Flagship Children’s Theatre For Darlington

Darlington Borough Council

Darlington Borough Council has announced it intends to use £600,000 of ring-fenced funds from the future sale of Darlington Arts Centre to help create a flagship children’s theatre which will become the first permanent performance space for children’s touring company Theatre Hullabaloo. The company will bid for £1.5 million of Arts Council England capital money for the project and the local authority will provide its own cash as match-funding if the bid is successful.

The proposed theatre would include a 150-seat studio theatre space for professional performances by Theatre Hullabaloo, as well as rehearsal areas and a cafe. Other arts organisations and community groups would be able to stage works and use the space as well. While Darlington Borough Council would be unable to subsidise the new venue, its proposal would entail running the building and sharing management costs with the Darlington Civic Centre while Theatre Hullabaloo would programme the space.

The council-owned Darlington Arts Centre, which was the previous base for Theatre Hullabaloo as well as other arts groups, closed in July 2012. The new venue will not replace the Darlington Arts Centre, but will form an important part of a proposed cultural quarter for the town that would also have national significance as a small theatre space for the town.

The proposal is for the venue to embody the values of the company which are that children should not be compromised as an audience by having to be secondary users in an adult-designed space. The venue will be a children-centred space that would allow the company to create and perform its own work and create a hub for artists developing their own practice in theatre for young audiences.

The Albany’s £1 Ticket Offer

The AlbanySouth East London’s Deptford has a secret weapon in the form of The Albany, the Southbank Centre for non-central Londoners. The arts venue is also a meeting and training place, a social place, a work place and a performance space, in addition to being a cafe and a place for young children. The venue has had a longstanding and successful relationship with the Deptford market just outside its doors on Deptford High Street, mixing its cultural vibrancy with the theatres.

The Albany has recently launched a scheme with has integrated itself straight into Deptford market in the form of a pop-up stand offering a limited number of £1 tickets to events and performances at The Albany. Tickets are purchased first come first served, offering local residents and shoppers the chance to engage with the arts cheaply, and perhaps even take a risk and attend something they may not have considered spending money on a ticket for. Encouraging audiences to see different art forms broadens their appreciation and knowledge of the art scene, and London’s in particular.

10 were available for each show, and according to the theatre 182 were sold, with an estimated 70% of those being first time bookers. At £1 per ticket this isn’t a money making exercise yet the level of first time buyer response is good, along with the promise of repeat booking at the full price of £6. The Albany’s stall is now a regular feature of the market. It enables members of the theatre team to interact with audience members one to one and allows time for genuine relationships to be created.

Freeing cheap tickets to audiences is a fantastic incentive for those who don’t attend performances or arts events regularly to support their local arts venue. The Albany offers a wide variety of performances, including those specifically for children and young people. The Albany is also a central place to meet, discuss and share – as a mini Southbank Centre – offering the residents of Deptford an area which is theirs for the community, just outside the expense and bustle of central London.

Academy of Northern Ballet Talent Search

Northern BalletNorthern Ballet has announced plans to take its Academy Open Days on the road to Hull, Doncaster and Harrogate in early 2014 in a bid to find Yorkshire’s most promising young dance talent. The open days are a chance for 9–12 year olds, with and without dance experience, to find out more about the training programmes, technique and auditions.

The free Open Days will take place at Hull College (19 January), Cast in Doncaster (26 January) and Harrogate’s Ashville College (2 February). The Academy of Northern Ballet will also host an Open Day at its home in Leeds on Sunday 16 February for prospective students aged 9–15 years, including a dedicated session for boys. Following the open days, preliminary auditions for all courses will take place on Friday 28 February and Sunday 2 March. Applications should be submitted by Thursday 20 February.

The Academy of Northern Ballet is the official school of Leeds-based Northern Ballet, and specialises in offering a holistic approach to teaching, nurturing and inspiring the professional dancers of the future. As the only recognised Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) in the UK specialising in Classical Ballet, Northern Ballet Academy is hosting Open Days to entice young dancers from across Yorkshire to audition for its professional CAT training programme which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2014. Graduates from Northern Ballet’s CAT programme have gone on to full-time vocational training at top training schools including the Royal Ballet Upper School, English National Ballet School and Central School of Ballet.

Students benefit from teaching methods developed by Northern Ballet’s renowned Ballet Mistress which focuses on developing technique and ensuring that students have the solid foundation required to build a long and rewarding career in dance. The organisation is committed to nurturing the physical and emotional wellbeing of each student in an atmosphere that centres on individual learning and professionalism.

