Ballet on Briggate 2010

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

Hironao Takahashi & Michela Paolacci - Photo by Ryan Hopkinson

Hironao Takahashi & Michela Paolacci - Photo by Ryan Hopkinson

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

Dancing in the street - Photo: Jo Dean

Dancing in the street - Photo: Jo Dean

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

Northern Ballet Academy students

Northern Ballet Academy students - Photo: Ryan Hopkinson

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

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Northern Ballet Theatre & Phoenix Dance Theatre Summer School

July 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm (Learning & Access) (, , , )

It’s the start of the school holidays, but pupils at Cockburn College of Arts and the surrounding primary schools don’t get a rest as they are taking part in our summer school, in partnership with Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Leaping into action on Monday, the 34 young people aged 9 – 16 years old have been taking a daily class where they are improving their technique and, working with Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix, they are developing movement that will form part of a final dance piece that they will perform to parents at the end of the week.

Today is the third day of the course, and with many of them not being used to dancing all day, there were a few sore bodies this morning that needed loosening off in an energetic class! The piece they are creating will also be performed at the launch of our new building in January, and so they have been creating sequences in pairs, inspired by Celebrations and First Meetings – drawing on how they feel when first meeting someone and welcoming them in.

They have all been very keen to learn and to have a go, even if what they are learning is more challenging than they are used to. And it is great to see them working together, helping each other and becoming a team. This will be a real benefit to the pupils from the primary schools that will be coming to Cockburn in September, as they will know familiar faces and will feel confident in their new school.

As choreographer of the final piece, Sharon has been taking the movements that the young people have come up with, and piecing them together into one piece that reflects the excitement of the opening of the new building and the opportunities this presents. This afternoon they have been developing travelling sequences, including supports and lifts, and working on the quality and precision of movement needed when performing.

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“Don’t Just Sit There” at the Great Yorkshire Show

July 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm (General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , )

The Learning team has certainly been out and about over the last couple of weeks. Whilst Jo and Caroline have been carrying out a project during the company’s tour to Hong Kong, Pippa (Learning Coordinator) and Selina (Director of Learning) were busy at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Northern Ballet Theatre is a key partner in Don’t Just Sit There – part of the I MOVE Yorkshire Cultural Olympiad project. Don’t Just Sit There aims to encourage as many people as possible to get moving and thinking about their bodies, up to the 2012 Olympics and beyond. Over the three days of the Great Yorkshire Show, performances of dance, physical theatre, and music were combined to create a wonderful showcase of local talent. Over 130,000 visitors to the show enjoyed watching the performances and were also encouraged to get moving themselves!

Below we have a wonderful collection of images to give you a flavour of how we spread the word of Don’t Just Sit There at the region’s largest agricultural show.

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Staged Adventures in the Orient

July 16, 2010 at 11:33 am (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Stage) (, , , , , )

Stage manager, Olivia Dermot-Walsh, tells us about the trials, tribulations and thrills of touring overseas…

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We’ve landed! Off the plane and heading for immigration. Everyone is dishevelled and the smokers need cigarettes. We have to go through customs as a group and as soon as we’re free and have collected luggage we charge to the open air for a first look at Hong Kong. As the sliding doors open the heat hits us and we’re drenched in sweat from the colossal humidity and the heat.

The crew ready for the trip...

The crew ready for the trip...

It takes ages for Martin (Deputy Chief Electrician) to come though and we find out that once again he had been held up – this time he was given a “visitor’s visa” instead of a work one and was interviewed while they sorted it out. This happens quite often to the poor chap so everyone laughs a lot.

On the coach to the Hong Kong YMCA

On the coach to the Hong Kong YMCA

Executive arrivals at the YMCA

Executive arrivals at the YMCA

We are ferried to the coach and make the 40 minute drive into mainland Hong Kong. We arrive at 17:15 local time at the hotel. We’re staying at the YMCA and in great oriental style the hotel has a very impressive reception lobby/foyer. Our rooms are bright and spacious with views over the harbour to Hong Kong island.

My two interpreters

My two interpreters

We set off on our first adventure into Hong Kong (also to try and get our body clocks sorted) for beer, food and to celebrate Abi’s (Electrician) birthday. We have a fantastic evening ending with a evening stroll along the waterfront by the venue. The harbour is amazing at night with all the buildings illuminations reflected in the water.

Tuesday

Tuesday morning at 9am Wilky (Steve Wilkins, Technical Manager) is called into the venue to unload the containers. There goes his 12 hour break, poor bloke! The rest of us try and get our bodies to behave as our brains say it’s daytime and our bodies say bedtime. Jet-lag is always funny for the first 3 days and we walk round in a bubble.

