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BAFTA award for Northern Ballet

Press release date 
Mon 25 Nov 2013

The television adaptation of Northern Ballet’s Ugly Duckling has received a Children’s BAFTA in the Pre-School Live Action category.

Ugly Duckling was Northern Ballet’s first ballet created for children and was choreographed by company dancers Dreda Blow and Sebastian Loe. The television adaptation of Ugly Duckling was commissioned by the BBC for CBeebies and was initially broadcast over Easter weekend. The Award was presented to CBeebies production team Angela Young, Iwan Watson and Tony Reed at last night’s Children’s BAFTA award ceremony in London.

Funding from Leeds City Council’s Leeds Inspired fund enabled Northern Ballet to create Ugly Duckling with the aim of reaching children and families who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre or engage with ballet. Initially performed at community venues in Leeds, the ballet received further funding from Arts Council England to tour throughout the North of England.

To date more than 25,000 children and their families have seen a live performance of Ugly Duckling; more than 250,000 people have watched the television adaptation and more than 400,000 people have experienced the production through BBC iPlayer and the CBeebies website.

After receiving the award Tony Reed, Executive Producer of CBeebies, said: “The Northern Ballet dancers were wonderful to work with; they worked really hard and did everything we asked of them. Northern Ballet’s whole outreach programme fits very well with CBeebies; they want to introduce ballet to new audiences so it was a really good fit.”

Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper, added: “We are thrilled and excited that Ugly Duckling has received this recognition. Last month the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall announced his plans for placing the arts at the heart of the BBC. Our partnership with the BBC in the creation of Ugly Duckling is an excellent example of this and should be used as a flagship project. Its impact, reach and success has delighted us all.”

Northern Ballet has been commissioned to create two further ballets for children: Three Little Pigs premièred to sell-out audiences in Leeds in October and will tour throughout the UK in 2014; The Elves and the Shoemaker will première in 2015.

Northern Ballet’s next new full-length ballet, Cinderella, premières at Leeds Grand Theatre on 17 December 2013.

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