New building for dance given green light by planners

October 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm (Company News, Fundraising, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , , , , )

Planners at Leeds City Council have given the green light to plans for a new centre of excellence for dance in Leeds. The new building will be home to Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) and Phoenix Dance Theatre (Phoenix) and will be built on Quarry Hill next to the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Yorkshire Dance, the BBC and the Leeds College of Music. The designs by the Strategic Design Alliance, a partnership of Jacobs Architecture and Leeds City Council’s in-house architectural consultancy, were passed at a planning meeting earlier today.


The ambitious plans are for a six-storey building consisting of seven dance studios including a 200-seat studio theatre, office space, a health suite and a costume workshop. Alongside the two professional companies the building will eventually house a full-time classical dance school as well as Leeds Metropolitan University’s dance degree courses. The building will open in summer 2010.


In February NBT and Phoenix launched momentum, the campaign to raise the remaining £1.5million of the £12million building. To date the campaign has raised more than £800,000 from a number of trusts, foundations and individual donors. Mark Skipper, NBT’s Chief Executive is spearheading the momentum campaign:  “The planning decision means that we have reached a key milestone in this project’s progress. With building work due to start on site in four months time we are now looking for a number of businesses and individual donors to step forward and help us meet our fundraising target and achieve our ambitions.” Anyone wishing to support the momentum campaign should visit or contact Melanie Aram at NBT at


The new building has received wide support from across the region with Leeds City Council investing £6.7million, including a contribution from Yorkshire Forward, and Arts Council England, Yorkshire investing £3.5million through the National Lottery.


Andy Carver, Executive Director of Arts Council England, Yorkshire said: “It’s great news that this exciting project has reached such a significant milestone. ­Two of the country’s leading dance companies will have a state-of-the-art new home in Leeds, bringing great dance to many more people in Yorkshire and beyond.”

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Russian dance for new museum

September 19, 2008 at 11:57 am (Artist's News, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , )

Photograph by Brian Slater

NBT Dancers John Hull, David Ward, Thomas Aragones, Sebastian Loe and Ben Mitchell performed the Chinese and Russian dances from The Nutcracker in Leeds’ City Square to help celebrate the opening of the new City Museum. The museum will feature a costume from NBT’s A Sleeping Beauty Tale and the chance to discover dancer Lori Gilchrist’s dance journey.

NBT will visit Leeds Grand Theatre with performances of The Nutcracker from 17-31 December 2008.

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New momentum videos

September 4, 2008 at 11:18 am (Company News, Friends News, Fundraising) (, , , , , , , , )

Building Momentum website

There are two new videos from the architects on the momentum website, for a sneaky preview of what the new studios, performance spaces and other facilities will look like.

Watch the videos and find out how you can help us jump the last hurdle…

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New Open Classes

August 13, 2008 at 3:41 pm (Classical Training, General Information, Marketing and PR News, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , , , , , )

Open Classes

At Northern Ballet Theatre, all instruction is based on healthy physical principles. Our Open Classes allow students to train with leading professionals in a relaxed and friendly environment. Ballet is a great way to keep fit regardless of age. It improves alignment and helps posture.

Weekly classes as follows:

NEW for 2008 – Intro to Ballet
Thursday 17:30-18:30
Introductory classes for children aged 8-10

NEW for 2008 – Adult Beginners Ballet
Thursday 18:45-20:00
No experience required. 18+

Intermediate Ballet
Monday 19:00-20:30
Intermediate Foundation Standard and Above

Men’s Class
Wednesday 17:30-19:15
Intermediate Foundation Standard and Above

All classes are held at Northern Ballet Theatre’s Studios
at the West Park Centre on Spen Lane in Leeds.

For more information on these classes visit our website
or contact the Classical Training Dept.

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L&A August update

July 31, 2008 at 9:41 am (Learning & Access) (, , , , , , , , )

Get Creative 2007 - Body Proping - Photo by Brian Slater

As the weather improves and the summer finally begins, we look forward to the summer projects that we will be delivering throughout August.

