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Each year we run open Easter and Summer Courses, each over four days which brings together dance, drama and storytelling. As well as working with our professional dance artists, young people often have the opportunity to work with a guest artist from another art form. This summer (2015) the young people on the course created this amazing film! Open Easter Course Open Summer Course
During the summer term of the Ability course, a dance course is specifically designed for adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities, participants created a dance film, which was premiered at the Beyond Arts festival in June 2015.
After weeks of discussing, planning, filming and refining, our film Introducing…Ability is finally complete. Creating a dance film was completely new to all the dancers and it was the first time Sophie and I had worked this way with a group together. Sophie said, 'It was a learning curve for all of us and a process we’d all like to repeat.' 
At the start of this week’s session we watched footage from last week and began to discuss a structure for the film. We thought of what might create an exciting beginning and what would keep our audience interested.  I played the footage with and without music to make the participants think about how this changed the feeling of the footage.
In Ability this week, we explored movement in the Atrium. Sophie and the participants devised a sequence focussing on the use of their head, hands and arms. As a group we decided the sequence would look effective filmed from a high angle. I decided to film the sequence from other angles so the participants had a choice for the final edit. We also discussed what they would like to hear in the soundtrack. We were inspired by jazz music and the sounds their hands made as they hit the table.
This week is Children's Hospice Week, organised by Together for Short Lives, and the focus this year is ‘making every moment count’. Having managed the START Hospices project that we've delivered for the last two years in partnership with Martin House Hospice in Boston Spa, Children's Hospice Week has made me stop and think about how the project affects the lives of the families who take part.
As part of my role at Northern Ballet I promote accessibility both inside the organisation and externally to our audience.  I am responsible for programming the audio descriptions and relaxed performances to enable everyone to access our productions, and I also work with other venues in Leeds to promote accessible performances across the city through Access Leeds Theatre.
This week in Ability we began to create work in our first location on level 3 of the building. We thought about expected and unexpected actions that might happen there, and used these to help create movement in and around the sofa area. We filmed sequences from different angles and looked through the footage to decide what we thought looked best.
This term, Sophie and I will be working with the Ability participants to create a dance film around the Northern Ballet building.
We still have places available on our Easter Course 2015, which this year will be inspired by Northern Ballet’s production of Elves & the Shoemaker.


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