Looking Back to our Northwest Company Class and Forward to the Year Ahead

Northwest Company Class, 30 Nov 2019
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Although we were slightly down on numbers, our last company class of 2019 was a good one.  Mark Hindle pushed us hard as he always does.  He worked us hard which is what we wanted and treated us like artists and not just dance students.  At times he was quite fierce,  While instructing us in a grand allegro he told us to turn and run as though our lives depended on it which in his class was not an exaggeration. We all learned something as I think is self-evident from the expressions on our faces.

Our next class will be with Annemarie Donoghue of Northern Ballet at Dance Studio Leeds on 25 Jan 2020.  She has already given us two excellent classes in July 2018 and July 2019 and has now offered to train us twice a year.  Jane Tucker has also agreed to give us a full day repertoire class on the Dance of the Flowers from The Nutcracker along the lines of the workshops that she delivered for KNT for several years.  Mark Hindle has also agreed to give us a workshop later in the New Year.  Alex Hallas of Ballet Cymru will teach us part of his Jenkins Concerto which was one of the best works in Made in Wales earlier this year.  I have also been in discussion with Terence Etheridge about re-staging Aria and with Yvonne Charlton about bringing her back to the North for another attempt to stage Morning.

Now in case readers are wondering why we are doing so much repertoire I want us to be in a position in which we can present our own mixed bill in a medium-size theatre.  I was a little disappointed not to have contributed to Dance Studio Leeds's 10th-anniversary gala as I had invested heavily in the project but we did not have the numbers.  To avoid that wastage, there will need to be some organizational changes next year, especially if we opt to become a charitable incorporated organization for which I have now done the preparatory work. 

I will continue to fund the company to the extent that I have up to now but I will be focusing my funding on those who contract to perform after an audition.  Others will be welcome at classes, rehearsals and workshops but they will be expected to contribute to the cost of the class, workshop or rehearsal.  Only contracted cast members will be entitled to attend for free. Should we get grant funding or additional sponsorship we may be able to reimburse cast members' travelling and other incidental expenses.

In the meantime, I wish everybody a great Christmas and a Happy New Year,


  1. This all sounds wonderful Jane. Your energy and dedication to ballet is inspirational. I doubt I would get through any audition but I am always keen to pay for such a comprehensive and diverse class programme.


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