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Northern Ballet invites emerging choreographers

Posted on November 25, 2014

the architect photo emma kauldhar

the-architect-photo-emma-kauldharNorthern Ballet will offer emerging choreographers the chance to work with its dancers and artistic director David Nixon in the company’s first Choreographic Laboratory.


Tell Tale Steps, running from May 25 to June 20, 2015, offers emerging choreographers studio time at Northern Ballet’s state-of-the-art headquarters in Leeds, working with a selection of the company’s dancers. Choreographers will experiment with creative processes, play with movement ideas and develop dance stories. David Nixon will mentor the chosen choreographers, with further support from guest artists throughout the process.

Before the laboratory, the selected choreographers will take part in an introductory weekend in February 2015, looking at the history of narrative dance. They will be given a remit for the laboratory, from which they will put together their own proposals. The choreographers will experience all aspects of creating a production, from auditioning and selecting dancers to receiving audience feedback on their work. There will also be a presentation of ideas on June 20, with an overview of the project from a panel of experts and from the choreographers, giving an insight into the process behind creating narrative classical dance.

The Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, both partner organisations for the project, have each nominated an emerging choreographer from within their organisations. The final place will be chosen through open application.

The company invites applications from ambitious choreographers in the early stages of their careers, who are interested in classical dance and narrative form. To be considered, send a CV with a concise written statement to David Nixon OBE, Northern Ballet, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7PA. The deadline for applications is January 5, 2015.

Nixon said: “As one of the UK’s largest ballet companies, we [Northern Ballet] have a responsibility to create opportunities such as these, offering support and guidance for the choreographers of the future and an environment in which they are able to play with ideas with no expectations of a finished product. I hope that this opportunity will not only enable the selected artists to flourish but that the project will create a platform that could lead to the development of new and exciting work that audiences can then potentially experience in theatres.”

Tell Tale Steps is supported by the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation and the Leche Trust. For more information, see


Picture: Joseph Taylor, Kevin Poeung, Giuliano Contadini and Nicola Gervasi in Kenneth Tindall’s The Architect. Photograph: Emma Kauldhar


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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