Training the new ASM

Training the new ASM

Hong Kong is full of smells, street vendors & bustle. Everyone vies for your attention and I notice how tall I feel at 5′ 7″. Inside the polished air conditioned malls with Gucci, Prada & YSL it feels like another world. I feel under dressed in my flip-flops and shorts. Hong Kong is very mixed metropolis. I love it.

Today is day one of the set build. The crew are call to start at 14:00 hours so I am left to my own devices for a few hours till I start at 19:00. I spend a lovely air-conditioned afternoon in the Hong Kong Cultural Museum and Art Gallery. I have a passion for tea ceramic art and find a wonderful exhibition dedicated to the subject.

I arrive at the venue and find that the stage area is massive – true operatic grandness. There is so much room instead of scene changes we could build complete sets and push one off into the wings, pull the next on and still have room to spare. Truly awesome.

The crew have already built the revolve (the turntable the Jolly Roger spins on) and are laying the sprung dance floor when I arrive. The local crew are very efficient and numerous – there are many more then you’d find in a UK venue. I’m introduced to Agnes, the crew chief, who is lovely, and her Number One, Bo Bo.

With a whole unloading dock to myself I unpack all the props and place the tables out. At 20:00 Wilkie calls a break so that we can all pile out of the venue and watch the famous Hong Kong light show from the water’s edge.

It’s pretty impressive but for us seasoned techies it made us laugh. Then back to work, soon it’s time to finish. Everyone is exhausted but positive.

Wednesday

Day two of the set build. We are all called for 10:00 – another full day of building, focusing and mending. Some of the properties have been trashed in transit, it’s the way it goes! So I spend the whole day with drills, paint, glue gun, burnt fingers and a touch of creativity to polish everything ready for tomorrow’s technical rehearsal.

The rest of the team arrive with the dancers today at 17:15. They won’t be called till 17:30 to cover class and do final props checks/maintenance before the technical rehearsal scheduled for 19:00.

Thursday

Day three of the build: I sleep in till 13:00 and feel better for it. Jet-lag’s nearly ok. I make my way into the venue via good old Starbucks for coffee and (very) hot Danishes. The technical rehearsal goes really well, the local crew really are amazingly efficient.

Friday

Day four of the build & first performance: I call Stage Management for 30mins before stage reset to make sure we ready to go for the dress rehearsal, which goes incredibly smoothly. We have an even smoother opening night!

Jim (Flyman) and I decide to head off the night market after the show but by the time everything is packed up and turned off when we get there. There’s an eerie feeling walking down empty packed up streets that look like they should be full of life. We find an amazing sushi restaurant and have dinner before heading back for sleep.

The Gang

The Gang

Saturday

Day five, back-stage tour & second the third shows: I arrive at 11:30 and set the stage out for the back-stage tour. They can’t tell me if the group coming to visit is young or old so I have Laura Burges (Assistant Stage Manager) and Jim Hannon (Flyman) as technical support for any difficult questions. When the 50 people arrive they are all mothers with small children so we adapt the tour accordingly. It is great fun to watch them all pile into the small rowing boat as their parents snap away with cameras. Next to meet the Crocodile – five small boys descend on our Old Croc and almost hug it to death.

Later we prepare for two shows and everything is going smoothly until the final Nursery scene change when the local flyman pulls back a curtain revealing the crew building the set. All of the local crew hit the decks leaving our crew holding the heavy flats up, their silent black figures motionless until the star-cloth was brought back down. Everyone was safe, but a disappointed sigh escaped our lips. These things happen – it wouldn’t be live theatre if things always went well.

We get to the turn around and find the stage management team only have a half hour break between shows so everyone if rushing around trying to get food down them. Show 3 goes very well with no hiccups so everyone relieved.

Sunday

Day six. A very early class 9:30am (!!) then 2 shows (!!!!!!) and a get out (!!!!!!!!!!). We don’t come up for air till 19:00 when Agnes invites us for farewell dinner. Oh Yeah!

The crew's farewell dinner

The crew's farewell dinner

Farewell dinner spread

Farewell dinner spread

We’re now in Macau in a great hotel under a typhoon warning! The sets are calling, have to go…

View of the theatre from the hotel room in Macau

View of the theatre and pool from the hotel room in Macau

Typhoon warning notices

Typhoon warning notices

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Learning & Access in Hong Kong – Day 3

July 13, 2010 at 11:03 am (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Learning, Overseas Tour) (, , , )


Groups session with participants moving around the room and dancing with balloons

Photo: Jo Dean

Participants reaching for the sky and stretching their warmed-up muscles

Photo: Jo Dean

The third and final day of the Learning project with the British Council and the Providence Centre of Rehab in Hong Kong has been and gone, and the feedback from the participants has been fantastic.   Today saw the dance artists and care workers delivering their own activities during a workshop with centre members who suffer from learning difficulties, putting into practice the skills they have learned this week.

