Farewell Steven Wheeler

March 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm (Artist's News, Casts, Company News, General Information) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Steven Wheeler with Charlotte Talbot in A Streetcar Named Desire and Steven as the Wardrobe Master in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Steven Wheeler with Charlotte Talbot in A Streetcar Named Desire and Steven as the Wardrobe Master in A Midsummer Night's Dream

This week Northern Ballet Theatre is performing Swan Lake and the Mixed Programme at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield.

Steven as Lord Capulet with Chiaki Nagao as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet

Steven as Lord Capulet with Chiaki Nagao as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet

It is a week tinged with sadness as we say farewell to a popular and much loved character. Senior Artist Steven Wheeler gives his final performances with NBT after 17 years with the Company.

His very last performance will be as Man in a Quandry in Gillian Lynne’s remarkable production, A Simple Man on Saturday evening.

After joining NBT in 1992 Steven has created many unforgettable roles, audiences have particularly enjoyed his portrayal of the Wardrobe Master in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a role that he refers to as his alter ego. Most recently Steven created the role of Hamlet’s Father in David Nixon’s Hamlet, and the Marquis in Cathy Marston’s A Tale of Two Cities.

He says; “I’ll miss the camaraderie of the dancers. We are one huge family and I think that shows on stage.”

David Nixon says: “I would personally like to give my thanks to Steven for the contribution he has made to the Company and for his many memorable performances.”

Steven’s parting message to you is: (Tongue firmly in cheek) “Don’t stop supporting NBT just because I’m not here. There are many other fabulous dancers to support. But seriously, thank you for all your support over the past 17 years, it’s been amazing.”

We’ll all miss you Steven and we wish you the very best for the future. Send your messages for Steven by emailing media@northernballettheatre.co.uk or post them at www.ballet.co.uk and click on NBTtalk.

NBT’s dancers add their tribute to Steven

“My top memory of Steve has to be my first years in the Company when we toured together in my old mini. Two of the tallest guys in the Company driving round in a tiny car with our bags must have looked a sight!
I’ve known Steve since I was eight and spent my entire dancing life with him so it is going to be really strange not having him around. His knowledge of NBT shows will be greatly missed.”
Darren Goldsmith, Leading Soloist

“Steven Wheeler is an amazing person to work with. He is very professional and will always give 100% in each performance (even if it is show 110!). He is also a very caring partner in pas de deux and will always make the girl look good even if he is uncomfortable. Every girl’s dream. Steven is one of my favourite people to work with.”
Ginnie Ray, Junior Soloist

“I think I was lucky to have joined the Company at the same time as Steven so I could spend a lot of time with him. He has been so helpful; when I joined the Company 17 years ago he helped me so I didn’t feel lost. We have had a great time working together and I will miss him so much but I wish him all the best for the future.”
Hironaio Takahashi, Principal Artist

“Steven came to Japan with Hiro and I for our wedding, he was our best man. He helped me chose my head-dress and Hiro’s suits. Steven has always been reliable at work. If he was playing my father, such as Lord Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, his acting and timing were perfect so I could therefore perform my role perfectly. He is so considerate and professional on stage, making sure that I looked good out there.”
Keiko Amemori, Principal Artist

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream up for award

November 3, 2008 at 11:24 am (Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , )

NBTs A Midsummer Nights Dream ballet

We’re delighted to once again have been nominated for a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for David Nixon’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Palace Theatre.

Also nominated in the dance category of the MEN awards are Don Quixote, from the Kirov Ballet at The Lowry, Nederlands Dans Theater, at The Lowry and
Push, with Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant at The Lowry. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony featuring stars of stage and screen on December 2 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

NBT won the dance category last year for David Nixon’s production of The Three Musketeers.

