a professional dancer.”

Anna Blackwell & Daniel Clarke with pupils from Armley Primary School, Leeds

Anna Blackwell & Daniel Clarke with pupils from Armley Primary School, Leeds

The School Roadshow is now in its third year and Catherine and Stephanie (from NBT’s Communications department) have visited more than 100 schools, introducing more than 8,000 children to the world of ballet.

  • For further information on the NBT School Roadshow please get in touch with Catherine Mullany, 0113 274 5355

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Family Fun Days

December 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm (Events, Learning & Access) (, , , , , )

Saturday morning truly marked the beginning of the festive season for me as we had the first of our Family Fun days, this one based on A Christmas Carol. We played games, re-created our own version of the phantoms ghostly dance, sang carols and Christmas songs from the show and even got dressed as if Scrooge on Christmas morning… Parents and kids alike had a great time (even the dad who had been sent by his wife without a clue of what he’d be doing) and I’m looking forward to the next on Peter Pan.

We’ll become Pirates and Lost Boys as we create our own version of Neverland, learning steps from the show, making up dances and crafts with Caroline (who is known for her love of glitter, paints, glue and anything messy).

Perfect for getting in the festive mood and a break from the shopping… or from the family if you send the kids along with dad!

Sophie
Dance Education Officer

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Alumni Rehearsal #1

December 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm (Artist's News, Events) (, , , , )

Here are some candid shots from the Alumni rehearsal this morning at West Park…

  • The cast list for the Alumni performance
  • Alumni rehearsal photos #2
  • Alumni warm-up photos
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    40th Anniversary Gala Update

    November 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm (Artist's News, Events, Fundraising, momentum) (, , , , , , , , , , )

    Northern Ballet Theatre is pleased to announce the artists for its 40th Anniversary Gala on 12 December at the Grand Theatre, Leeds. Artists from across the UK and Europe will perform in Leeds for one night only in recognition of NBT’s achievements and in celebration of its 40th anniversary. The following artists will join NBT and the NBT Orchestra for this unique event:

    Eva Kolarova and Ramy Tadrous-Zaky from Ballet du Rhin will perform In the Mood For Love to music by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

    Nao Sakuma and Joseph Caley from Birmingham Royal Ballet will perform Spring, a pas de deux from The Seasons, with choreography by David Bintley and music by Giuseppe Verdi.

    English National Ballet’s Vadim Muntagirov and Shiori Kase will perform an extract from Le Corsaire.

    Noelani Pantastico and Asier Uriagereka from Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo will perform the Act 1 Balcony pas de deux from Romeo & Juliet choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot to music by Sergei Prokofiev.

    Phoenix Dance Theatre presents Fast Lane, Sharon Watson’s first choreographic work since becoming Artistic Director. Josh Wille, Azzurra Ardovini, Philip Sanger, Amanda Lewis and Judith Clijsters will perform to music by Peter S Jones.

    Rambert Dance Company presents an excerpt from A Linha Curva which made its UK première as part of the Sadler’s Wells spring season in May 2009. Estela Merlos, Robin Gladwin, Miguel Altunaga, Jonathan Goddard, Thomasin Gulgec and Eryck Brahmania will dance Itzik Galili’s choreography.

    The Royal Ballet’s Principal Dancers Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson will perform Manon Act 1, Scene 2 (Bedroom pas de deux) with choreography by Kenneth Macmillan to music by Jules Massenet.

    Stuttgart Ballet’s First Soloists Sue Jin Kang and Filip Barankiewicz will perform the Taming of the Shrew (Kampf pas de deux, Act 1) to music by Kurt-Heinz Stolze after Domenico Scarlatti.

    Arman Grigoryan, Principal Dancer with the Zurich Ballet will also perform at the Gala.

    NBT presents two new works: On Such a Night choreographed especially for the Gala by Gillian Lynne to music by Stephen Sondheim; and Powerhouse Rhumba by NBT’s Artistic Director, David Nixon to music by Graham Koehne. NBT will also perform Ossein by Wayne McGregor, Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House and Artistic Director of Random Dance Company to music by JS Bach.