In small groups, they planned a movement activity for a warm up, and suggested ways to develop this idea.  All of the groups did remarkably well, having had little or no experience of delivering movement activities before.  One of the groups of care workers used props to initiate movements, and then developed this by asking members of the group to order the movements into sequences.  The care workers and dance artists felt a real sense of achievement and confidence in leading a session and seeing their planned ideas working successfully with the members.  After the workshop session the care workers and dance artists spoke about the positive effects of movement for the centre members and about how activities for the whole group can work on different levels according to what each participant can achieve.

Over the three days of the project we have been able to see the confidence of the centre members grow as they were given the freedom to lead movement and as they connected with their care workers on a different level.  The workshops were a real buzz of energy and excitement, and the Rehab Centre are looking forward to developing movement sessions into their daily programme of activities, with the care workers inspired and enthusiastic to try out their new ideas.

Working together to develop social, coordination and other skills

Photo: Jo Dean

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Bringing the House Down!

July 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm (General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , , , , , )

Bringing the house down at Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts!

As part of the Learning team’s involvement with the nationwide ‘Find Your Talent’ project, a small group of dancers were involved in the Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts last week. Dance artist, Zoe Parker, and three young participants formed the ‘Inspired Youth Dance Co.’ to perform a duet and group piece at the 104th festival, held at the King’s Hall in Ilkley.

The Learning team at Northern Ballet Theatre is currently working hard to investigate the provision in Leeds and the surrounding area for inclusive dance activities for young people. Whilst one-off projects are relatively common, opportunities for those who are perhaps in a wheelchair or have special educational needs to get involved in dance on a regular basis is more limited. Through contacts at ‘Find Your Talent’ and Artforms, as well as support from the Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts, the chance to bring together a small group to perform at the festival arose. The opportunity was one not to be missed! After just four rehearsal sessions, the participants performed in the Music for a Summer’s Day concert alongside pupils from Bruntcliffe School, North Ridge School, Brooklands School and the ‘Off by Heart’ choir. The two dance pieces – ‘La Valse du Roue’ and ‘Deux’ – received an overwhelming response, including much cheering and clapping from the audience!

The Learning team are now looking to build on the success of this project in the future. If you would be interested in taking part in similar inclusive dance opportunities, then please do get in touch.

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A Dancer in Hong Kong

July 12, 2010 at 11:36 am (Artist's News, Dancers, dancers' diaries, Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Overseas Tour) (, , , , , )

First Soloist, Hannah Bateman, tells us about the tour to Hong Kong from a dancer’s perspective…

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So off to Hong Kong we go!

We’ve never finished a touring season abroad, when we have done overseas tours before they have been at the beginning of a season. So after a touring stretch from February till now with a total of six ballets within that time, we were all feeling the end of season blues but the excitement of a trip abroad filled us with some much needed energy.

I chose to do a mad dash drive down to my sister’s house on Monday night after a final run through at West Park in the day as my stomach prefers not to travel by coach! But the rest of the Company headed off, guide books in hand, at 12 noon on Tuesday. It was going to be a long journey as the arrival time meant we were due in to Hong Kong on Wednesday at 15.30. I met my fellow travellers at Heathrow at about 16.45 and so it really began.

I hate group check-ins, but they are a big part of the experience so you just have to sit back and relinquish control (not a strong point of mine!) After check in, the big wait and for me especially the big temptation! I really don’t need any more perfume, make-up, etc just because it is discounted, stay away. This time however I was really pushed to my limit as there is a Mulberry shop at terminal 3, lucky my credit card is wrapped in cling film. It really is just for emergencies!!!

Kenneth & Yoshihsa diligently guarding the bags

Kenneth & Yoshihsa diligently guarding the bags

Time flies in Terminal 3

Time flies in Terminal 3

The newlyweds, Mr & Mrs Goldsmith

The newlyweds, Mr & Mrs Goldsmith

Julie, Michela, Jeremy, Sebastian and Yoshihisa

Julie, Michela, Jeremy, Sebastian and Yoshihisa

We arrived in good time and even though the flight was very long and uncomfortable you are restored with a temporary burst of enthusiasm as you ride from the airport to the hotel.

Welcome to Hong Kong

Welcome to Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a strange metropolitan jungle, a mix of Japan and New York on the sea front. It is so over-developed, perhaps we were never meant to adopt this island as a business hub but somehow someone has squished a load of high-rise everything on to it.