You can read all the nominations on the MEN site

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bradford Casts

October 21, 2008 at 10:57 am (Artist's News, Casts) (, , , )

A Midsummer Nights Dream ballet Photo by Merlin Hendy

Tuesday 21 Oct (EVE)

Theseus – Hironao Takahashi
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Georgina May
Helena – Pippa Moore
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – Christopher Hinton Lewis
Puck – Ashley Dixon
Bottom – Darren Goldsmith

Wednesday 22 Oct (EVE)

Theseus – Martin Bell
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Lori Gilchrist
Helena – Christie Duncan
Lysander – Yi Song
Demetrius – Tobias Batley
Puck – Sebastian Loe
Bottom – Steven Wheeler

Thursday 23 Oct (MAT)

Theseus – Darren Goldsmith
Hippolyta – Pippa Moore
Hermia – Hannah Bateman
Helena – Michela Paolacci
Lysander – Tobias Bately
Demetrius – David Ward
Puck – Thomas Aragones
Bottom – Michael Berkin

Thursday 23 Oct (EVE)

Theseus – Hironao Takahashi
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Georgina May
Helena – Pippa Moore
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – Christopher Hinton Lewis
Puck – Ashley Dixon
Bottom – Darren Goldsmith

Friday 24 Oct (EVE)

Theseus – Martin Bell
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Lori Gilchrist
Helena – Christie Duncan
Lysander – Li Song
Demetrius – Tobias Batley
Puck – Sebastian Loe
Bottom – Steven Wheeler

Saturday 25 Oct (MAT)

Theseus – Darren Goldsmith
Hippolyta – Pippa Moore
Hermia – Hannah Bateman
Helena – Michela Paolacci
Lysander – Tobias Bately
Demetrius – David Ward
Puck – Thomas Aragones
Bottom – Michael Berkin

Saturday 25 Oct (EVE)

Theseus – Hironao Takahashi
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Georgina May
Helena – Pippa Moore
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – Christopher Hinton Lewis
Puck – Ashley Dixon
Bottom – Darren Goldsmith

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hannah’s diary part III

October 13, 2008 at 11:06 am (Artist's News, dancers' diaries) (, , , , , , , )

Hannah Bateman

Hannah Bateman updates us on news from the tour:

I have just seen it’s a month since I last wrote so I have some catching up to do! The week’s run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse went very well and with hindsight I think I should have appreciated the scale of the WYP stage a little more! The next two venues we took A Tale of Two Cities to were Nottingham and Sheffield and although these are wonderful theatres with very warm audiences, they are not known for their stage size and are also raked (on a slope)!

This production was slightly unusual as we only had two casts. We normally work with three to four casts and the corps de ballet are interchangeable within each one. I only performed in the first cast so I had the rare chance to sit out front and watch the show as an audience member. I tried to sit and watch the show as if it were new to me and not just look at the part I also perform. The only time I was caught out was when I was sat flinching in preparation for the gunshots! I have to say, I really enjoyed the show: I thought it was a very attractive piece, the costumes and the lighting. For us on stage the lighting felt very dark and didn’t allow for much sight beyond the orchestra pit but from out front it looked fabulous and there were moments when Georgina looked like she had been borrowed from the set of a Jane Austen adaptation.

The week after the Playhouse saw us back at base at West Park in rehearsals for The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, for the girls, La Bayadere. We also had a few rehearsals for Rhapsody in Blue from I Got Rhythm, which is one of the pieces we are taking to Milan. David and Yoko weren’t there for the whole of the week as they had both travelled to Slovenia to set David’s Nutcracker. So, while we rehearsed in Leeds for two weeks, David and Yoko were representing NBT in Slovenia and Kenny and Keiko were representing us in Miami. Out of the many couples in Miami, from major companies around the world including the likes of Stuttgart Ballet and Royal Ballet of Flanders, Kenny and Keiko were one of only two couples to be reviewed very warmly in the press. It was a huge accomplishment to be invited there and to be reviews so positively is the icing on the cake. It seems that NBT is becoming internationally recognised, not just for its dancers but also its director and his choreography.

Dan kept us all busy and base with the help of Andria Hall. She is a great coach and soon had all the Snowflakes and Flowers under control, looking clean, crisp and very together. She also worked a lot with the pas de deux couples and I watched a couple of those rehearsals; it still amazes me that we have four couples who can all do the pas to such a high standard – not bad for a company of just 40 dancers, The fouettes at the end of all that work for the girls are so hard and they can all do them so easily and actually make them look fun and exciting! Yi Song has come into his own this season and looks very Prince like – he must have been inspired by the Olympics in his home country. It’s a joy to watch someone’s talent really start to blossom.