    Tickets for the Gala are priced £25 – £60 to include a complimentary glass of champagne and a programme. Two fundraising dinners will take place after the Gala with tickets priced £150-£200 to include a champagne reception, the performance and a three course meal. First Direct, Harvey Nichols and City Inn (Leeds) are supporting the Gala event.

    The 40th Anniversary Gala will raise funds for momentum, NBT’s capital campaign for a new purpose built headquarters in central Leeds with Phoenix Dance Theatre. The building is due for completion in August 2010.

    Please note, whilst these are confirmed artists, the above is not the running order for the evening.

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    Northern Ballet Theatre at Leeds Light Night

    October 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm (Events, General Information) (, , , )

    Photo by Northern Ballet Theatre

    Photo by Northern Ballet Theatre

    On Friday 9 October staff from Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre camped out in a tent on Millennium Square as part of Leeds’ fifth annual Light Night.

    After weeks of planning we were glad the date had arrived and we could show off our brand new interactive dance video. The video which was designed for complete dance beginners, with a step-by-step voice over, included a warm-up featuring NBT dancers, then you could choose to learn either Dance of the Knights from NBT’s Romeo & Juliet or Phoenix’s brand new piece Fastlane.

    Photo by Northern Ballet Theatre

    Photo by Northern Ballet Theatre

    The event was a huge success, even the rain helped a little as our tent provided the only shelter on Millennium Square, but we stayed busy all evening with people of all ages taking part.

    Photo by Northern Ballet Theatre

    Photo by Northern Ballet Theatre

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    Oh Come All Ye Choristers

    October 1, 2009 at 9:59 am (Events) (, , , , )

    Northern Ballet Theatre's A Christmas Carol - Photo: Brian Slater

    Northern Ballet Theatre's A Christmas Carol - Photo: Brian Slater

    Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) is on the look out for a special primary school choir to launch their Christmas season. The chosen choir will sing live on stage at the Grand Theatre in Leeds before NBT’s opening performance of A Christmas Carol.

    Primary schools choirs across Leeds were invited to take part in the competition and to-date 17 schools have entered. All choirs will prepare two carols: How Far is it to Bethlehem and one other of their choice. Five choirs will be chosen for the final heat, to perform in front of judges at NBT’s studios in West Park.

    Judges will include NBT Musical Director John Pryce Jones, who will visit the 5 finalist schools and work with them on their entries, and Simon Lindley, Organist of Leeds Parish Church and of Leeds Town Hall. They will be joined in the judging by an NBT dancer and another special guest, yet to be announced.

    John Pryce-Jones said: “We’re not necessarily looking for the biggest and loudest choir, but we do want a choir with stage presence. Choirs will be judged on their vocal and musical quality, interpretation of the songs and presentation.”

    For further information contact Stephanie Bell, Northern Ballet Theatre, 0113 274 5355, stephanie.bell@northernballettheatre.co.uk

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    School Roadshow Takes Off Once More

    September 23, 2009 at 10:54 am (Events, General Information) (, )

    NBT’s popular School Roadshow has begun once more. Now in its third successful year the School Roadshow  offers pupils and teachers a behind the scenes insight into NBT as part of an interactive fun filled assembly suitable for primary school pupils of all ages. 

    “Thank you for the opportunity to open our children’s eyes, hearts and minds to the power of dance. Most of our children will have seen ballet for the first time and were amazed at the versatility, stamina, strength and commitment that is needed to make a good dancer.”

    Jill Wood, Little – London Community Primary School

    Any schools interested in booking one of the FREE School Roadshow assemblies should contact Catherine Mullaney on 0113 274 5355 or via email.

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    An Interview With Three Vampires

    September 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm (Events, General Information, Interviews, Tour News) (, , , , , , )

    (Left to right) Tobias Batley, Kenneth Tindall and Christopher Hinton-Lewis discuss their approach to playing the title role in Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Dracula.

    Dracula is on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse 10-19 September, for details about events at the theatre, audio description, touch tours and more read the Dracula information page.