Hong Kong land reclamation and development

Hong Kong land reclamation and development

A quick story from the plane

The main aim of a long haul flight is to try and stop the swelling! I have had long haul flights before where my feet have swollen so much that I cannot get my pointe shoes on the next day, so every dancer adopts their own way of handling this. Kenny purchased some rather flashy state of the art tights by Skins, compression wear and this worked out really well for him, I had flight socks (I won’t bother next time!) Some drink loads of water before the flight and take Paracetamol. Georgina was determined to find somewhere to lie down, good luck to her I thought! Well, half way through the flight, it was like everyone everywhere was asleep and as I looked around with green envy I realised Georgina wasn’t in her seat. Great, I thought, I can go and find her and we can trade magazines as planned and have a chat and a cup of tea by the fire exit. I looked around the plane three times! She was nowhere to be seen. I had horrid thoughts of her being stolen like in ‘Flight Plan’.

Where was she? Lori, who she was sat on Georgina’s row was squished on her seat, the third of their line was fast asleep in a labour-like pose. One leg resting on the back of the seat and the other resting on the food trays! As Lori woke I dashed to her and in a frantic whisper asked, “Have you seen Georgie? I can’t find her anywhere!”

At that exact moment a head popped up between the food trays and Ben’s right leg and a sleepy voice said, “that was great a got 3 good hours sleep.” Georgina had slipped under the trays and the three chairs and had made herself a pretty good make shift bed with plane blanket and pillow. Swelling averted! Well done Georgie!

We attempted to stay awake for as long as possible on Wednesday to get on Hong Kong time so we all went off to explore our new city and most were in bed by 10pm.

Thursday

Our first day in the theatre, a morning of sight-seeing, late class at 17.30 and the first tech.

The humidity is a killer; we drank loads of water and walked very slowly. Note to self, don’t bother moisturising in the morning as you just end up sweating it out and, quite frankly, it becomes a waste of money (there are air conditioned walk-ways but we haven’t found them yet!)

We looked around a couple of shopping centres, the Botanical Gardens, Zoo and we managed to stop for lunch inside the IFC building at Pret-A-Manger of all places.

Jeremy, Thomas and Kenneth relaxing in the Gardens

Jeremy, Thomas and Kenneth relaxing in the Gardens

Ashley in his Temple on Hong Kong island

Ashley in his Temple on Hong Kong island

High-rise in Hong Kong

High-rise in Hong Kong

By the time we made it up the steep winding hill to the Gardens we were greeted by a small shop where we quickly purchased water and Christie & I purchased a very natty fan each! We wanted to get out there and see what Hong Kong has to offer, but I was still feeling the effects of the flight and the thought of class and a tech is in the back of my mind.

Dance Class in the theatre

Warming down & stretching after a humid class

Class was with Dan, and he was very kind to us as we slowly worked out all our lumps and bumps. The tech was with Ayana and Jeremy’s cast and went very smoothly indeed. The crew here seem to be fab and with our great crew, they all make a very slick team.

The theatre is huge and very well kept. Georgina and I have a lovely dressing room together and had a chuckle over the fact that on every light switch and door handle it tells you, in a laminated sticker, just how many times a day it has and will be disinfected. Good to know!!!

Found a great place for a quick dinner after the tech and then to bed, still not quite on Hong Kong time.

View from TST (Tsim Sha Tsui), a major Hong Kong tourist hub by the theatre

View from TST (Tsim Sha Tsui), a major Hong Kong tourist hub by the theatre

View of the harbour from TST

View of the harbour from TST

Another vire of the harbour from TST by the theatre

Another vire of the harbour from TST by the theatre

Crossing the Hong Kong harbour

Crossing the Hong Kong harbour

Friday, seems like a regular day on tour. The Boss (Mr Nixon) and Yoko joined us today, it is always great to have them with us; the team is complete!

I had a look round the Cultural Centre and the hype for the show is great; the shows are nearly 100% sold and we are headlining the festival out here so fingers crossed we can impress the Hong Kong audience. A good tech and a good first show, a couple of bumps in places, but nothing the audience would notice (I hope).

Pippa and David lead the Company and I must say I always watch the first time Wendy flys, it’s magical. I sneaked a look at the audience through a gap in the wing and the first row was nearly all little children, every one of their beautiful faces lit up with excitement. They really love this show wherever we take it in the world.

Our techie’s really are fab, as are the Hong Kong crew, it’s all going rather well and audience response was great especially when asked, “Do you believe in fairies?” Well I am glad to report the people of Hong Kong certainly do!

Hong Kong Ballet banners

Hong Kong Ballet banners

The exhibition banners telling the story of Peter Pan

The exhibition banners telling the story of Peter Pan

Welcome to the Land of Dreams at the Cultural Centre

Welcome to the Land of Dreams at the Cultural Centre

Pride of place, the Peter Pan banner in the Cultural Centre

Pride of place, the Peter Pan banner in the Cultural Centre

Saturday, double-show day.

