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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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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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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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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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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Ballet v Football – the Battle of Fittest

April 22, 2010 at 11:10 am (General Information) (, , , , , , )

Milton Keynes Theatre saw a battle of the fittest earlier this week between NBT dancer Toby Bately and Aaron Wilbraham star player for The MK Dons. Both at the top of their game The MK News took a look at their lifestyle and punishing training schedules to find out who wins the epic battle of tackle versus tutu!

Toby Batley with Aaron Wilbraham

6 ft Dancer Tobias tells us:

“I train 6 days a week with an hour and 15 minutes of Ballet and technique training, usually followed by 6 hours of rehearsal for the show. I also spend time in the gym or swimming. I guess it’s around 50 hours a week in training and I’m on stage for 7 two-hour shows a week. Health is extremely important as a dancer you can’t let anything slip as that could result in injury. We have to have a strong upper body to lift our partner and a strong core and sense of balance to do turns and complicated tricks, all this and we need to be pretty flexible too. Diet isn’t something I worry about too much but I do try to get my five-a-day and I have to say that I don’t really have any health vices apart from maybe knowing when to stop.”

Pro footballer Aaron, 6ft 3 also has a strict regime of four days training a week and a game on a Saturday with an occasional midweek game too and says:

“Training sessions usually last around 90 minutes, split into high tempo bursts. As well as football we will do weights programmes, core stability and yoga. I also work out in the gym. Health is massively important in my career. If you’re not fit and healthy you can’t perform to your optimum level, it’s really important for footballers to have good core strength for holding off defenders when you’re in possession. We work very hard at improving this. My diet is low-fat, high-carb with lots of fruit chicken and veg. I like to think that I’m pretty healthy.”

So what’s the verdict? Adam Rowland currently touring as a physiotherapist with NBT but no stranger to Rugby League said of our competitors:

“These young men are in their prime and in tip top condition and clearly work hard to maintain this level of fitness which is so important in their careers. Although training varies between the guys you will find Cardio anaerobic exercise which uses your body fats and sugars is critical for footballers who need to use their bodies more intensely over short periods of time whereas a a dancer needs a strong aerobic exercise which uses pure oxygen as they need a larger range of stamina and energy over a longer period of time. This is maybe why you see differences between the type of exercise used and diet. But I have to say it would be hard to decide who would win the battle of the fittest!”

Toby agreed: “I’m not sure I’d be able to beat Aaron on the pitch”, with Aaron adding “I certainly couldn’t do that with my leg!”

Toby and Aaron outside the theatre

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Easter Course update from Caroline Burn

April 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm (Easter course, Learning & Access, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , , )

Easter course update

All the final preparations are taking place and I am looking forward to the Easter course finally starting next week.  All the places have been filled; we will have 33 eager dancers arriving on Tuesday morning where they will meet Philip Feeney and I first thing. They will also meet the rest of the Learning & Access team who will be helping to run the course, and then we will jump straight into dancing! I am planning a fun energetic first warm-up and class to help the group get to know each other, as throughout the week we will be working closely to form our very own company.

Last week whilst I was away on tour with the Company in Woking, Philip sent me through a copy of the music. It sounds fresh, exciting and energetic. I am really looking forward to hearing him play it live for the first time next week, and seeing the reaction of the group. Martin, our Deputy Chief lighting technician put it on to CD for me so I am playing it constantly in the car, and starting to imagine the quality and feel I would like the dancers to have. I am hoping that the young dancers on the course will be as inspired as I am, and create a fabulous original piece.

Dancer Micheal Berkin will be joining me to deliver the course, he will be involved in the creative work, helping to devise the piece. It will be great for the group to learn from him too and to hear all about life as a professional dancer with a national touring company.

Well all that’s left to do now is to make some name badges and put down the dance floor, and we’re ready for action!

Have a great Easter and don’t forget to check the blog out next week with news from our young dancers on how the course is going.

Caroline

Dance Education Officer

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Easter Course Applications Now Closed!