Our next venue on tour was Nottingham. I love this theatre as it holds special memories for me. I loved dancing one of the sisters in Beauty and the Beast there in my first year; dancing the Nurse to Chiaki’s Juliet and I also danced my first Juliet there as well. But it is raked so Tuesday tech days are always difficult. You get to the stage after two days off; it’s raked so you know it will take double the time to get back on your legs after the weekend. It’s always amusing spotting the new members faces as they realise they have to negotiate the rake. Some have never been on a rake before and it’s scary at first but you soon get used to it. There will always be those who don’t get affected by it though – oh to be Keiko for a day! Also, because the stage slopes down, you must remember to use the brakes on props. We almost lost Scrooge to the orchestra pit one year as his bed went wheeling down. The audiences in Nottingham, while not huge, were warm and it felt like they were really captured by the piece.

The week after saw us in Sheffield, again a lovely theatre but raked and even smaller than Nottingham. We had to change some entrances and exits of people and props but I think it worked well in the space and provided an intimate experience. Space is so important to dance; it can make the atmosphere cosy or cold and also help or hinder our work. It did feel like we were doing Flintstone runs at times (where you run on the spot imagining you are running a great distance at speed) but Dan assured us we didn’t and he was pleased with the shows.

We are back at West Park now for another week and in full Nutcracker mode as well as keeping A Midsummer Night’s Dream ticking over. Midsummer will see all the new members of the Company on stage and by the time we open The Nutcracker in Hull I am sure they will be feeling a lot more confident and comfortable.

Milan this week for a lucky few of us so I promise to write all about that and I may even test my technology knowledge and try to include some photos! The end of last week saw a photo shoot for Wuthering Heights, Swan Lake and La Bayadere pictures for next season, which will be on us before we know it. In the back of our minds is the thought that this year we will be at home in Leeds for Christmas and not on tour. But that is far off – before that we have over 50 shows of The Nutcracker – that’s a lot of snow!

Till next time. Hannah xoxo

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Next Season Online

October 7, 2008 at 10:26 am (Tour News) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre  National Tour 2009

Just a note to say that the Tour pages on www.northernballettheatre.co.uk have been updated with the latest details and information about next season’s productions…

Tour Map

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August eNewsletter

July 24, 2008 at 1:50 pm (Tour News) (, , , , , , , )

Things have been very busy at Northern Ballet Theatre since our last update. The Company is currently rehearsing hard for…

Click here to read more

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Venue Cymru, Llandudno

June 2, 2008 at 10:34 am (Casts, Tour News) (, )

NBT's A Midsummer Night's Dream Ballet

This week sees the final week of our Spring/Summer tour with performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Venue Cymru in Llandudno from Wed 4 – Sat 7 June.

Provisional casting is as follows – as always, please remember that this is subject to change at any time.

Wed 4
Theseus         Hiro Takahashi
Hippolyta       Keiko Amemori
Hermia           Georgina May
Helena           Christie Duncan
Lysander        Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius      Toby Batley
Puck               Victoria Sibson

Thur 5 matinee
Theseus         Darren Goldsmith
Hippolyta       Pippa Moore
Hermia           Hannah Bateman
Helena           Christie Duncan
Lysander        Toby Batley
Demetrius      Ashley Dixon
Puck               Kieran Stoneley

Thur 5 evening
Theseus         Hiro Takahashi
Hippolyta       Keiko Amemori
Hermia           Georgina May
Helena           Michela Paolacci
Lysander        Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius      David Ward
Puck               Ashley Dixon

Fri 6
Theseus         Martin Bell
Hippolyta       Martha Leebolt
Hermia           Lori Gilchrist
Helena           Christie Duncan
Lysander        Yi Song
Demetrius      Toby Batley
Puck               Ashley Dixon

