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New opportunities for emerging choreographers

Press release date 
Tue 25 Nov 2014

Northern Ballet is furthering its commitment to invest in the future of dance by offering emerging choreographers the unique opportunity to work with the Company's award winning Artistic Director and dancers. Tell Tale Steps, the Leeds-based Company's inaugural Choreographic Laboratory will take place from 25 May to 20 June 2015. The Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet are partner organisations in the project and have nominated an emerging choreographer from within their organisations to take part. They will be joined by one of Northern Ballet’s artists and Artistic Director David Nixon OBE has invited open applications for one final place.

Applications from ambitious choreographers in the early stages of their careers, with a genuine interest in classical dance and the narrative form are now being received. Those wishing to be considered must send a CV along with a concise written statement to David Nixon OBE, Northern Ballet, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7PA no later than 5 January 2015. 

Tell Tale Steps will offer emerging choreographers studio time in Northern Ballet's state-of-the art headquarters in Leeds, working with a selection of the Company's dancers to experiment with creative processes, play with movement ideas and begin to see a dance story develop from the perspective of the audience. Those selected to take part in the Choreographic Laboratory will be mentored under the expert guidance of David Nixon, with further support from guest artists throughout the process.

David Nixon said: 'Northern Ballet is in a privileged position to be able to offer emerging choreographers this special opportunity to feed their creative desires, channel and articulate their ideas and develop their own creative style, working with some of the UK's most uniquely expressive and talented dancers.

As one of the UK's largest ballet companies we have a responsibility to create opportunities such as these, offering support and guidance for the choreographers of the future and an environment in which they are able to play with ideas with no expectations of a finished product. I hope that this opportunity will not only enable the selected artists to flourish but that the project will create a platform that could lead to the development of new and exciting work that audiences can then potentially experience in theatres.

I am proud of Northern Ballet's significant contribution to the UK dance scene and particularly the Company’s pivotal role in placing Leeds firmly on the map as a city of dance and a major hub for dance outside of London. I hope that, through a continued commitment to this project, Northern Ballet will become an internationally recognised centre for classical choreographic development, investing in the future of classical narrative dance.'

The selected applicants will experience the choreographic process in its entirety. Prior to the laboratory they will take part in an introductory weekend in February 2015, looking at the history of narrative dance, where they will be given a remit for the lab from which they will put together their own proposals. The choreographers will experience all aspects of creating a production, from auditioning and selecting dancers to the opportunity to spend time with an audience to gain feedback on their work. A presentation of ideas will take place on Saturday 20 June where people will be able to come and hear an overview of the project from a panel of experts and the choreographers, and gain an insight into the process behind creating narrative classical dance.

Tell Tale Steps is supported by the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation and the Leche Trust.

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