March 19, 2010 at 8:59 am (Easter course, Learning & Access) (, , , , , )

Thank you to all of you who have sent in applications for Northern Ballet Theatre’s ‘New Beginnings’ course during the Easter holidays. The deadline for all applications has now closed! We have had a huge number of people expressing an interest in the course this year and it is such a shame that we only have a limited number of spaces available. We will be sending out confirmation letters to those who have places on the course over the next couple of days and also letting people know if they are not able to take part.

For those who are going to be joining us at Easter, it looks set to be a wonderful four days. If you are disappointed that you will not be taking part though, or are reading this and wish you had applied, then do not despair! From 26-30 July, Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance will be holding their joint Summer School for young people from the ages of 9 to 18. Anyone with an interest in dance is welcome to apply and hopefully take part.

If you think the Summer School would be right up your street, then keep checking the Learning & Access section of NBT’s website for more information. Alternatively get in touch and send me your email/postal address and I will be able to send you details of the course nearer the time. It’s as simple as that!

Philippa Plumtree-Varley
Learning & Access Coordinator

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Romeo & Juliet Cast Sheet for Leeds Grand Theatre

February 26, 2010 at 10:14 am (Casts) (, , , , , , )

Montagues; Capulets; a Ball; the balcony; fights; death; unrestrained passion; an all-consuming love; the ultimate tragedy.

Northern Ballet Theatre’s classic adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy returns to the stage. Passionate and dramatic, this is ballet at its most intense.

Sets and costumes designed by the award winning Lez Brotherston, stunning dancing and Prokofiev’s timeless score make Northern Ballet Theatre’s critically acclaimed Romeo & Juliet an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Romeo & Juliet at Leeds Grand Theatre

For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Book tickets from Leeds Grand Theatre. Or call the box office: 0844 848 2702

Casts are subject to change…

Saturday 27 February, Matinée

Saturday 27 February, Evening

Monday 1 February, Evening

Tuesday 2 March, Evening

Wednesday 3 March, Evening

Thursday 4 March, Matinée

Thursday 4 March, Evening

Friday 5 March, Evening

Saturday 6 March, Matinée

Saturday 6 March, Evening

Casts are subject to change…

Book tickets from Leeds Grand Theatre. Or call the box office: 0844 848 2702

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Loving Leeds…

February 22, 2010 at 10:15 am (Artist's News, General Information, Interviews, Podcasts) (, , , , )

In this latest podcast Northern Ballet Theatre dancers tell us what the love most about Leeds…


(right click here to download the mp3 file.)

Michela Paolacci & Hiro Takahashi in Leeds City Centre

Michela Paolacci & Hiro Takahashi in Leeds City Centre, Photo: Ryan Hopkinson

Read the rest of this entry »

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Easter Course Update…

February 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm (Easter course, Learning & Access) (, , , , , , )

Places on this years Easter Course are starting to fill up and I’ve just had an exciting trip down to London to meet up with composer Philip Feeney. We met at Ballet Central where Philip is resident pianist and composer. He is currently working on a full length ballet score for Michael Pink, Artistic Director of Milwaukee Ballet.

We discussed some words that would describe the feeling of the piece and Philip is now going to come up with some short snippets of music. One thing he is going to try is creating a track digitally that will not have one of the parts (instruments) on it. That part will then be played over the track adding a live element to the music but still having the excitement of lots of instruments.

He took me down to his office, where there was an assortment of equipment. On one side of Philip was an electric piano, on the other side computers that he uses to orchestrate the music he creates on the piano. For example he can play something on the piano then let us hear what it will sound like played on strings. It’s really useful software as it can give us an idea what the music will sound like with a number of different instruments playing.

This will be very good for us once Philip has written the music. He will record the music on the computer so that when we are rehearsing we can hear what it will sound like when musicians from NBT’s orchestra play the piece. (At the opening of our new building)

I am not going to give away too much, but I left feeling inspired and excited! I will however share with you that Philip is able to come up to Leeds and play for the course on the 6th and 9th April. This means that you will be able to hear the music played live by the composer and we will be able to make any changes we need as we create our piece.

Don’t forget to book your place as this Easter Course is going to be very special.

