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Northern Ballet welcomes two new board members

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Northern Ballet has appointed Leeds and Partners’ Chief Executive, Lurene Joseph, and Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director, Daniel Evans, to its Board of Directors. Leeds-based Northern Ballet, which specialises in creating and performing full-length narrative ballets, is the fourth largest ballet company in England and the widest national touring ballet company in the UK. The two new Board members join as the Company is preparing to celebrate its 45th anniversary and continues to pursue its ambitious plans for the future which include extending the Company’s repertoire and reach of its national tour, developing stronger links with London, growing its Company of dancers and commissioning new ballets.

Lurene Joseph is the Chief Executive of Leeds and Partners, the strategic organisation responsible for attracting inward investment, promoting the visitor economy and raising the profile of Leeds and the wider city region. Prior to Leeds and Partners Lurene was Chief Executive of the London Development Agency (LDA) where she worked closely with London’s Mayors and the Greater London Authority. Previously Lurene also held senior positions at the European arm of oil giant, Shell, and the American electricity corporation, TXU.

On joining the Northern Ballet Board, Lurene said: “I am humbled by the invitation to join the Northern Ballet Board and recognise this as a huge opportunity to help promote the work of the Company nationally and internationally. This is not only relevant in a cultural setting but also from a business growth perspective in supporting jobs and skills creation. Northern Ballet is a truly remarkable dance company with an ambitious agenda and I am delighted to be a part of it.”

Daniel Evans trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has twice won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical and has had an extensive television and film career including BBC productions Great Expectations, Daniel Deronda, Doctor Who, The Virgin Queen and the feature film Les Misérables. He debuted as a director in 2005 and was appointed as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres in 2009; the organisation won Regional Theatre of the Year for an unprecedented two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014.

Daniel said: “I am truly honoured to be joining the Board of Northern Ballet at this exciting time in its history. As a huge fan of dance I’ve been attending the Company’s performances at the Lyceum Theatre since I became Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres in 2009. I look forward to supporting and promoting the company’s work in Yorkshire, nationally and internationally”.

Lurene and Daniel’s appointment to Northern Ballet’s Board of Directors is followed by the announcement that Veronica Wadley has stepped down from the Board. Veronica, who joined the Board in November 2009, currently holds the position of Chair of Arts Council London and is a member of Arts Council England.

Sir David Wootton, Chairman of the Board, said: “We are sorry to be losing Veronica Wadley from the Board and are grateful for all she has done for the Company since joining the Board in November 2009. I would like to personally thank her for her great contribution to our debates and discussions since I became Chairman and we wish Veronica all the success in the future.

However, as we say goodbye to one Board Member we are delighted to welcome two more. Lurene and Daniel’s respective and complementary skills and experiences will help us greatly as Northern Ballet moves forward with its ambitions as a Leeds-based company with national and international aspirations.”

On welcoming the two new Board members Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper DL, said: “I am delighted to welcome Lurene and Daniel to Northern Ballet’s Board of Directors at such an important time for the Company. On the eve of our 45th anniversary we are preparing to increase the range of our national tour and to raise the profile of the Company which includes more frequent tours to London. We have our eyes set firmly on the future and remain committed to creating and performing a wide repertoire of world-class ballets nationwide. Lurene and Daniel will bring an extensive range of skills, expertise and enthusiasm to Northern Ballet which will help to ensure that the Company can continue to grow and operate at the highest level.” 

Press release date: 
Wed 30 Apr 2014