15.30 and 19.30. Emergency rehearsal today for Ben as he is on today for Peter in place of Jeremy as he is really very unwell. (First time to China, it has happened to us all.) Jeremy’s Dad lives in Hong Kong so he is able to take care of him, which is just what you need when you are so far from home.

Get well soon Jez!

Ben did really well as did Ayana, who’s parents came over from Japan to see her dance.

David and Pippa again in the evening and another great and very smooth show, apparent from a rebellious young boy who shouted “NOOOOOOOO!” to the famous do you believe question – much to the audience’s hilarity. David handled it very well and Tinkerbell made a full recovery!

After the show straight back to the hotel for a movie and then bed. Boring but needed, mind you today I felt myself again, definitely fully on Hong Kong time now!

Sunday, double duty again!

11.30 and 15.30 shows this time. Wow, did it feel early to be in for class at 9.30. Oh well on with the show. The buzz of the audience was excellent all day and well worth the early morning wake up call.

This is mainly a festival for families and outside the theatre there have been mini-shows by local children on an open air stage, so passers-by can grab a seat and be entertained in the Hong Kong heat.

In between the shows and from my window near the dressing rooms I have seen some Chinese opera, ballroom and Latin American dancing kids, sing-a-long sessions with a very enthusiastic young Asian man and also a homage to Michael Jackson and some bizarre hip hop. All very good fun and totally entertaining from my air conditioned viewing gallery!

After the shows were done I got to catch up with my cousin who lives and works in Hong Kong and we took in the sights from the peak! This is where you get a fantastic view over Hong Kong Island and you can shop yet more in the centre perched on the top of this huge peak. We had a lovely dinner and a slightly uncomfortable journey back down the twisty alp-like road to the bottom.

Star Ferry trip across the harbour

Star Ferry trip across the harbour

Beautiful skies over Hong Kong

Beautiful skies over Hong Kong

The star ferry back to TST and then very much time for bed. Packing in the morning and then off to Macau for us all!

There's no place like home...

There's no place like home...

It's Bruce Tindall! Or Kenneth Lee?

It's Bruce Tindall! Or Kenneth Lee?

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Learning and Access in China – Day 2

July 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Learning, Overseas Tour) (, )

Participants taking part in the Learning workshopsIts day two of the Learning project with the British Council and the Providence Centre of Rehab in Hong Kong.

This morning we examined the structure of a “workshop”, from warm up to exploration of movement, development of ideas through to the conclusion. Activities focused on how to vary speed levels and the use of canon and unison to develop simple movements into a short sequence. Care workers and dance artists used gestures to represent physical movement, and working in pairs, developed a short sequence of movement.

When the members of the centre joined the group this afternoon, Caroline and Dylan led the same activities as in the morning, to show how the theory of what they learnt in the morning was applied in the context of an actual session. This gave the centre members an opportunity to make decisions and create a movement sequence of their choosing, allowing them to explore their own creativity.

Participants jumping for the joy of dance in the workshops

The dance artists and care workers also worked together in groups to plan an activity for tomorrow’s session, where they will deliver parts of a workshop with the member with learning difficulties, putting into practice what they have been learning over the last two days.

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Preparations in Hong Kong (Updated)

July 9, 2010 at 8:04 am (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Overseas Tour) (, , , , )

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Things are progressing well with preparations for the opening tonight with 97% of seats for our performances booked, which is amazing!

It is incredibly humid in Hong Kong but we are enjoying our time here. Tomorrow we start a busy schedule: a dress rehearsal followed by the official opening of the Festival, followed by our opening performance. We then have 2 shows on Saturday and 2 on Sunday so not much free time. We also have an event for our sponsors, Marketing Leeds, on Saturday night.

Update…

The Technical Rehearsal went extremely well this afternoon with the production looking the best it ever has. The large stage and auditorium lend themselves perfectly to the scale of the production. This evening we have an event to mark the official opening of the festival. David, Daniel, Steve and I will be attending with some of the dancers. It remains hot and humid with threatening skies but so far no rain!

Mark Skipper,  Chief Executive –  Northern Ballet Theatre

The awe-inspiring cityscape from across Hong Kong harbour

The awe-inspiring cityscape from across Hong Kong harbour

View of the Darling's bedroom from the auditorium

View of the Darling's bedroom from the auditorium

The magnificently decorated foyer of Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre

The magnificently decorated foyer of Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre

Technical Rehearsal - On the Jolly Roger

Technical Rehearsal - On the Jolly Roger

Technical Rehearsal - In the Forest

Technical Rehearsal - In the Forest

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Northern Ballet Theatre supports Dancing on Parliament tomorrow!