Caroline

Dance Education Officer

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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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Birth of a Christmas Ballet…

December 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm (40th Anniversary, General Information) (, , , , , , )

A fantastic article about Northern Ballet Theatre and putting on a large-scale ballet in The Independent this week…

What does it take to put on a Christmas dance spectacular? Jonathan Brown goes behind the scenes at Leeds Grand Theatre to witness the organised chaos…

Read full Independent article…

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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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Male & Female Dancer Auditions

December 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm (Artist's News, Auditions) (, , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre is the UK’s leading touring company giving over 160 performances each year in the UK and abroad. Our repertoire is a varied and imaginative mix of classic ballets and newly commissioned works.

We are holding an audition in London on Sunday 24 January 2010 and are looking for the following dancers for our 2010/11 seasons:

Male & Female Dancers

You will need to be technically and physically strong,creative dancers.

Please submit full CV by post (which must include height, weight, date of birth, nationality) and recent full-length classical dance photos and DVD if available to:

David Nixon, Artistic Director, Northern Ballet Theatre, West Park Centre, Spen Lane, Leeds LS16 5BE

Closing date for applications: Friday 15 January 2010

Photo: Bill Cooper

For further information on the Company go to: www.northernballettheatre.co.uk

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Free Dance Inset Training Day

November 4, 2009 at 11:29 am (Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , , , )

Yorkshire Young Dancers Centre For Advanced Training

Yorkshire Young Dancers Centre For Advanced Training

The Yorkshire Young Dancers (YYD) Centre for Advanced Training scheme, are inviting both primary and secondary school teachers to attend a free and motivating teacher training day hosted by Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) and Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD).

The day will be aimed at both primary and secondary level teachers, who are leading or aiming to run dance sessions within their school. The programme will:

  • Introduce teachers to the Yorkshire Young Dancer Scheme and how their students can become involved.
  • Offer advice on how to spot and nurture ‘Gifted and Talented’ students within your school / class.
  • Concentrate on creative ideas suitable to Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 National Curriculum.

Teachers of Key Stage 2 will work primarily with Northern Ballet Theatre and teachers of Key Stage 3 & 4 will work mainly with Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Participants will experience a practical dance session, from their student’s point of view, this will aid in the development of creative lesson planning which can be tailored to suit individual groups. We will also be looking at safe and effective warm up exercise and techniques.

Date: 20th November 2009
Time: 09.00-16.00
Where: Northern Ballet Theatre Studios, West Park Centre, Spen Lane, Leeds, LS16 5BE

To book a place on the day, contact Becki at Northern Ballet Theatre on 0113 274 5355 or becki.smith@northernballettheatre.co.uk.

We hope you will be able to join us.

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Builders Try Ballet

September 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm (General Information) (, , , , , , )

The construction team building the new Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) headquarters in Leeds city centre put on their dancing shoes yesterday to take part in a sponsored ballet lesson to raise money for The Prince’s Trust.

15 of the site team were taught to plié, jete and pirouette by one of NBT’s dance education officers, Caroline Burn, as part of Wates Construction’s annual Community Day, which sees employees ditch their day jobs for local community and fundraising projects.

The builders learnt ballet moves and explored some of the themes from A Midsummer’s Nights Dream before putting their work together to share with colleagues and NBT Academy students. More used to lugging bricks and concrete, the bending and stretching proved tutu much for some.

BBC Look North was on hand to capture the builders doing ballet… [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8262012.stm]

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Ballet on Briggate

September 7, 2009 at 11:08 am (Learning & Access, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , )

Jo Dean of Northern Ballet Theatre tells us all about the great day in the heart of Leeds…

Saturday morning at 8.30am it was pretty cold on Briggate as Litestructures pulled their vans up in front of Debenhams and started unloading the stage for our Ballet on Briggate event. We had a couple of hours in which to get the stage and banner, generator and sound system setup and to blow up hundreds of balloons so it was all hands to the deck.

Preparing for the afternoon's performances and setting the stage.

Preparing for the afternoon's performances and setting the stage.

Admin staff from all departments, Friends of NBT and parents of the Academy students all helped to give out leaflets throughout the event, to hand out cake and to talk to the public about NBT. There was a real interest from the public about what we were doing and why we were performing in the centre of Leeds.

