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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Through the Keyhole

May 14, 2010 at 8:09 am (General Information, momentum) (, , , , , , , , )

There was buzz of excitement on Quarry Hill last week when a group of
Northern Ballet Theatre staff entered their new home for the first time.

Although not yet complete, NBT’s new home is taking shape at a terrific pace,
and staff from Wardrobe, the Academy, Communications and Fundraising were able to see where their very desks would be.

It was fascinating to see how far the building has come from the plans pinned to the wall in West Park. Have your own virtual tour with footage captured on the day.

Click here to view the video on YouTube

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Running for momentum

May 10, 2010 at 9:43 am (Fundraising, General Information, momentum) (, , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre’s Director of Communications, Laraine Penson, has completed her two weekend challenge of running more than 23 miles in two separate race events while raising money for momentum, NBT’s capital fundraising campaign. She completed the Bluebell 10 mile race around Calderdale in 1hr and 53 mins and the Leeds half marathon this weekend in 1hr and 59mins. Laraine raised £440.00 for momentum.

Laraine said, “I’d like to thank everyone who supported me. My legs ache a bit today but both races were really enjoyable. It was great to see so many people running, having fun and raising thousands of pounds for charity.”

Donations can still be made on-line at

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British Ambassador to Italy enjoys the sites in Leeds

March 19, 2010 at 1:47 pm (General Information, momentum) (, , , , )

British Ambassador to Italy, Edward Chaplin, paid a visit to the site of the new home for Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre on Quarry Hill on Wednesday. He was accompanied by NBT’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper, Deborah Green, Chief Executive of Marketing Leeds, and members of the NBT Board, Victoria Tomlinson and Denise Jagger.

Victoria Tomlinson, Deborah Green, Edward Chaplin, Denise Jagger and Mark Skipper

Victoria Tomlinson, Deborah Green, Edward Chaplin, Denise Jagger and Mark Skipper

Edward was on a visit to Leeds following the highly successful Leeds in Milan event last year, which saw leaders from the region’s financial, legal and creative sectors travel to Italy to forge relationships with their counterparts in Milan. He was very impressed with the scale of what was being delivered and plans to make a return visit to see the completed building. 

NBT and Phoenix Dance Theatre are building a new powerhouse of dance in Leeds for dance artists, enthusiasts and audiences across the north of England. Their new purpose-built home, which is due for completion later this year, will be the largest purpose-built space for dance outside London.

Following the visit to Quarry Hill Edward also visited the newly refurbished Howard Assembly Room and took a tour of the Grand Theatre.

Mark Skipper says, “It is encouraging to know, especially ahead of the upcoming Leeds in Barcelona visit next week, that international trade missions such as these do help to raise awareness of the tremendous activity and growth in the region.”

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Romeo & Juliet at momentum

March 3, 2010 at 9:22 am (Artist's News, momentum) (, , , , )

On Monday 3 March we paid a visit to the momentum site with Pippa Moore and David Ward in the guise of Romeo & Juliet.

We asked Pippa about the photoshoot and about the new building, as well as talking with Bernard Atha, Northern Ballet Theatre Chair, about the long held dreams for a Northern Ballet Theatre home…

Watch this video on Youtube.

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Latest Images From Our New Building

January 29, 2010 at 10:30 am (Fundraising, General Information, momentum) (, , , , , , , )

Work is progressing apace on our new home in the heart of Leeds. During a site visit by members of our board, Mark Skipper and Judith Hartley we caught the progress on camera…

See more photos from the visit…

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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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Larger than life dancers decorate city centre site

October 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm (Marketing and PR News, momentum)

Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre Dancers in front of the new hoardings

Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre Dancers in front of the new hoardings (Photo: Justin Slee)

Striking hoardings featuring dancers from Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre have been revealed around the site of the new home for both Companies on Quarry Hill in the centre of Leeds.

Northern Ballet Theatre and Marketing Leeds have worked together to develop the hoardings which have been designed to raise profile of the new centre for dance, and for momentum, the campaign to raise funds for the completion of the building. The hoardings run along York Street and celebrate Leeds’ status as an important city for dance.

Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers in front of the new hoardings

Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers in front of the new hoardings... (Photo: Justin Slee)

Mark Skipper, Chief Executive of NBT explained:
“We wanted to let people know that the building taking shape on Quarry Hill is going to be an important centre for dance in the UK. Our new building is a symbol that Leeds is a bold, creative and diverse city with the foresight to invest in the country’s fastest growing art form. The artwork is a great opportunity to celebrate this and to acknowledge the people who have supported the momentum campaign so generously. We’re delighted Marketing Leeds has added their support to this venture.”

The new centre for dance will be completed in August 2010 and open officially in January 2011. It will be the headquarters for Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre as well as the Northern Ballet Theatre Academy and will also be home to Leeds Metropolitan University dance degree courses.

Northern Ballet Theatre dancers in front of the new hoardings

Northern Ballet Theatre dancers in front of the new hoardings... (Photo: Justin Slee)

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momentum Building Update

October 15, 2009 at 9:20 am (momentum)

As of mid-October the concrete cores are now complete and work has begun on the steel-work. Construction of the steel frame continues; it is quickly taking shape ready for the floors, roof and walls.

See a time-lapse video of the construction work so far.

Donate to the momentum project.

Visit the Building-momentum website for lots of images, information and interactive floor-plans.

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Bid for momentum

October 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm (momentum)

We are excited to announce Northern Ballet Theatre’s first ever online auction. We have some fantastic items lined up which you can bid for on ebay. All money raised will go directly to our momentum campaign for our new headquarters in Leeds City Centre.

Photo: Bill Cooper

Photo: Bill Cooper

For more information on the building project and the campaign visit

Bid now to win the chance for a child in your life to perform onstage with Northern Ballet Theatre or go and see a pair of pointe shoes being made at Freed of London. Or treat yourself to a luxury weekend in Leeds’ brand new City Inn.

momentum building progress, June - September 2009

momentum building progress, June - September 2009

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NBT’s Director of Learning & Access takes on new role as Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre

June 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm (Learning & Access, momentum)

We’re delighted that our partner in our new building, Phoenix Dance Theatre, has announced its new leadership team. The Artistic Director is Sharon Watson who has been working with NBT over the past 10 months as our Director of Learning & Access (maternity cover). Lesley Jackson has been appointed as Phoenix’s Executive Director.

This is Sharon’s last week at NBT, we would like to thank her for her contribution over the past 10 months and wish her good luck for her new role. We look forward to working with you in the new building Sharon!

Selina McGonagle, NBT’s Director of Learning & Access will be returning from maternity leave in July.

Sharon becomes the seventh Artistic Director of Phoenix, which in 2011 celebrates its 30th anniversary. Speaking about her appointment she said: “I feel both honoured and privileged by the company’s faith in me. Since 1989, when I first joined the company as a dancer, Phoenix has been a huge part of my life. This appointment is a wonderful opportunity for me to play a crucial role in the future of this proud and great Yorkshire dance institution.”

A graduate of London School of Contemporary Dance, Sharon worked as a dancer with some outstanding British dance artists such as Michael Clark and Darshan Singh Bhuller prior to joining Phoenix as a dancer in 1989. Sharon remained at Phoenix for nine years where she took on additional roles as teacher and choreographer. She was Artistic Director with her own company ABCDance and has undertaken a large number of diverse commissions from the Royal Armories to Scottish Millennium Festival. Sharon is a fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme, Creative Producer of Arts Beyond Contemporary Dance and has also served as a Lecturer at Northern School of Contemporary Dance for an extensive part of her career.

For more information on Northern Ballet Theatre, press images or to arrange interviews please contact the Press Office on 0113 274 5355

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40th Anniversary Gala

June 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm (40th Anniversary, Company News, Fundraising, momentum)

Northern Ballet Theatre's 40th AnniversaryYou can find details of the 40th Anniversary Gala in aid of momentum, the packages available and pricing here.

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momentum Website Updated

May 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm (Company News, Fundraising, momentum)

As building work starts on site, we are pleased to announce that we have a new momentum website to keep you up to date with the latest developments.

See what the final building will look like and find out how you can support our campaign.

Visit the building-momentum website…

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