Today has been a very busy day, not just because we received news of the Arts Council funding cuts this morning, but because it was the first of our two START Days of Dance. I have been in charge of organising the day which has involved 240 pupils from local schools taking part in workshops and watching a performance here at Northern Ballet! The START project, supported by the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, enables young people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to access the arts, to take part in dance activities and to visit local theatres.
So today, 6 of the 14 schools taking part in START came to our building and had a creative dance workshop in our new studios, as well as hearing a talk from our wardrobe and technical departments. They then watched a performance in our studio theatre which was hosted by David Nixon, and showed the pupils ballet positions, explaining how the dancers move, as well as excerpts from a number of our productions such as Cleopatra, The Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet.
Feedback from the pupils so far has been amazing – they have loved getting an insight into various elements of the Company and seeing the dancers performing close up. Much hilarity came from the costume talk as some of the pupils got to try on the mouse’s head from The Nutcracker. The final pupils have just left the building, so after a quick tidy up I’ll get everything ready for the 8 schools that are coming for their Day of Dance tomorrow.