Lots of information about Northern Ballet Theatre & Phoenix Dance as well as that essential ingredient, cake!

Lots of information about Northern Ballet Theatre & Phoenix Dance as well as that essential ingredient, cake!

Acting as runner for the event, my job was to make sure that the performers were ready to go on stage and that we kept on track with the schedule. I think this was probably the best job to have as all the running around to check on everyone kept me warm in the chilly breeze! The poor performers threw on all their warm clothes and coats the second they got off the stage. The Phoenix dancers in particular, with their bare feet, looked very cold.

The audience however, seemed oblivious to the cold as some of them stood for the whole two hours watching the performances, eating cake and having a go at some moves on our ballet barre. I think some people were surprised to happen upon a ballet performance in the middle of Briggate while they were doing their shopping, but they were soon moving closer to the stage to get a better view.

The whole event went very quickly and it was all too soon that we were packing up boxes of leaflets and taking down the banners. After all the fresh air and running around, I was exhausted but had really enjoyed meeting the public and talking to them about all the opportunities NBT could offer them.

Professional dancers and Academy students put on a great show for an enthralled crowd.

Professional dancers and Academy students put on a great show for an enthralled crowd.

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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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A Trip to the Theatre

November 13, 2008 at 11:39 am (Learning & Access) (, , , , , , , )

We are delighted to launch our new interactive virtual theatre visit, which is now available to use online as preparation for a trip to the theatre or as a fun activity for a school class. This colourful, informative feature shows children what to expect when visiting the theatre and gives them an insight into a venue that they might not be familiar with.

Why not explore the feature during an IT lesson, or as part of their arts provision. The feature includes a quiz on how to behave at the theatre, so is the perfect preparation for their visit to the theatre.

Click here to play

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Spend a year with NBT – 2009 desk calendar on sale now

November 13, 2008 at 11:13 am (General Information, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , )

La Bayadere photoshoot photo by HANSON

Wuthering Heights ballet photoshoot photo by HANSON

Northern Ballet Theatre’s 2009 desk calendar is on sale now. Featuring stunning photography from our forthcoming repertoire by exceptional photographers such as Steve Hanson, Bill Cooper, Merlin Hendy and Darren Goldsmith, and priced at £4 per calendar plus postage, the calendar is an excellent Christmas gift.

To place an order please write to NBT enclosing your name, delivery address and contact phone number. Please tell us how many calendars you would like to order and enclose a cheque (made payable to Northern Ballet Theatre Ltd) for the full amount including postage (see rates below).

Send your order to:
2009 Calendar
Northern Ballet Theatre
West Park Centre
Spen Lane
Leeds, LS16 5BE

Please note we are currently unable to accept credit/debit card orders.

Postage rates per order:
1 calendar = 56p postage
2 calendars = 81p postage
3 calendars = £1.41 postage
4 calendars = £1.76 postage
5 calendars = £1.76 postage

All calendars will be posted second class.

Special offer for the Friends of NBT
For any orders of 4 or more calendars we’ll give you 1 calendar free. Please include your Friends membership number in your order.

Price of calendar includes VAT at 17.5%
Charity No: 259140
VAT No: 146 6307 66
Company Registration No: 947096
Registered in England and Wales

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Rym Kechacha Weblog 2

November 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm (Artist's News, dancers' diaries) (, , , , , )


“We are at the beginning of the long winter tour of Nutcracker. Last week was the last week of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for a while, and this got me thinking about this well-loved, brilliant ballet. I have always been a voracious reader, and among the books I love reading are old ballet books. There is a wealth of information written by balletomanes and critics about ballet in Britain when it was beginning to take off as a serious and attended art form. I find this era is so fascinating, and it is the role of the touring ballet troupes who travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles to bring ballet to the masses, and the reaction of…”

Read the rest of this post on Rym’s blog

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New momentum galleries

November 5, 2008 at 4:21 pm (General Information) (, , , , , , , , , )

momentum website

There are new galleries in the events section of the momentum site
The page now features photographs of all previous momentum events plus details of future ones…

Find out more

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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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Casts for The Nutcracker in Hull

