Saturday 2 March 2013

The Base Studios, Huddersfield

"Huddersfield is not as famous in the world of classical dance as St Petersburg, Paris or London," observes the Birmingham Royal Ballet's website, "but it was the birthplace of David Bintley - one of the most consistent and significant forces in British ballet."   But the birthplace of the Director of one of the world's great ballet companies is not our town's only contribution to dance.

I am not referring to the photograph above which is the town's railway station and not an opera house even though its splendid portico bears more than a passing resemblance to the Bolshoi Theatre but to The Base Studios at 3 New Street where I render my very humble homage to Terpsichore's muse every Tuesday at 20:00 trying the bottomless patience of the adult ballet teacher Fiona Noonan

Fortunately, The Base has much better students than me even in the adult ballet class and in its Youth Dance Academy which I mentioned in one of my other blogs ("Huddersfield Youth Dance Academy Auditions 26 Jan 2013" IP Yorkshire 18 Jan 2013), it is nurturing some quite remarkable talent.   

Other activities that may well produce another Bintley include Heavy Arts  the resident youth production company which provides students with the opportunity to work with professional artists to create full-scale youth musical productions. Students for the Heavy Arts programme are taught in three groups:  Juniors (ages 5-8), Intermediates (ages 9-12) and Seniors (ages 13+).  I am told by Matt Slater, the Base's General Manager, that one of the programme's Juniors will be in tonight's première of Northern Ballet's "The Great Gatsby" in Leeds.  This remarkably talented child has already performed recently in two of Nixon's other works.   

Of course, ballet is not the only type of dance to be taught at The Base Studios.   There's a great list of other styles on The Base's Dance Classes page and it is ever expanding.   I can't keep up with it which is why I have invited Matt to become an author of this blog and I am even more delighted to say that he has accepted. So there is at last one contributor to this blog who knows what he is talking about.

Finally, Terpsichore is not the only Muse that Huddersfield honours.  It is also the home of the Choral which claims not without justification to be the UK's leading choral society "producing a unique and thrilling full-bodied ‘Huddersfield Sound’ from over 200 voices."  The University has a great music school which hosts the famous Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival every autumn. There is an excellent art gallery and the Lawrence Batley repertory theatre 

This Pennine town which is my adopted home is not as large as St. Petersburg, Paris or London but it is no worse a place than any of those metropoles for producing and refining exceptional talent.

9 Mar 2013  The Base Studio's Facebook page with great pictures of Sean, Fun Fridays, the rehearsal studio and my wonderful teacher.

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