Injury Diet

Shin SplintsWith injuries perhaps the most feared aspect of a performer’s life, it is important that your diet is aiding recovery, aside from other treatments you may be using such as ice, physiotherapy and rest. Ensuring you are providing your body with good nutrition will reduce recovery times, which is paramount for getting back in the studio. It is said that there are three key nutrients to get you back on top form.

Protein is essential for both building and healing muscle, in addition to repairing bones and improving muscle contraction. Despite this, too much protein can be detrimental; it is important to eat protein intelligently in order to maximise its impact, which does not mean simply eating more protein. Many dancers already consume enough, so it is perhaps best to eat small amounts of high-quality protein with each meal for rebuilding tissue, such as yogurt, cheese, lean meat, beans, rice, quinoa, nuts and seeds. Too much protein forces the body to release calcium from the bones to balance it, which could slow recovery time.

Dancers must also get enough Vitamin D, due to the fact they spend long hours inside. Calcium is another vitamin that dancers tend to not get much of, both of which are vital for the repairing of stress fractures, for example. Vitamin D allows bones to absorb calcium and use it to repair stresses, hairline fractures and breaks: it also strengthens the immune system and helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. Just 15 minutes of sun exposure a day, even when it’s overcast outside, can help increase your levels for better healing. Other sources of vitamin D include yoghurt, fortified milk, tuna, salmon, and the yolks of eggs.

Vitamin C is also a great healer, from rebuilding ligaments to repairing blisters, however an excess amount becomes similar to excess protein. Because vitamin C is acidic the body will use calcium to neutralise the large amounts found in supplements, causing a weakening of the bones. The daily requirement is just 45–100 milligrams, which is around two oranges.

Body Of Knowledge

ResCenEarly November saw the launch of a new strand of ResCen, the Research Centre of Middlesex University. This strand is dedicated to the reaching and works of Robert Cohan, a dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and now a teacher and choreographer in his own right.

Cohan went on to establish The Place, London, with Robin Howard, and London Contemporary Dance Theatre, bringing a specific style of contemporary dance to the UK.

The students at Middlesex University are taught the Cohan method of the Graham technique by Anne Donnelly, a student descendant, passed down from teacher to student to teacher again, creating a legacy which is both complemented and supported by ResCen. The Cohan method does not differ widely from pure Graham technique; the principles of movement remain the same, just with the additions of Cohan’s profound teaching method and incorporation of the body and mind.

Robert Cohan, is the founding artistic director of The Place alongside Robin Howard, who financed the years following The Place’s inception. It was born from the journey of the Martha Graham technique from America to London by Cohan, seeing his work and legacy documented in by his colleagues and students to preserve his teaching method and also include interviews about his ethos and various works.

Now The Place is home to many contemporary and jazz classes, alongside the Richard Alston Dance Company and London Contemporary Dance School, no longer London Contemporary Dance Theatre which became the recipient company of London Contemporary Dance School students. The Place offers termly classes in techniques such as Release, Cunningham, Limón and Graham, alongside some ballet and jazz.

Rambert’s New Home For Dance

Rambert Dance Company LogoBritain’s national contemporary dance company Rambert has taken up residence in its new home on London’s South Bank, which includes dance studios, treatment and body conditioning rooms, workshops, offices and an archive. The location has been made available to Rambert by Coin Street Community Builders in return for a commitment to provide a significant community dance programme in the local area, and for a rent of one pair of ballet shoes a year. The facility will nurture, develop and realise the creative visions of the best of today and tomorrow’s choreographers and dancers; the ambition is that the landmark dances for the next 100 years will be created in the building, therefore giving dance a permanent home on the South Bank

Rambert will take its work to people throughout the UK, with the most far-reaching touring programme of any British contemporary dance company. Currently over three-quarters of Rambert’s performances take place outside of London, complemented by equally extensive education and community-based work. Closer to home, the new premises will hold connections with the local neighbourhood. People of all ages and abilities will be welcomed into the building to join in dance classes, and the daily activity of the building will be opened up to visitors, as will the extensive archive of Britain’s oldest dance company. The hope is that everyone who comes into the building will be inspired with confidence and ambition for Rambert’s future as Britain’s national contemporary dance company.

During the first year in its new building, Rambert’s home will be a hub for making new works, restaging classic repertory, creative collaborations and community engagement. Plans include, three new large-scale commissions for the company (Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, Shobana Jeyasingh – one of the UK’s foremost independent choreographers – and Alexander Whitley, a former Rambert dancer recently appointed associate artist with the company. Two classic works from Rambert’s past repertoire will be revived, namely Christopher Bruce’s iconic Rooster, first performed by Rambert in 1994 and last revived in 2001, and Four Elements, a 1990 commission for Rambert by celebrated US choreographer Lucinda Childs.