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    Dracula Returns to Whitby

    August 26, 2009 at 1:14 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , )

    Christopher Hinton-Lewis and Martha Leebolt, photo by Lisa Stonehouse

    Christopher Hinton-Lewis and Martha Leebolt, photo by Lisa Stonehouse

    Count Dracula made a dramatic return to Whitby Abbey yesterday during a special photo-shoot organised by Northern Ballet Theatre and English Heritage.

    Christopher Hinton-Lewis as Dracula and Martha Leebolt as Mina at Whitby Abbey. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

    Christopher Hinton-Lewis as Dracula and Martha Leebolt as Mina at Whitby Abbey. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

    NBT premier dancers Christopher Hinton-Lewis and Martha Leebolt, dressed as their characters Count Dracula and Mina, visited Whitby Abbey to explore the place where Dracula first set foot in England.

    NBT was offered the rare opportunity to shoot at Whitby Abbey thanks to English Heritage. Nicola Bexon, marketing manager for English Heritage, said:

    “We’re celebrating all aspects of Whitby Abbey’s history this year, and NBT’s production of Dracula fits perfectly with our autumnal exploration of the Victorian fascination with the Gothic. Having dancers from one of the UK’s best dance companies bring two gothic icons ‘alive’ at the site is the perfect precursor to our Days and Nights of Victorian Gothic in October!”

    To learn more visit the English Heritage website.

    Chris and Martha took inspiration from their visit to Whitby for their preperations for their roles in Dracula which returns to the NBT repertoire from Thursday 10 to Saturday 19 September only at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

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    Fantasia At The Abbey

    August 6, 2009 at 8:30 am (Events, Music)

    Tickets for Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra’s annual Classical Fantasia concert will be available on Sunday 9 August when 9,000 tickets will be given away free.

    Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra at the 2004 Classical Fantasia

    Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra at the 2004 Classical Fantasia

    The Classical Fantasia concert takes place on Saturday 12 September in the grounds of the beautiful Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds. The fantasy-inspired music and breathtaking firework displays against the gothic setting of the Abbey always make for an awe-inspiring evening.

    The annual event, organised by Leeds City Council, is now in it’s 14th year and is one of the most popular events outdoor events in the City’s calendar.

    The free tickets will be available to collect in person with a maximum of two per person from 10am at the front of Leeds Town Hall on Sunday. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first serve basis so get there early to avoid disappointment!

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    NBT at the Great Yorkshire Show

    July 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm (Events, General Information)

    The Great Yorkshire Show
    Northern Ballet Theatre is at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate this week. We are one of the partners in the Welcome to Yorkshire marquee. Patrons can get up close to one of the fairy costumes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and NBT staff are on hand to talk about the work of the Company. We’re at the Great Yorkshire Show this afternoon (Tuesday), Wednesday morning and all day Thursday – hope to see you there!

    Steph staffing the Northern Ballet Theatre stand

    Steph staffing the Northern Ballet Theatre stand

    The Great Yorkshire Show is the North’s leading agricultural event and takes place from Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16 July 2009 on the 250-acre Great Yorkshire Showground on the edge of the spa town of Harrogate.

    2009 is the 151st Great Yorkshire Show and will be a celebration of agriculture and country life. Find out more here…
    Amy and Steph from NBT’s marketing team are at the show today and have sent back these images. The rainclouds look ominous but we have assurances the sun will shine all week!!
    An array of information and goodies available at the NBT stand

    An array of information and goodies available at the NBT stand

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    Barnsley Pupils Show Their Creative Colours

    July 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm (Events, Learning & Access)

    More than 100 pupils from five primary schools in Barnsley have spent the past six weeks exploring dance with Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) and Qdos Creates. The pupils have been working with NBT Dance Education Officer Sophie Alder and Katy Marsh, performer and workshop leader from Qdos. They have been busy creating their own unique dance performances based on the theme of colour and will share the work they have created at two special performances this weekend.

    The young people would love to see friends, family and NBT supporters there to cheer them on at the performances which are taking place in Barnsley on Saturday 11 July at 11am prior to the Mayor’s Parade in the Town Centre and on Sunday 12 July at 2pm at Locke Park in Barnsley.