We kick things off with Get Creative, a week long project combining music, movement and masks. Delivered in collaboration with Opera North, 17 young people aged 12 – 13 will have the opportunity to create their own masks and develop movement and songs to create a piece to be performed to family and friends at the end of the week.

Read the rest of the update here.

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Public art for our new dance centre

July 24, 2008 at 10:48 am (Company News, Fundraising) (, , , , , , , , , )

The search is on for an artist to create an artwork especially for our new building.

An exciting part of the plans for NBT’s capital project is the commissioning of a piece or pieces of Public Art to be incorporated within the building. The commission forms part of Leeds City Councils ambitious Public Art plans and, along with the exhibition space, extends even further what the new building will have to offer the communities of Leeds and the north of England.

There is a broad brief for the Public Art commission, it could be anything and use any medium, other than water. There are three potential locations identified by the design team for the public art: the entrance area, the glazing to the south façade, and the projecting balconies to the south façade.

Leeds City Council has started the procurement process and an artist should be appointed in October. For artists wishing to enter the procurement process the deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm on Monday 11 August, visit: to sign up.

Enquiries about the tender website/process to Julie Brennen, Procurement Unit, email tel: 0113 24 74088


For more information on the planned building, and to find out how to help us realise it visit

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New Directors for Northern Ballet Theatre

June 26, 2008 at 9:21 am (Company News, Friends News, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , )

Alan Harrison, John Procter, Denise Jagger 

Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) has appointed three new members to its Board of Directors: Alan Harrison, Director of Information Technology at Yorkshire Water; Denise Jagger, a partner at international law firm Eversheds; and Leeds Councillor John Procter.

Mark Skipper, Chief Executive of NBT said of the new appointments: “I would like to welcome Alan, Denise and John to NBT’s Board of Directors. They are experts in their respective professional fields and have a passion for the arts and we are delighted that they have chosen to share this with us…”

Read the full press release

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Learning & Access – June Update

June 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm (General Information, Learning & Access) (, , , , , , , , )

Over the past two years, we have been working in partnership with Beckfoot School, Innovation North – Leeds Metropolitan University and Creative Partnerships on an exciting project called Symbiosis, exploring dance through science and science through dance. This multi-faceted project is culminating this summer with the launch of an interactive DVD at a conference for teachers, educators and arts specialists at Beckfoot School in Bingley on Wednesday 16 July 2008.

Read the rest of this update here.

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Yorkshire Young Dancers and Musicians are excellent!

May 1, 2008 at 1:03 pm (Classical Training, Events, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , , , , , )

Excellent logo

Seven students from NBT’s pre-vocational training programme are taking part in a special performance at Sadler’s Wells in London on 15 July. Top choreographer Sharon Watson is creating a new dance piece for the group and fellow Yorkshire Young Dancers from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The group will also collaborate with eight students from Yorkshire Young Musicians who are creating a new composition for the performance with Andrew Stamatakis-Brown.

YYD Students

The performance is a celebration of the achievements of this country’s most talented young dancers and musicians supported by the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ Music and Dance Scheme.

Rehearsals are well underway and the group will give a special preview performance at the Riley Theatre in Leeds on 27 June. Read the full media release here.

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Delegation stepping out on a China Mission

December 17, 2007 at 10:34 am (Company News, Friends News, Marketing and PR News, Overseas Tour) (, , , , , , , )

Kathryn Moore of the Yorkshire Post wrote: “A DELEGATION from the region has jetted off to China today with the Northern Ballet Theatre for a four-week tour designed to raise Yorkshire’s profile in seven Chinese cities. Leeds City Council, Leeds Metropolitan University and Yorkshire Forward are supporting the tour and representatives from each organisation will act as ambassadors for the Yorkshire region.

Click the link below to read the rest of the article…

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