Thursday, 4 May 2017

Evolve in Leeds

I try not to have any favourites in the dance world or at least not to how favouritism but I have a particularly soft spot for Scottish Ballet which was the first company that I got to know and love. One of my favourite dancers in that company was Eve Mutso and one of the most beautiful performances that she has ever given is not on a stage but in the short video A Dancer's Journey. Do cluck that link, ladies and gentlemen. Your effort will be amply rewarded.

The film is made for Dancers' Career Development ("DCD") which helps "dancers to make the often difficult transition from professional dancing to a new career by giving them the confidence and skills they need to keep working beyond dance." According to its website, DCD is the only organization of its kind in the UK and it is a world leader in dancer transition.

DCD is holding a one-day workshop called EVOLVE in Leeds on 15 May in conjunction with Northern Ballet to explore "life after a dance career, offering practical tools, insight and inspiration" (see EVOLVE Leeds Workshop 23 April 2017 Northern Ballet's blog). DCD has come to Leeds once before and you will see what happened last time in Dancers’ Career Development: EVOLVE Leeds #1.

If you want to come, here's what you need to know:
"DCD supported dancer Anna Nowak, formerly of Company Wayne McGregor will be amongst speakers sharing her own story.
One to one coaching sessions will also be available on Tuesday 16 May!
  • Date: Monday 15 May 2017 (followed by one to one coaching sessions on Tuesday 16 May)
  • Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm
  • Venue: Northern Ballet, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7PA
  • Facilitated by: Jo Wright, DCD Coach
  • Price: Early bird: £30 (until 30th April), Full price: £35 - includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. (Please contact us on 020 7831 1449 if cost is a barrier to you attending. Limited subsidised places are available)."
Here is a link to the booking page if you want to come.

Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre's premises are incredibly easy to reach as they are literally just across the road from Leeds's bus station, a 10-minute walk from the railway station (though if you don't know your way around Leeds I would recommend a bus as folk have been known to get lost) and there is plenty of overpriced parking on the waste ground behind Northern Ballet and the music school and West Yorkshire Playhouse. The local authority has the cheek to charge up to 22:00 for parking on that desert.

I've got a modest suggestion which I shall try to follow. Just as some airlines encourage us to pay for a tree whenever we book a flight, how about making a small donation to the DCD when we book a ticket to the ballet? Those swans and shades and mirlitons have already given us so much in terms of classes, rehearsals and injuries. The performing phase of their careers is limited. They have so much more to give in the post-performance phase. It is in our interests as theatregoers (and probably also in the interests of the nation) for us to give a little back.

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