Sat 7 matinee
Theseus         Darren Goldsmith
Hippolyta       Pippa Moore
Hermia           Lori Gilchrist
Helena           Michela Paolacci
Lysander        Yi Song
Demetrius      David Ward
Puck               Kieran Stoneley

Sat 7 evening
Theseus         Martin Bell
Hippolyta       Martha Leebolt
Hermia           Keiko Amemori
Helena           Michela Paolacci
Lysander        Hiro Takahasho
Demetrius      David Ward
Puck               Victoria Sibson

Tickets are still available and can be purchased on 01492 872000 or online at www.venuecymru.co.uk

 

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Midsummer Cast List – Cardiff

May 22, 2008 at 9:10 am (Artist's News, Casts, General Information) (, , , , , )

David Nixon’s Olivier Award Nominated Production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream visits Cardiff next week. The ballet will be on stage from 27th to the 31st of May in the city. To find out more information, or to book tickets, click here.

Here is a provisional casting for the production:

Tues 27
Theseus – Martin Bell
Hippolyta – Martha Leebolt
Hermia – Georgina May
Helena – Pippa Moore
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – Christopher Hinton-Lewis
Puck – Ashley Dixon

Wed 28
Theseus – Hiro Takahashi
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Georgina May
Helena – Christie Duncan
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – Toby Batley
Puck – Victoria Sibson

Thurs 29 matinee
Theseus – Martin Bell
Hippolyta – Martha Leebolt
Hermia – Hannah Bateman
Helena – Christie Duncan
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – Christopher Hinton-Lewis
Puck – Kieran Stoneley

Thurs 29 eve
Theseus – Darren Goldsmith
Hippolyta – Pippa Moore
Hermia – Lori Gilchrist
Helena – Michela Paolacci
Lysander – Yi Song
Demetrius – David Ward
Puck – Victoria Sibson

Fri 30
Theseus – Hiro Takahashi
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Georgina May
Helena – Michela Paolacci
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – David Ward
Puck – Kieran Stonley

Sat 31 matinee
Theseus – Hiro Takahashi
Hippolyta – Keiko Amemori
Hermia – Lori Gilchrist
Helena – Christie Duncan
Lysander – Yi Song
Demetrius – Toby Batley
Puck – Victoria Sibson

Sat 31 eve
Theseus – Martin Bell
Hippolyta – Martha Leebolt
Hermia – Georgina Roberts
Helena – Pippa Moore
Lysander – Kenneth Tindall
Demetrius – Christopher Hinton-Lewis
Puck – Ashley Dixon

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The Dream in Manchester – Ballet Fashion Shoot!

May 19, 2008 at 10:57 am (Artist's News, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , )

Georgina May, Yi Song, Michaela Paolacci, David Ward. Photography by Sean Wilton

Four of NBT’s dancers took part in a fashion shoot for the Manchester Evening News ahead of performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Palace Theatre last week.

Georgina May, Yi Song, Michela Paolacci and David Ward posed in beautiful 1940s costumes from the production at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, sometimes getting right down to their stylish smalls! (Photos: Sean Wilton)

Sean Wilton

The pictures accompanied Helen Tither’s article interview with David Nixon who not only choreographed the ballet but also designed the costumes. HERE

Click here to read a review of the first night performance at the Palace

Sean Wilton

Sean Wilton

 

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream reviewed in Culture Northern Ireland

April 17, 2008 at 9:50 am (Marketing and PR News, Tour News) (, , , , )

Merlin Hendy

“Graeme Stewart slips on his dancing shoes for an extraordinary night at the Grand Opera House

Northern Ballet Theatre have achieved something extraordinary with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They have taken one of English literature’s best-loved plays, changing nothing and everything at the same time.

With a creative team including artistic director David Nixon, set designer Duncan Hayler and music director John Pryce-Jones, the production is a stunning display of visual and musical delights, and certainly one of the best contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare’s masterpiece…”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

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Dream vision leaves train passengers all aflutter

March 6, 2008 at 10:08 am (Artist's News, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , )

Image from the Edinburgh Evening News

Edinburgh Evening News (Published Date: 05 March 2008):

“Three fairies appeared at the platform at Waverley station today to promote a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Northern Ballet Theatre is performing the play at the Capital’s Festival Theatre, from tonight until Saturday.”

