Natalie James – make anything work

Natalie Nicole James is a movement and circus artist. From 2012-2015, Natalie studied at the National Centre for Circus Arts; she received a full scholarship to train and specialise in dance-trapeze, graduating with a BA Honours.

After working with Impact Dance Company and Sean Graham Dance Theatre, Natalie began a performance career as a soloist exploring her own artistic voice whilst performing as part of the Beijing Olympics Torch ceremony.

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The Victorian Dance Festival

The Victorian Dance Festival, Australia’s premier dance event, took place last month, and broke a World Record for the most dancers en pointe for one minute in one place. Over 4,000 dancers were in attendance for the weekend of dance classes from Australian and international dance leaders, and breaking the record were over 300 pointe dancers. The previous pointe record was set in Orlando, Florida on 22 May 2011, with 245 dancers. It was achieved by Dr. Phillips High School Dance Magnet, the Orlando Ballet and area dance schools (all USA) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

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My First Ballet: Cinderella

Currently underway is English National Ballet and English National Ballet School’s presentation of My First Ballet: Cinderella, on its national tour until 30 July 2017. My First Ballet: Cinderella is a reimagined version of the classic fairytale, created especially for children as young as three in a theatrical setting. Adapted to just an hour in length and with a narrator to help young audiences follow the story, My First Ballet: Cinderella is the perfect introduction to the magic of ballet.

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Northern Connections at the Riley Theatre

Three emerging dance artists from Leeds and Manchester will perform a triple bill at the Riley Theatre on 27 April, as part of the Arts Council-funded programme Northern Connections. Chapeltown’s Akeim Buck, Leeds’ Daniel Phung and Sheffield’s Keira Martin will perform dance pieces in a bid to demonstrate, nurture and retain talent in the north of England. Now in its second year, Northern Connections has partnered with Spin Arts and Yorkshire Dance to make this professional development opportunity possible.

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Dance to Health

Aesop’s Dance to Health pilot programme has found dancers can be trained to deliver artistic, evidence-based healthcare programmes. It also found reductions in loneliness for participants, and therefore suggests similar arts in health programmes could become sustainable funding streams for arts organisations, as Dance to Health clearly demonstrated the positive outcomes and the lower overall costs of managing falls compared to the primary prevention programme.

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Free headshots for students

A new bursary scheme has recently been launched that will provide free headshots to 21 students from different drama and vocational schools around the UK. Schools involved in the scheme, which include RADA, LAMDA and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, will award the headshot session to a current second-year student – or a final-year student for a one or two-year course – based on the grounds of financial need, performing excellence and high academic achievement.

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Sadler’s Wells Family Weekend

Family Weekend, Sadler’s Wells’ annual two-day festival of family-friendly events, was back on Friday 14 & Saturday 15 April, taking over the theatre building and offering something for all ages with fun activities, arts & crafts and workshops. These complemented Aracaladanza’s Vuelos on the Sadler’s Wells stage, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s quest to make man fly. Suitable for ages five and over, Family Weekend continued to see the theatre transformed into a magical space for children and their families as an unmissable jam-packed day out.

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The Flamenco Edition

Following successful tours in 2015 and 2016, Flamenco Edition returns in 2017 with the Ana Morales Flamenco Company. Touring to more venues than ever before and following the success of previous tours – Jesus Fernandez in 2015 and Olga Pericet in 2016 – Flamenco Edition 2017 presents Ana Morales Flamenco Company in Reunión – a brand new show for the UK, touring to Newcastle, Birmingham, Derby, Nottingham and Bournemouth between 9–17 May.

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The history and material cultures of performance

The Victoria and Albert Museum and Royal College of Art are set to launch a new performing arts-led archive course, based at the V&A’s theatre collections. It is a new optional strand of the V&A and Royal College of Art’s existing 15 month MA programme on the history of design, and students will be able to dedicate their entire curriculum to performance.

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The UK’s first revolving theatre

Liverpool is set to install the UK’s first revolving theatre, as part of plans to revitalise Liverpool’s Ten Streets dockland area into a creative hub for arts and technology organisations. The ‘stage-around theatre’, in which seats rotate to face different stages, will be the first of its kind in the UK, as part of ambitious plans for a new creative quarter that officials hope could create thousands of jobs in Liverpool.

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