October 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm (Artist's News, Casts, Tour News) (, , , , , )

Photo by Bill Cooper

Castings for The Nutcracker at New Theatre, Hull.
4 – 8 November 2008
Box Office: 014822 226 655
Book Online

Tuesday 4 November (EVE)

Clara – Pippa Moore
Nutcracker – Christopher Hinton-Lewis
Drosselmeyer – Darren Goldsmith
Sugar Plum Fairy – Keiko Amemori
Cavalier – Hironao Takahashi

Wednesday 5 November (EVE)

Clara – Christie Duncan
Nutcracker – Ashley Dixon
Drosselmeyer – Kenneth Tindall
Sugar Plum Fairy – Martha Leebolt
Cavalier – Martin Bell

Thursday 6 November (MAT)

Clara – Isabella Gasparini
Nutcracker – David Ward
Drosselmeyer – Christopher Hinton Lewis
Sugar Plum Fairy – Julie Charlet
Cavalier – John Hull

Thursday 6 November (EVE)

Clara – Pippa Moore
Nutcracker – Christopher Hinton-Lewis
Drosselmeyer – Darren Goldsmith
Sugar Plum Fairy – Keiko Amemori
Cavalier – Hironao Takahashi

Friday 7 November (EVE)

Clara – Isabella Gasparini
Nutcracker – David Ward
Drosselmeyer – Christopher Hinton Lewis
Sugar Plum Fairy – Julie Charlet
Cavalier – John Hull

Saturday 8 November (MAT)

Clara – Christie Duncan
Nutcracker – Ashley Dixon
Drosselmeyer – Kenneth Tindall
Sugar Plum Fairy – Martha Leebolt
Cavalier – Martin Bell

Saturday 8 November (EVE)

Clara – Ayana Kanda
Nutcracker – Hironao Takahashi
Drosselmeyer – Steven Wheeler
Sugar Plum Fairy – Georgina May
Cavalier – Yi Song

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Rym Kechacha Weblog

October 28, 2008 at 10:20 am (Artist's News, dancers' diaries) (, , , , , )


Rym Kechacha is a dancer with Northern Ballet Theatre, joining the company from The Central School of Ballet in August 2008. While at Central School Rym kept a weblog for Ballet.co.uk and the entries continue now.

Click here to read Rym’s blog

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Nutcracker Programme available for Download

October 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm (General Information, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker

David Nixon’s magical ballet returns to the stage this season, visiting Hull, Woking, Milton Keynes, Bath and Leeds over Christmas.
For a more detailed look at this production before you book, you can watch the trailer and download the programme here.

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New Nutcracker E-Flyer

October 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm (Marketing and PR News, Tour News) (, , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre presents David Nixon's The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker – On Tour this Autumn Winter Season

The production will be visiting Hull, Woking, Milton Keynes, Bath and Leeds between now and Christmas.
Click here for full tour details

Watch the E-Flyer

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Milan 2008

October 23, 2008 at 1:29 pm (Overseas Tour) (, , , , )

I arrived at Leeds/Bradford airport early as a couple of us had checked into the lounge and wanted to get airside to take advantage of the facilities, I’ve flown nearly eighty thousand miles in the last twelve months and I’m almost robotic in my actions at an airport these days. Once on the plane the iPod was on and I try and grab a brief snooze. Landing at Milan Bergamo some two hours later, we shuffle through immigration and baggage reclaim and onto a waiting coach to take us to the airport.
We arrive at the hotel and Steve Hughes our Company Manager, arranges for the crew to get checked in first as we’re expected at the venue in a little under an hour. A quick wash and brush up and we congregate in the foyer of the hotel and walk to the venue.I always have a slight feeling of trepidation when going to a foreign venue. In the UK I’ve been visiting most of the number one touring venues at least once a year for years, sometimes I’ve been back a few times in the same year. You know what to expect, you know the people and we have an understanding of each other. When you’re abroad, it’s not just the language that is a barrier, its people’s methods too. We all do things in different ways, and everything takes much longer to achieve then you would wish.