Rambert’s new home is the first major, purpose-built dance facility to open in London for 10 years. The building’s three main studios have been named the Marie Rambert Studio, after the company’s founder; the Mercury Studio, acknowledging the Mercury Theatre, the company’s first home; and the Anya Linden Studio, in recognition of the generous contribution to the fundraising campaign from two of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts: Monument Trust and Linbury Trust. The Marie Rambert studio is 306.75 square metres – the equivalent size of the stage at Sadler’s Wells which is the largest theatre space the Company regularly tours to.

Strictly-Themed Workout Programme From Bristol

FitStepsA Bristol fitness instructor and diet adviser Sarah Buscemi has added a new Strictly-themed exercise regime to her usual repertoire to enable clients to dance their way to fitness with a new Strictly-themed workout programme. Sarah has joined other Rosemary Conley consultants around the country to train in FitSteps, which was launched earlier this year by Strictly stars Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite.

The programme is based on some of most popular Latin and ballroom dances, also seen on the hit television show Strictly Come Dancing, including the jive, cha cha, samba, tango, waltz and quickstep, but for FitSteps it is broken down into easy sections. As a result FitSteps has been made suitable for dancers of all abilities, even if you have never danced before

Sarah runs 10 Rosemary Conley classes each week in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, with the 90-minute session including a 45-minute exercise session, and now FitSteps. Like all FitSteps instructors, Sarah was personally introduced to the moves by Natalie and Ian, and can download new dances to teach her clients from the FitSteps website, keeping the programme both fresh and up to date.

With television shows such as Strictly growing in popularity, it is no wonder that FitSteps is appealing: it is around 50% dance and 50% aerobic moves, but the combination of the two makes for an intense workout. With FitSteps there is no need for a partner, and supports all levels and abilities, whether they work out often, or can’t remember the last time they put on their fitness shoes.

If you would like to try your hand (and feet!) at FitSteps, visit fitsteps.co.uk to find a class near you.

Phoenix Dance Theatre

Phoenix Dance TheatrePhoenix Dance Theatre has grown over the last thirty years to become a renowned and respected British dance company. Founded in inner-city Leeds, the company has become a leading contemporary company and now completes both national and international tours in the aim to bring inspiring and entertaining dance to the widest possible audience.

Founded in 1981 by David Hamilton, Donald Edwards and Vilmore James, Phoenix’s fresh approach to contemporary dance won much support from its audiences and critics. The company began with just male dancers and went on to appoint female dancers from 1987 following the appointment of Neville Campbell as Artistic Director. Cambell worked to expand the company to ten dancers, and also expanded the company’s repertoire. In this year also the company established its permanent base at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds city centre.

1991 saw Margaret Morris take over as Artistic Director, and with this saw the expanding of the company’s UK and international touring. In 1996 the company were the some representative of British dance at the Cultural Olympics in Atlanta, and the company continued to grow under two more Artistic Directors, establishing an archive and rebranding the company. Phoenix has seen many styles of directorship and many growing facets as a result: under Javier De Frutos, for example, the now multi-cultural company won the ‘Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern)’ at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.

Current Artistic Director Sharon Watson was appointed in 2009, re-introducing the company to diverse and mixed programmes of work and revived classic pieces from the companies rich repertoire. The company now aims to be the leading middle scale dance company in the UK, having just celebrated three decades of dance. The company’s new home at Quarry Hill means Phoenix can continue producing high quality work for even longer.

The 14th National Dance Awards Announcement of Nominations

National Dance Awards Critics' CircleThe Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle has announced the list of nominations for the 14th National Dance Awards, to be awarded at a central London venue on 27 January 2014. The National Dance Awards have been organised each year since 2000, celebrating the variety of Britain’s dance culture. They are the only awards given by the body of professional dance critics in the UK.

Grishko are continuing as headline event sponsors as well as sponsoring the Best Female Dancer Award, which is given in memory of Richard Sherrington; Dancing Times will continue its long-running arrangement to sponsor the Best Male Dancer Award and other sponsors continuing for a further year include Stef Stefan, sponsoring both the Outstanding Company and Best Modern Choreography Awards; the Ballet Association for the Best Classical Choreography Award; Lee McLernon for the Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) and the Critics’ Circle. The event will also play host to the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Dance UK Industry Award, given in memory of Jane Attenborough, for both of which there are no prior nominations.

It is clear that there is a vast and rich choice for the National Dance Awards, and the results are eagerly anticipated.

