Leeds takes centre stage as a City of Dance
Six Leeds-based dance organisations have come together to showcase Leeds as the number one city for dance in the UK outside London. Balbir Singh Dance Company, Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre, RJC Dance and Yorkshire Dance have created a new dance map which aims to show how Leeds is a City of Dance.
The Leeds City of Dance map launches on Wednesday 26 March at an event at Leeds’ Civic Hall. Guests and Councillors have been invited to watch a short performance by Balbir Singh Dance Company, Northern Ballet and Northern School of Contemporary Dance, meet the people behind the project as well as see the dance map for themselves.
The idea behind the Leeds City of Dance map is to tell the story of how successful dance is in the City and how Leeds is connected to the rest of the UK and the world by dance. Based on research conducted by the organisations in 2012/13, the map also aims to show the reach, engagement and economic and social impact of dance in Leeds.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said: “We are extremely fortunate in Leeds to have a thriving mix of highly respected dance organisations based in the city which are greatly admired not just nationally, but right across the world.
“The development of the Leeds City of Dance map is a brilliant opportunity to bring our groups together to not only showcase further what we have to offer, but also to inspire more people to watch and take part in dance.”
Some remarkable facts and figures feature in the map: in 2012/13 almost 300,000 people saw a performance by the organisations involved and 400 people were employed by them. The map paints a picture of a lifetime of opportunities available for people in Leeds to experience, enjoy and work in dance.
Group spokesperson Wieke Eringa, CEO and Artistic Director of Yorkshire Dance said: “We believe dance is something Leeds can be proud of. It has the UK’s richest dance ecology with three dedicated dance buildings, two international touring companies, Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre, one of the first national dance agencies, Yorkshire Dance, the only government-funded dance conservatoire north of London, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and many dance artists and companies including Balbir Singh Dance Company and RJC Dance.”
The partners hope that, although not primarily targeted at members of the public, the map will inspire people to get involved with dance in a range of ways including watching performances or joining in dance classes. From 26 March the map can be found online at www.cityofdance.co.uk