We got to the venue just as Jimmy Kirk our amazing driver had arrived from Leeds, having left late on Sunday evening, three days before. Jimmy is without exception the best driver it has been my pleasure to work with, a vital part of Northern Ballet Theatres Technical operation.

We were met by several of the Italian technicians, and the Stage Department struck gold straight away with Nico, the local carpenter. He was very helpful, spoke great English and enjoyed our feeble phrase book attempts at speaking his mother tongue.
In fact so good was Nico that we presented him with one of our ratchet spanners by way of a thank you for all his efforts.

It was as well Nico was a helpful fellow as the first problem was minutes away. As Jimmy reversed the trailer in, it became obvious that it was two big to fit through the gates to the theatre and so everything was unloaded and carried from the gates, round the side of the theatre to the loading doors. Not a good start.

The venue, built in the 30s and still with many original features was smaller then we are used to and was quite run down. The Stage Department set about laying the dance floor and checking out the stage masking, whilst the Electrics team began the process of explaining what they wanted to the Italian electricians.

With the floor down and Nico having prepared the masking prior to our arrival we on Stage found ourselves in quite good shape early on, Electrics however were coming up against numerous problems with the local power supply and state of the local equipment. (If you use that power for the stage, there won’t be any lights in the dressing rooms was my favourite of the evening)

We have stringent Health and Safety laws in the UK and it’s only when you see how dangerously other countries operate that you really take appreciate how safe the theatres at home are. With Electrics up against it the Stage Department all became electricians for the rest of the evening and it was a great sense of pride to me to see my team setting about the task so diligently.

With the time fast approaching 10pm and not really having stopped since we left home some 14 hours previously we did what all good theatre people do after work and went to the pub for a well earned pint. The Italians proved to be great hosts and we sat at a street side bar / café for a couple of hours soaking up the atmosphere of Milan and talking through the trials of the day.

Morning brought the sight of Sid Taylor my deputy managing to get through four plates of breakfast, croissants, full fry up, cold meat and cheese platter and then back for more croissants when he realised, there were custard ones as well as the plain ones he had as a starter three courses previously.

We were due in at 11am but made the decision to leave the hotel just after 9am and get in early. Electrics were well into the focus by the time we arrived and we set about dressing the stage and getting ready for class. The dancers arrived for class and we went next door into the adjoining design museum for a coffee. If there’s one thing the Italians know about its coffee. I also managed to get out during class to a local shop near the theatre and pick up some really nice olive oil, flour and semolina flour as I’m a keen cook and really wanted to get some authentic ingredients for my kitchen.

The rest of the day was filled with rehearsals, which we did in reverse order of the performance so that once finished we were set up for the start of the show. Northern Ballet’s rehearsal went well and we smoothed out a few problems, and then set up and rehearsed the other two acts. With about an hour to go we were ready for the show and managed to grab a Panini from the little van outside the theatre, which was good.

The show passed by pretty uneventfully for us, there were a couple of annoying technical hitches and a frantic interval change from Opera North’s piece which involved a band fully miked up onstage back to a clear stage ready for Northern Ballet in just over ten minutes. The dancers of the Company did what they do best and for me stole the show with room to spare. The dancers had had to suffer their fair share of problems during the show and had been treated quite rudely by several people whilst they were trying to keep limbered up for their 10pm performance.

With the show over and in quite a sombre mood we set about the get out and taking everything down and loading it back on the lorry…only no one had the key for the gate, the gate I mentioned earlier that the lorry wouldn’t fit through. So we couldn’t even carry the stuff round to the lorry. Another route had to be found and the shortest route available to us was up a flight of fire escape stairs through front of house out to our now repositioned lorry.

Everyone set about the get out like Trojans and in a little over an hour we were out of the theatre and loaded ready for Jimmy to return to the UK. After a long day like that we all needed a cool refreshing drink and pretty soon the jokes were flowing again and the humour that is a large part of our daily lives had returned.

The morning came and we checked out and wondered around the local area having some more beautiful coffee until it was time for the transport back to the airport.

It was a nice feeling to touch down at Leeds/Bradford airport and as we all departed for home thoughts turned to A Midsummer Night’s Dream fit up on Sunday at Bradford.

Steve Wilkins

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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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