It has been a very strange week for Northern Ballet Academy. With the Company only moving into the building last Monday we made the decision to move the Academy across a week later so that staff could fully get to grips with the building before more than 200 academy students came through the doors.
I have spent my week going back and forth from Quarry Hill in the daytime to West Park in the evenings and it really has made me realise quite how lucky the Academy is.
The first week has been very exciting, learning our way around the building and making use of the terrific facilities it has to offer. By the time the Northern Ballet dancers return from their national tour on 18 October we will have settled in nicely and be ready to welcome them with open arms to their new home.
Since my last blog I am a year older, I had to pull out of the first night of Dangerous Liasions, we revised and performed A Christmas Carol, said our good byes to West Park and returned from Bangkok. And yes I am jet lagged !!!
The company were back to the theatre this morning for class and then our second and final performance of A Christmas Carol. Some of the Technicians also came in early to tidy up one or two of the lighting states.
The matinee was once again very well attended and it was interesting to observe that in both performances the audience was made up of 90% Thais which was quite unexpected. The performance was received very well by the audience who were very appreciative at the end with cheers and even some standing!
Friday evening I attended a dinner last night with our Promoter, Mr Uberoi. The dinner was in honour of the departing Taiwanese Ambassador & his wife and was attended by four further Ambassadors from South Africa, Slovakia, Korea and the EU. It was quite a memorable occasion and I have never been in the company of five Ambassadors at the same time before!!
Last night the Technical Staff continued the fit up in the humid conditions of the Cultural Centre while the dancers were taken to the home of Mr Uberoi for a lavish party.
It is always a challenge working in venues overseas with language barriers and unfamiliar equipment. Though staff here are very willing tasks take longer than usual and the crew continued well into the night, focusing the lights.The stage of the Cultural Centre is very large and Christmas Carol, designed for all our touring venues in the UK, will look a little small but the energy from the dancers will make it look huge!
The dancers arrived last night after a good flight. Some ventured out while some had an early night after their long journey. Today they have a free day to explore the sites and relax by the pool or in the Spa.
The fit up started at the Thailand Cultural Centre this morning and all is going to schedule. The Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra have further rehearsals with Nigel Gaynor today.
The Company is giving two performances of A Christmas Carol at the Bangkok International Festival of Music and Dance on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September. This is a very prestigious festival and we are delighted to be back having performed Peter Pan here in 2005.