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

Arlene Philips launching Big Dance 2010

Photos: ©David Parry/ PA & © Hugo Glendinning

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

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

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

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

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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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Groups enjoy ‘cracking’ evening in Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

Budding Ballerina Hannah with Northern Ballet Theatre Dancers

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

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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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Thank yous from Queensferry Primary School

May 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm (General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , )

At the beginning of March, Sophie Alder (Dance Education Officer) and musician Alan Costello spent some time at Queensferry Primary School during the company’s tour to Edinburgh. Several groups from the school enjoyed taking part in workshops, which enabled them to find out more about Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan and ballet in general.

As you can see from some of the letters we received it seems a great time was had by all:

Thank you for the wonderful piano playing and the fantastic instruction. I really enjoyed the experience of trying ballet out. When I was little I was jumping around in my living room like a ballet dancer I always dreamed of being one.

My favourite part was when we were jumping over the lines in the gym hall and how we were pretending that there [sic] were loads of different creatures in it like piranhas, sharks, jellyfish and lots more.

-Kathryn

I would like to start this letter with a big thank you for teaching us a part of ballet and the piano playing was phenomenal.

The ballet was so fun I wish you could come every week.

-Anna

It was brilliant and I wasn’t expecting it to be that good! My favourite bits was when we were doing the bouncing and jumping. My other favourite bit was the pirate – make up your own dance bit! I loved doing all of it. You taught it so well with extra brilliant music.

I don’t think it would have been as fun if it wasn’t you doing the music and the teaching. I learnt so much in that hour and a half session.

I would like to take this last opportunity to say thank you again on behalf of me, my class and my school. Thanks again.

-Daniel

And we’d like to say thank you to Queensferry Primary for the hospitality of the faculty, staff and pupils.

If your school is interested in repertoire based workshops then drop Philippa Plumtree-Varley an email for details.

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Poppy’s Work Experience With Northern Ballet Theatre

May 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm (General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , )

During our visit to Norwich Theatre Royal last week, the company were joined by 14 year old Poppy Stevens. Poppy came to undertake a work placement with Northern Ballet Theatre and gain some experience of all the different roles involved in making a production actually ‘happen’.

Poppy has very kindly written about her week and it certainly sounds like she enjoyed her time with us.

Hi I’m Poppy.

On the 26th April 2010 I started my week’s work experience at Norwich Theatre Royal. Northern Ballet Theatre were on their Summer Tour and were at the Theatre performing Peter Pan. On the first day I helped to off-load pieces of scenery from the lorries and I met Laura Sprake and Abigail Wilkinson – they sort of took me under their wing. They showed me how the company worked and introduced me to loads of different people. By the second day I was sitting with Laura during the rehearsals with a set of cans [earphones] on!! I really felt like part of the team. I learnt so much about how a stage works and how things like rig-checks are done – in the space of 2 days already.

On the third day I had really become more confident in having a laugh and talking to the people within the company. Again I sat with Laura in the lighting booth during the actual performance, watching the BEAUTIFUL show whilst listening on my cans to everyone backstage. The show ran really smoothly – I was surprised at how well everyone got on and worked together. On the 4th day I met Caroline Burn when I went to the wonderful workshop, Ballet Explored. I helped out then watched the company ballet class. During the matinee performance I helped Dolly (Georgina Gabbie: Wigs Mistress) with make-up and wigs. It was so much fun. Dolly welcomed me like an old friend just the same as everyone in the company.

On my last day the first thing I did was help out with Caroline’s Mini Movers workshop for the under 5’s and I made a wand! In the afternoon I helped with the Mature Movers workshop and danced with them. During the evening show I was really excited because I was shadowing Liv (Olivia Dermot-Walsh: Stage Manager) and a different Laura on stage. I was allowed to do some cues in the show which was really good. After the show had finished I nearly cried because it was like leaving a new group of friends. I was given a signed programme and poster – thanks to Laura Sprake, Jason Raper and Caroline Burn (who got it signed for me).

It was the experience of a life time and I hope I will see all the Crew very soon.
A big thank you to NBT for welcoming me and being so wonderful!

Poppy Stevens
Age 14

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Peter Pan – Norwich Cast

April 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm (Casts, General Information) (, , , , , )

Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan - photo by Alistair Muir

Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan

Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Norwich Theatre Royal.

Norwich Theatre Royal Box Office: 01603 630000

Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, 27 April

Evening, 7.30pm

Wednesday, 28 April

Evening, 7.30pm

Thursday, 29 April

Matinee, 2.30pm

Evening, 7.30pm

Friday, 30 April

Evening, 7.30pm

Saturday, 1 May

Matinee, 2.30pm

Evening, 7.30pm

Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Norwich Theatre Royal.

