Returning to the Northwest


After the excitement of performing in Dance Studio Leeds's gala last week, I feared that our November company class would be something of an anticlimax,  It was quite the reverse. We had a delightful class with Heather Boulton at Ballet Contours on  East Ordsall Lane yesterday.

As the Northern Powerhouse region stretches from Hull to Holyhead, we held company classes and other activities on alternate sides of the Pennines until the pandemic.   We held most of our classes in the Northwest at the Dancehouse and most of our classes in Yorkshire at Dance Studio Leeds.  Following a change of management at Northern Ballet School we lost the use of the Dancehouse.  As there is a shortage of suitable studio space in Manchester nearly all our activities since the end of the pandemic have had to take place in Leeds.  That has been inconvenient for many of our members in Manchester and points West.

We have now found two excellent new venues in the Northwest:  Ballet Contours where we held yesterday's class and Frances Bleasdale School of Dancing in Bolton where Katherine Wong gave us an excellent class on 1 Oct 2022.  As Manchester is not easy to reach for members in Liverpool and North Wales, we are now looking for a venue in that area for at least one class or workshop a year. 

Except for two rehearsals at York St John's University and a few classes and rehearsals at Huddersfield University and Kirklees Leisure Centre, all our activities in Yorkshire have taken place in Leeds.  At least one class in the New Year will take place in South Yorkshire and another in York. 

While we are expanding our activities in the Northwest and other parts of Yorkshire. we shall consolidate our position in Leeds,  On Friday I attended a reception at the studios of Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Leeds Dance Partnership.  The members of the Partnership are Northern Ballet; Yorkshire Dance; Northern School of Contemporary Dance; Leeds Playhouse; Phoenix Dance Theatre; and Leeds Beckett University.  Their aim is to support dance in Leeds and throughout the North,  In the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre, we were shown a short film on the projects that the Partnership has supported over the last 5 years.  A lot of resources are available in Leeds from which Powerhouse Ballet could benefit.

As I said after our performance last week, Powerhouse Ballet is on a roll.  One of our most popular events of the last few years has been online only post-Christmas class to work off the turkey and mince pies.  Fiona Noonan gave us the first of those classes in 2020 and Jane Tucker our second in 2021.  We shall hold another this year the date and time of which I shall announce very shortly.  Our first class of the New Year will be given by Annemarie Donoghue at Dance Studio Leeds between 13:00 and 14:30 on 28 Jan 2023. We are planning a workshop on another scene from Giselle early, an exhibition class on Kathak, an acting workshop with Fiona Cheng and ultimately a summer school in North Wales.  

If you want to take part in any of those activities, get in touch with us.


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