DANCING TIMES AWARD FOR BEST MALE DANCER
Dane HURST (RAMBERT)
Vadim MUNTAGIROV (ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET)
Sergei POLUNIN (MOSCOW STANISLAVSKY BALLET and GUEST ARTIST, THE ROYAL BALLET)
Edward WATSON (THE ROYAL BALLET)

GRISHKO AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE DANCER
Maria KOCHETKOVA (SAN FRANCISCO BALLET)
Natalia OSIPOVA (MIKHAILOVSKY BALLET and GUEST ARTIST, THE ROYAL BALLET & BOLSHOI BALLET)
Olga SMIRNOVA (BOLSHOI BALLET)
Eva YERBABUENA (BALLET FLAMENCO EVA YERBABUENA)

STEF STEFANOU AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING COMPANY
BOSTON BALLET
MIKHAILOVSKY BALLET
ROSAS
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET

BEST CLASSICAL CHOREOGRAPHY
Mark MORRIS (‘BEAUX’ for SAN FRANCISCO BALLET)
David NIXON (‘THE GREAT GATSBY’ for NORTHERN BALLET)
Alexei RATMANSKY (’24 PRELUDES’ for THE ROYAL BALLET)
Christopher WHEELDON (‘AETERNUM’ for THE ROYAL BALLET)

BEST MODERN CHOREOGRAPHY
Guilherme BOTELHO (‘SIDEWAYS RAIN’ for ALIAS)
Matthew BOURNE (‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ for NEW ADVENTURES)
Sidi Larbi CHERKAOUI (‘PUZ/ZLE’ for EASTMAN)
Russell MALIPHANT (‘FALLEN’ for BalletBoyz® TheTALENT)

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (CLASSICAL)
Nancy OSBALDESTON (for The Ballerina in ‘PETRUSHKA’ for ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET)
Cira ROBINSON (in ‘WAR LETTERS’ for BALLET BLACK)
Akane TAKADA (for Olga in ‘ONEGIN’ for THE ROYAL BALLET)
YUAN YUAN TAN (in ‘RAkU’ for SAN FRANCISCO BALLET)

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE (CLASSICAL)
Jeffrey CIRIO (in ‘PLAN TO B’ for BOSTON BALLET)
Israel GALVÁN (for Flamenco Performances at SADLER’S WELLS)
Nicolas LE RICHE (in ‘LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORT’ for ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET)
Brian MALONEY (for Bratfisch in ‘MAYERLING’ for THE ROYAL BALLET)

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (MODERN)
Julie CUNNINGHAM (in ‘NEW WORKS 2012’ for MICHAEL CLARK COMPANY)
Rocío MOLINA (in ‘DANZAORA’ at SADLER’S WELLS)
Clemmie SVEAAS (in ‘WITCH-HUNT’ for BERN BALLETT)
Hannah VASSALLO (for Aurora in ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ for NEW ADVENTURES)

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE (MODERN)
Nathan GOODMAN (in ‘MADCAP’ for RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY)
Christopher MARNEY (Count Lilac in ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ for NEW ADVENTURES)
Liam RIDDICK (in ‘BUZZING ROUND THE HUNISUCCLE’ for RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY)
Paul WHITE (in ‘THE ORACLE’ for MERYL TANKARD)

BEST INDEPENDENT COMPANY
bGROUP
BalletBoyz® The TALENT
NEW MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE
SHOBANA JEYASINGH DANCE

Sadler’s Wells’ ten year plan

Sadler's Wells LogoThe UK’s largest dance house, Sadler’s Wells, has announced plans for a new performance space as part of its recent ten year plan. The vision of Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Alistair Spalding, is one which is ambitious, but exciting for a city in which dance thrives. The announcement came almost ten years after he was appointed in his current role, and outlines plans for the next decade.

The main crux of the plans is to establish an additional, fourth performance space for Sadler’s as one of the world’s leading dance organisations, with the expansion backed by a commitment to invest £5 million in commissioning new dance works. The new venue will house 500 seats in order to present new, mid-scale contemporary work in addition to the main dance house and the smaller Lilian Baylis studio theatre. London is lacking in a space of this kind, and it is hoped that the building of one will help confirm London’s position as a global centre for the art form.

Despite the fact Sadler’s Wells is a dance powerhouse, the demand for dance in the capital is continuing to grow, meaning the gap for a mid-scale space must be filled. Spalding believes the new building will give creative talent a proper chance to develop for the future growth of the art form by expanding the current base and without losing the unique quality and atmosphere that is associated with Sadler’s Wells.

As a rule Sadler’s has been transformed from a receiving venue for other companies’ productions to a venue that is celebrated for supporting, commissioning and producing original, new work which it presents nationally and internationally. The dance house aims to present the busiest season of dance ever in the theatre’s 331-year history, with a total of over 40 shows across the three venues during spring/summer 2014.