Norwich Theatre Royal Box Office: 01603 300000

Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

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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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Peter Pan – Milton Keynes Cast

April 22, 2010 at 9:57 am (Casts) (, , , , , , , )

Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan - photo by Alistair Muir

Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan

Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Milton Keynes Theatre.

Milton Keynes Theatre Box Office: 08712975454

Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, 20 April

Evening, 7.30pm

Wednesday, 21 April

Evening, 7.30pm

Thursday, 15 April

Matinee, 2.30pm

Evening, 7.30pm

Other performance casts will be added as they become available.

Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Milton Keynes Theatre.

Milton Keynes Theatre Box Office: 0871 297 5454

Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

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The DoC runs for momentum

April 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm (General Information) (, , , , , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre‘s Director of Communications, Laraine Penson, is running for momentum, our capital fundraising campaign. Over two weekends in May Laraine will run over 23 miles in order to help NBT reach it’s final fundraising total for the new building which we are planning to move into in September.

On Sunday 2 May Laraine will run the Bluebell 10 – a 10.3 mile race including trails, tracks, minor roads and the beautiful bluebell woods in the heart of Yorkshire. Don’t be fooled by this desription, it also takes in Calderdale’s steepest hill and ends with a river crossing. The following weekend, Sunday 9 May, Laraine will run the Leeds half marathon, 13 miles around the scenic undulating landscape of Leeds. If you would like to support NBT’s new building by sponsoring Laraine please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Laraine-Penson

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Dance Vote 2010

April 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm (General Information) (, , , )

Keiko Amemori in Angels in the Architecture - Photo by Bill Cooper

Keiko Amemori in Angels in the Architecture - Photo by Bill Cooper

In the run up to the general election, DanceVote 2010, created and backed by a steering group of the major dance organisations, is looking for assurances from the main political parties that they will support the thriving dance sector.

DanceVote 2010 has five aims

  1. To connect every politician standing for election to parliament with a dance activity in their local area
  2. To highlight the popularity of dance among constituents and the benefits to residents
  3. To underline the need for sustained public funding in order to build on (and not undermine) the progress achieved over the past few years
  4. To champion the value of dance as an art form, as well as in health and education
  5. To secure a statement on how candidates will support dance and the arts if they are elected

Why we need to talk to politicians now?

The current economic climate means that getting dance recognised and connected to politicians, in a local context, is more vital than ever. With difficult spending decisions ahead, we need politicians to understand that dance is something local voters care about, and that investing in dance provides value for money and benefits to local people. If spending cuts are being made, we don’t want dance activity to be the easiest thing to cut because politicians do not have knowledge of local dance activity.

Getting involved is quick and easy

Whether its ballroom or ballet, morris or contemporary dance that gets your adrenalin pumping, GETTING INVOLVED IS EASY, click here to send a personalised email to your local Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates explaining why you are passionate about dance, and asking them to pledge their support for dance and the arts.

DanceVote 2010 champions all dance, both professional and participatory. It is co-ordinated by Dance UK, working in partnership with a steering committee of leading dance professionals representing diverse backgrounds.

To find out more about DanceVote2010 go to www.dancevote2010.com or call Dance UK on 020 7713 0730.

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Easter Course Day 4

April 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm (Easter course, Learning & Access) (, )

Taking a Bow

The final day of the Easter Course dawned with yet more sun streaming through the windows at West Park. Thirty-one weary looking dancers arrived bright and early to start the final stages of the creative process. After a shorter class than usual, the group worked on the choreography for a short section in the middle of the piece. Earlier in the week they had devised some duets, looking at how counter-balances and lifts could be used, and these were re-worked to fit to Philip Feeney’s music.

All too soon it was time for the group to break for lunch and then, after getting changed, have a couple of final rehearsals of the piece. Shortly after 2.30pm eager friends and family began to arrive. With well over seventy people in attendance the hall was buzzing with chatter and anticipation, providing a really wonderful atmosphere for the first full showing of the piece to an audience. Although there will be re-workings of the piece at later stages, this was the first ‘draft’ and was certainly a testament to the hard work and creativity of the dancers (and Caroline). The audience was also treated to a duet performed by Joe Barnes and Jay Jones, which they had developed during the course and particularly stood out amongst those created by the dancers. It was certainly a sight to behold – at times Jay almost appeared to be tossing a seemingly weightless Joe around in the air, drawing many gasps from family and friends!

As the dancers left West Park to spend time relaxing after a busy week, they were sent home with information about reforming the group and showcasing the piece at a number of events in the future. The development of Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s new headquarters has been a key inspiration for the final piece and it will be absolutely wonderful for it to be performed at the official opening of the new dance centre. We hope that the additional rehearsals and performances will give the dancers an opportunity to consolidate what they have learnt during the course and also cement the friendships made along the way! For now though, as I sort through the lost property left behind (!), I leave you with a wonderful photograph of the final performance last Friday.

