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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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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Street Dreams – Blog Update W/C 13.10.08

October 13, 2008 at 3:04 pm (Events, General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , )

Blog Update W/C 13.10.08

 

With less than a week to their event in Centenary Square we talk to Bradford College Performing Arts Students Ashley Gobbi (AG) and Jade Smith (JS) about the “Street Dreams” project.

 

Less than a week to go! Is this a busy time for you all now?

JS: I would say it’s not only busy but also challenging, especially for our Marketing and PR team as we have to try to persuade the media to cover our story, and work to their deadlines as well as our own.

AG: Yes, the Marketing and PR team has deadlines to meet and phone calls to make to various areas of the media. The performers are in rehearsals everyday working on the performance piece itself and the workshops that run alongside it as well. This project is all about the students involved and showcasing their talents, they need to wow the audience, but this doesn’t come without hard work.   

 

What have you been doing in terms of marketing and media?

JS: Well, the biggest task I have done was creating a press release. It was a real eye opener as I have never done anything like that before, so at first it was a big challenge but once I got the gist of it I started getting ideas and it became easier. I have also been out taking photos of people in the performance, coming up with ideas for flyers and posters, and contacting people in the media for coverage.

AG: Over this last week we’ve been sending out the press release and photo call notice to various media contacts and making follow up phone calls to make sure we’re targeting the right people. We’ve put up posters around the college, handed out flyers and really tried to get people interested in coming down to join in. I’ve also had an interview with the Telegraph & Argus to help promote the event further and have also set up an interview with BCB Radio for later this week to talk more about the event.  

 

How is the performance shaping up?

AG: Our dancers have done a fantastic job so far: they’ve really tried to include both the ballet and Bollywood dance styles. They’ve also created some fantastic workshops for the public to get involved in, and are continuing to work hard on getting this performance ready for Friday.   

 

JS: I would say it looks very visually impacting now, as the dancers look like they have had a lot of practice, and the workshops have come on a lot from last week. Overall the dance has a good format, as its very exciting to watch.

 

Are you looking forward to the event on Friday?

JS: overall it will be nice to see if all of our hard work has paid off, as well as the dancers’, and it will be interesting to see if many people turn up.

 

AG: Yes, this has been an amazing experience for all of the students involved.  I just hope that the public come down to get involved on the day and make this a truly unforgettable experience!

Has this been a good project to work on?

AG: Absolutely, we’ve all learnt so much about working in the industry and have had fun in the process. We’re all really grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Northern Ballet Theatre and Kala Sangam. Now we just have to give the performance of our careers so far and make everybody involved proud of what we’ve achieved. Working with industry professionals on all areas of the project has been a real insight into what we all have to come in the not so distant future.

 

JS: It has been beneficial for me. I was concerned about being on the Marketing and PR team as I thought it would be too challenging for me, but once I got over the initial worry that it was going to be too hard, I found it interesting and was happy that I had helped create things like flyers and posters, and tried to develop an audience for the workshop. I now also appreciate the hard work that goes on backstage, and the fact that if there were no media or marketing teams, there’d be no audience!

 

The Street Dreams performance and workshops will take place from 12-2pm in Centenary Square, Bradford (or in the event of poor weather conditions at the Impressions Gallery on Centenary Square, Bradford) on Friday 17 October. Why not come along to watch the performance and take part in the workshops! The event is FREE, open to everyone and no previous experience is required.

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Street Dreams in Bradford

October 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm (Events, General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , )

Ashley Gobbi is one of the Bradford College students taking part in the “Street Dreams” project. It involves students from the Performing Arts Course working with professionals from NBT and Kala Sangam to create and promote a performance and workshops in Bradford City Centre on 17 October.


Ashley, tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m 20 years old and I am in my second year at Bradford College. I love it! Hopefully when I finish my course I’ll be able to go out and work in the industry as an actress and one day be very successful. I have a keen interest in all areas of the performing arts business including working behind the scenes and strangely the business element too, which I find fascinating. I am currently working as stage manager for the department and would consider myself suited to that role.

 

When I was younger I always wanted to be a ballet dancer but unfortunately this was too expensive for my family and so I ended up as a successful competitive athlete and swimmer. 

 

What is “Street Dreams” all about?

“Street Dreams” is a project designed to get more people to enjoy dance as an alternative form of exercise. It aims to change the general publics perceptions of ballet as an art form and to put across that it is not just about tutu’s and tights.

More importantly for the students involved it is about showcasing their talents and hopefully making Bradford proud of it’s city and it’s young people who are working hard to be the faces of tomorrow.

 
What aspect of the project are you involved in and what have you been doing so far?

I am working on the Marketing and promotions team for the project.  Although I would have loved to perform with the other students, I think we have been given the best role overall. Working alongside Amy and Ruth has been a fantastic experience so far as we have learnt a lot about an area of the industry we wouldn’t normally look at in such detail. I wouldn’t say it’s been an easy task to take on, as I believe we have the hardest job to do. There’s so much to think about and prepare for, before the project can take place. As artist’s we don’t necessarily think about these areas involved in the performance, but I definitely have a new found appreciation for the work that a marketing and promotions team do.

 

So what stage is the project at right now?

From a marketing perspective we’ve begun promoting the rehearsal/dummy run at the college and when that’s over the real work will start as we start to contact everyone possible to come along to the event on the 17th and join in. Also we will be contacting all areas of the media interested in covering the project.

As for the performers they’ve been working hard to create a fantastic and enjoyable performance. They’ve also been working on the student-led workshops for the event almost everyday of the week. From what I have seen in rehearsals we have an exciting mix of dance with a quirky feel based on the themes from A Midsummer Nights Dream. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

We will have further updates from Ashley over the coming days – watch this space!