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    Dracula E-Flyer

    July 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm (Events, General Information) (, , , )

    Dracula is at the West Yorkshire Playhouse 10-19 September, 2009

    Dracula is at the West Yorkshire Playhouse 10-19 September, 2009

    Go to the Dracula E-Flyer here to get full information on the ticket prices, discounts and Get Closer events scheduled.

    On the Dracula pages you can also view some stunning photographs from previous performances, Ali Allen’s model boxes of the set, behind the scenes pictures, read the full scenario of the production as well as a little Dracula trivia

    Dracula is on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from the 10-19 September (except Sundays) with evening performances at 7.30pm and matinée performances on Saturday 12 & 19 at 2.00pm.

    Click here to book now. Or call the West Yorkshire Playhouse box office on: 0113 213 7700.

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    NBT joins Breeze International Youth Festival

    June 10, 2009 at 8:56 am (Events, General Information)

    Northern Ballet Theatre joins Breeze International Youth Festival!

    As part of the Breeze International Youth Festival 09 NBT will be holding a full day workshop where young people can learn some basic ballet technique, dance the steps of NBT productions and create new choreography. This is FREE to Breeze cardholders and open to anyone with energy to burn, regardless of previous dance experience.

    • Sunday 28 June
    • 10.30am – 3.30pm
    • Upstairs @ The Carriageworks

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    Wuthering Heights Events at Belfast

    May 22, 2009 at 3:25 pm (Events, Learning & Access, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , )

    If you already have a ticket to see Wuthering Heights at Belfast Grand Opera House, why not try one of our Get Closer events to give you an extra insight into the production and Company:

    Open Workshop – Ages 13+

    A chance to dance some steps from the production and create your own movement. No experience is required
    Wed 3 June 5.30 – 7pm. Cost £12 includes ticket to the perf.

    Over 55s Workshop

    A creative movement workshop that is fully accessible to all, followed by a talk about the production and the Company and the chance to watch the dancers’ daily class on stage.
    Thu 4 June, 9.30am – 12.15pm. Cost £28 includes lunch and a ticket to matinee

    Ballet Explored – 40 years uncovered

    Celebrating their 40th Anniversary, this event includes a talk about the history of NBT and how the Company has grown over the years. You will also watch the Company dancers doing their daily class on stage; a great opportunity to learn about the level of training and preparation involved in being a professional dancer.
    Thu 4 June, 10.45am – 12.15pm. Cost £3.50

    Pre-performance Talk

    Find out more about Wuthering Heights and the Company from NBT staff.
    Fri 5 June 6.30 – 7pm. Free

    Touch Tour and Workshop for the visually impaired

    A chance to walk on stage and get close to the set and the costumes. Then learn movement from the production with the help of some NBT dancers. The workshop is accompanied by live music and is free of charge to visually impaired people and their companion.
    Sat 6 June, 10.30am – 1pm. Free

    Audio Described Performance

    Hear the action on stage described live through headphones.
    Sat 6 June, 2.30pm

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    Ground Breaking Event Great Success

    April 21, 2009 at 11:34 am (Company News, Events, Friends News, Fundraising, General Information, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , )

    Yesterday’s ground breaking ceremony was a great success. Friends and Patrons of Northern Ballet Theatre, supporters of our building project as well as members of the Board, staff and dancers from NBT and Phoenix gathered together on Quarry Hill in central Leeds to witness the ground breaking ceremony.

    As the sun shone down Andrew Carter, Leader of Leeds City Council got proceedings underway with the ceremonial shovel and both Andrew and Andy Carver, Executive Director of Arts Council England, Yorkshire, gave speeches celebrating the partnerships coming together to make one of the most important cultural developments for Leeds a reality. Dancers David Ward and Rym Kechacha dressed in costumes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream enjoyed clambouring all over the JCB digger – I think everyone wanted to have a go at driving it but common sense prevailed. Mark Skipper spoke on behalf of everyone at NBT when he thanked all our partners and supporters who have given so generously to make our dream a reality. It does mean so much to us. You can add your support by donating through www.building-momentum.co.uk

    Here’re some photos from the event taken by Lisa Stonehouse…

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