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Expressions

Translating Classical Technique Workshop

Led by professional disabled dancer Joseph Powell-Main, the workshop will focus on how the classical technique can be approached to allow dancers with different needs to be able to access it. 

When: Friday 12 July, 11am - 1.30pm
Where: Northern Ballet, 2 St Cecilia Street, Leeds, LS2 7PA
Price: Free but booking is essential

Following on from Joseph's workshop at Expressions 2023, this session aims to give ballet and dance teachers the tools they need to explore centre work using travel and elevated movements. Even though the workshop follows on from last year's content, it's suitable for all dance teachers of all levels and genres who would like to develop their inclusive practice, including those who haven't attended previously.

This workshop will introduce themes from the Universal Design of Instruction (UDI) technique. Originally developed by Jurg Koch, UDI focuses on different ways to improve accessibility within the ballet technique. UDI inspires Joe's practice as a performer, choreographer and teacher.

Joe will be working with workshop participants to analyse a selection of technical exercises, as well as a well-known classical variation.

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The face of a dark haired, light skinned man close up.

Joseph Powell-Main 

Joe began dancing in Mid-Wales at the age of five. Between the ages of eight and ten, he trained with the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst School for Dance on the Junior Associate and pre-vocational programmes.

In 2009 Joe successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge Richmond Park. Joe trained at the school for three and a half years. Following a period of injuries, surgery and then being involved in a car accident, Joe acquired his disability.

As a student Joe performed with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and English Youth Ballet. Joe also performed for HRH Princess Alexandra. 

 Joe returned to dance using a wheelchair through Latin and Ballroom. This led to him studying a degree in Dance and Performance at the Arden School of Theatre, which he graduated from in 2020 with first class honours.

Joe worked with Ballet Cymru as a company member between 2020 and 2021 and is the first dancer using a wheelchair to perform with the Royal Ballet.

 In 2023, Joe became the inaugural ambassador for National Youth Ballet. He is also a Patron for BBOdance and works with both organisations to champion further inclusive work.

Joseph Powell-Main's official website

Header image of Joseph Powell-Main performing in Snow Queen, photo by Dani Bower. Portrait image by Sian Trenberth.

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