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NBT says farewell to Chiaki Nagao

October 29, 2007 at 11:27 am (Artist's News, Company News, Events) (, , , , , , , )

On Saturday night NBT said an emotional farewell to Principal Artist Chiaki Nagao, who gave her final UK performance in the role of Juliet in NBT’s Romeo & Juliet at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford.

Prior to the performance NBT’s Artistic Director, David Nixon, addressed the audience that included Friends of NBT, Chiaki’s current NBT colleagues as well as many past dancers and collaborators who had returned especially for this very special occassion. Setting the tone for evening he said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow. 20 years ago a young woman arrived in the UK with a dream. She worked hard and followed her dream and today we pay tribute to an extraordinary career that has lasted more than a decade and a half.” He continued, “Tonight we are joined by three very special ladies, Carole Gable (the wife of the late Christopher Gable, NBT Artistc Director from 1987-1998), Ann Stannard (who founded the Central School of Ballet with Christopher Gable in 1982), and Chiaki’s mother who has flown from Japan to be here this evening.” David then spoke directly to Chiaki’s mother in Japanese, thanking her for sharing her daughter with us for so many years. He recognised the sacrifice that Chiaki’s family made in supporting her throughout her career, especially with Chiaki so far away from home.

Romeo & Juliet was performed beautifully by the cast and the orchestra of NBT and as it neared it’s tragic and dramatic climax there was a heightened sense of emtion as everyone knew this would be the last time we would see Chiaki in the limelight. In every sense the death of Juliet on stage was more poignant than ever, the tears of the audience even more so. As the curtain fell the venue errupted into applause, saving the standing ovation for one very special lady.

NBT Chief Executive, Mark Skipper and NBT’s Deputy Stage Manager Chun-Yen Chia, who is also Chiaki’s husband, each presented Chiaki with a bouquet of flowers. Dancers, technicians, and representatives from the Orchestra and each administrative department at NBT then filed on stage to present Chiaki with a rose, to join the flowers that littered the stage thrown on by the audience. David Nixon introduced long-standing Friend and Patron of NBT, Janet McNulty who presented Chiaki with a framed poster of Madame Butterfly on behalf of the Friends. He then paid tribute to Chiaki, “When I first came to Northern Ballet Theatre I recreated Madame Butterfly for the Company. It was a ballet that I had first created for my wife in the role of Butterfly. Chiaki took on that role, she worked so incredibly hard, so many hours in the studio, weekends and evenings, she did all that I asked of her and more. My wife did this for me out of love, Chiaki did this because she is dedicated to her craft, and because she is so generous as a dancer. Every member of the Company and the audience here tonight will have such fond memories of Chiaki, but for me she will always be my Butterfly.” 

Self-effacing and modest as ever, Chiaki was reluctant to step forward to receive the applause of the audience that was so rightly hers for the evening. As the curtain fell on a very special event Chiaki’s colleagues continued the applause and plaudits backstage and afterwards at a party held in her honour. Chiaki said, “It has been an emotional evening and I am very grateful that I was able to celebrate my final performance with friends and family.” Everyone at the Alhambra on Saturday felt equally grateful to have been there to thank Chiaki for sharing her extraordinary gift with us.

Chiaki Nagao as Juliet and Hironao Takahashi as Romeo, in NBT's Romeo & Juliet. Photo: Merlin Hendy.

Chiaki Nagao, receives flowers from NBT Chief Executive, Mark Skipper. Photo: Brian Slater.

NBT colleagues file on stage to present Chiaki Nagao with a rose after her final performance. Photo: Brian Slater.

NBT Principal Artist, Chiaki Nagao, receives applause from audience and colleagues after her final performance. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

David Nixon leads Chiaki Nagao forward to receive applause from audience and colleagues after her final performance. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

David Nixon leads Chiaki Nagao forward to receive applause from audience and colleagues after her final performance. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

Chiaki Nagao with Carole Gable (left) and Ann Stannard (right). Photo credit: Brian Slater.

Chiaki Nagao (centre) with ex-NBT dancers Jeremy Kerridge and Charlotte Talbot. Photo: Brian Slater.

NBT Chief Executive, Mark Skipper with Chiaki Nagao. Photo credit: Brian Slater.

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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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Romeo & Juliet on T&A TV

October 25, 2007 at 9:20 am (Artist's News, Company News) (, , , , , )

Yesterday at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, T&A TV interviewed David Nixon (NBT’s Artistic Director) and filmed Company Class, in the run-up to Saturday night’s Gala performance, where Principal dancer Chiaki Nagao will perform as Juliet for the last time.

See the interview on their website

Read T&A’s review of Romeo & Juliet here

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“Parting is such sweet sorrow…”

October 22, 2007 at 9:41 am (Artist's News, Events, Tour News) (, , , , , , , )

Chiaki Nagao as Juliet .

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 Chiaki Nagao’s final performance:

This week marks the final week of Chiaki Nagao’s 15 year career with Northern Ballet Theatre. She will perform as Juliet for the last time on Saturday 27 October in Bradford. She will be greatly missed by the Company and the many thousands of audience members she has performed to over the years. Artistic Director, David Nixon, pays tribute;

“Chiaki is an incredibly gifted dancer who has shown total commitment and dedication to each role she has performed with NBT. Someone with such breadth of experience is irreplaceable and we will miss her terribly. We wish Chiaki all the very best for the future and thank her for her invaluable contribution to the life of NBT over these past 15 years.”

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Romeo & Juliet is at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from 23 – 27 October 2007. .
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