Edinburgh Evening News website

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Online Programmes

March 3, 2008 at 3:08 pm (General Information) (, , , , , )

NBT Online Programmes

This season’s programmes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet are now available on the Northern Ballet Theatre website as PDF files. You can download them from here by right-clicking the below links:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Programme

Hamlet Programme

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All on Sale – Book Online Today

January 16, 2008 at 11:51 am (Tour News) (, , , , , , , , , )

All tickets for this season’s performances are now on sale.

NBT's Hamlet Ballet

 NBT's A Midsummer Night's Dream Ballet NBT's Romeo & Juliet Ballet

To book online click here.

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Interview with Christopher Giles

January 14, 2008 at 10:05 am (Artist's News, General Information) (, , , , , )

Hamlet Flash Site

Christopher Giles, Set and Costume Designer on NBT’s latest production, Hamlet, has been interviewed by our Communications team. You can find the video on the new production Flash sites we lauched last week. These sites are still in development, but over the next few weeks new videos, galleries and production information will go up to give you a better picture of each of NBT’s Ballets.  

Click here to visit the Production pages…

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Earl of Wessex catches a Dream

November 26, 2007 at 11:14 am (Artist's News, Company News, Friends News) (, , , , , , )

On Friday 23 November HRH The Earl of Wessex KCVO attended an evening performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Northern Ballet Theatre at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking. His wife The Countess of Wessex and a number of family friends accompanied the Earl.  The Earl was welcomed to the theatre by David Nixon, Artistic Director of NBT, Yoko Ichino, NBT Ballet Mistress and David Holder, Theatre Manager. Following the performance, the Earl and His guests went backstage to meet the Company. HRH The Earl of Wessex, KCVO is the Royal Patron of NBT, a position He has held since 2003. His Aunt, HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden was previously Royal Patron until her death in 2002. 

Leading Soloist Darren Goldsmith who met and photographed the Earl said, “It adds something special to an evening when the Earl is in the audience. He always cracks a joke when He comes backstage to meet us and you feel He has a genuine interest in the Company. This will be the third time I’ve photographed a visit by the Earl and it’s a pleasure because he is so relaxed and happy to pose for photographs.”

Photograph by Darren Goldsmith 
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Photograph by Darren Goldsmith 
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Photograph by Darren Goldsmith 
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Photograph by Darren Goldsmith

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T&A – “A Fairy Tale Recreated”

October 26, 2007 at 9:15 am (Artist's News, Events, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , , , )

A feature on NBT’s Cottingley Faires is in today’s Telegraph & Argus.

Click the link below to read more:

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/display.var.1787890.0.fairy_tale_recreated.php

Michael Schofield's Cottingley Fairies recreation is presented to NMM by NBT dancer Lori Gilchrist

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Cottingley Fairies recreation

October 23, 2007 at 3:40 pm (Artist's News, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , , , )

Cottingley Fairies - Image by Michael Schofield 

To mark the revival of David Nixon’s dance version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, NBT, in conjunction with the National Media Museum (NMM) in Bradford, recreated the famous Cottingley Fairies photograph. Dancers Lori Gilchrist and David Ward posed for the photographs which were edited onto an image of Jenny Layton (from NBT’s Centre for Advanced Training) by NBT’s Graphic Designer, Michael Schofield. On Wednesday 24 October at 2pm, Lori Gilchrist will present an enlarged and mounted version of NBT’s photograph to the NMM. The image will then be included in talks and presentations about the Cottingley Fairies at the NMM. For information on when these will be visit the NMM website

http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/

NBT Press Release for more info.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens THIS WEEK at the West Yorkshire Playhouse

September 4, 2007 at 9:31 am (Company News, Marketing and PR News, Tour News) (, , , , )

A Midsummer Night's Dream Poster

Northern Ballet Theatre’s Autumn/Winter season starts on Thursday 6 September with A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Tickets are still available at all performances so don’t miss a chance to see this Olivier Award nominated production.

Find out more about David Nixon’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Book Tickets / Tour Information

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