Philippa Plumtree-Varley
Learning & Access Coordinator

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Corporate Financier takes Chair of Northern Ballet Theatre Board

April 13, 2010 at 3:31 pm (General Information) (, , , , , )

David Forbes

David Forbes

One of Leeds’ leading corporate financiers is to take over as Chair of the Board of Directors for Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT). David Forbes, a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Rothschild, replaces Councillor Bernard Atha, to lead a recently strengthened Board with newly appointed directors from the world of education and media.

NBT continues to go from strength-to-strength. Having celebrated a successful 40th anniversary, the Company has secured funding for an exciting new production and has started its first tour of the year, performing to large and enthusiastic audiences in Leeds and around the country.

David takes up this position with NBT as it prepares to move into its new home in the centre of Leeds which it will share with Phoenix Dance Theatre. This highly visible powerhouse for inventive dance which will offer dance enthusiasts and audiences, not just in Leeds but across the north of England, closer access to two of the UK’s most important companies in the largest purpose-built dance space outside London. It will also offer meeting and conference and lecture facilities to corporate businesses.

David Forbes joined the Board in December 2003, bringing to it his extensive business experience and his wide-ranging contact base in the region. He has been a highly visible member of the business community in Yorkshire since 1989. He is also a Patron of the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

David Forbes, Pippa Moore, David Ward and Bernard Atha

David Forbes, Pippa Moore, David Ward and Bernard Atha at Northern Ballet Theatre's new home, currently under construction in the heart of Leeds

David said: “This is a truly exciting time for Northern Ballet Theatre and I don’t think I have ever seen the Company more confident. There is no doubt in my mind about the importance of having such strong cultural companies based here in Leeds and how well they represent the region around the rest of the country and abroad.

“I will be doing all I can to secure financial support for the Company from the corporate sector as every business in the city gains from having NBT here.

“Bernard Atha will be a hard act to follow. He has made a huge contribution to the Company over many years. I feel very honoured to have been offered this position and look forward to leading the Board in developing what can only be a bright future for NBT.”

NBT’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper, says:

“We’re thrilled to have David as our new Chair. This is, as he says, an exciting and vital time for the Company. David has been on the Board for more than years now, so he understands the workings of the Company and the challenges we face. I have every faith that his wealth of experience and his many skills will be of tremendous benefit in this position and will help NBT to develop a secure and solid future.”

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Peter Pan – Nottingham Cast

April 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm (Casts) (, , , , , , , , )

Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan - photo by Alistair Muir

Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan

Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Theatre Royal Nottingham.

Nottingham Theatre Royal Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, 13 April

Evening, 7.30pm

Wednesday, 14 April

Evening, 7.30pm

Thursday, 15 April

Matinee, 2.00pm

Evening, 7.30pm

Friday, 16 April

Evening, 6.00pm

Saturday, 17 April

Matinee, 2.30pm (Audio Described)

Evening, 7.30pm

    Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Nottingham Theatre Royal.

    Nottingham Theatre Royal Box Office: 0115 989 5555

    Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

    Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

    Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

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    Easter Course Day One!

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    Philippa Plumtree-Varley

    Learning & Access Coordinator

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    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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    Peter Pan – Woking Cast

    March 24, 2010 at 9:51 am (Casts) (, , )

    Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan - photo by Alistair Muir

    Ashley Dixon as Peter Pan

    Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Woking New Victoria Theatre.

    Woking New Victoria Theatre Box Office: 0844 871 7645

    Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

    Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

    Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

    Tuesday, 23 March

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Wednesday, 24 March

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Thursday, 25 March

    Matinee, 2.30pm

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Friday, 26 March

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Saturday, 27 March

    Matinee, 2.30pm

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Buy tickets for Peter Pan from Woking New Victoria Theatre.

    Woking New Victoria Theatre Box Office: 0844 871 7645

    Information & Photos of Northern Ballet Theatre’s production of Peter Pan.

    Information on further events at the theatre, touch tours, audio described performances and workshops.

    Please note, casts are subject to change without notice.

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    Leeds in Barcelona

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    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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    Wuthering Heights, Sheffield Cast

    March 17, 2010 at 10:03 am (Casts) (, , , , )

    Photo: Merlin Hendy

    Wuthering Heights is at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 16 till Saturday 20 March.

    Box office: 0114 249 6000 or book online.

    Casts are, as always, subject to change…

    Tuesday 16 March

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Wednesday 17 March

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Thursday 18 March

    Matinee, 2.30pm

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Friday 19 March

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Saturday 20 March

    Matinee, 2.30pm

    Evening, 7.30pm

    Wuthering Heights is at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 16 till Saturday 20 March.

    Box office: 0114 249 6000 or book online.

    Casts are, as always, subject to change…

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