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Martha Leebolt & Tobias Batley News

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Northern Ballet’s Premier Dancers Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley are to take a leave of absence from the Company to pursue new opportunities. The pair, who have formed a dynamic dance partnership under the directorship of David Nixon OBE, will return as Resident Guest Artists to perform in Northern Ballet’s Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet from September – October 2016.

 Full press release here

 

It doesn't say where they are going, or what they have in mind, best of luck to them. It was my impression they were very much the stars of NB.

 

Maybe American in Paris London? 

EDIT: I believe this is one of Janet's area of expertise.

Edited by SwissBalletFan

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Oh no.  Janet in particular is going to be hugely disappointed :(

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Hugely disappointed is probably the understatement of the year!

 

However dancers have such short careers and they have to think of themselves.

 

Very, very best wishes to Martha and Toby for the future.

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I did temper my comment, since they will still be guesting with the company :) (or should that be :( ? )

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I'm curious to learn what they will be doing. It is a huge loss to the company but it's understandable that they should want to try pastures new. Good luck to them both.

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I'm curious to learn what they will be doing. It is a huge loss to the company but it's understandable that they should want to try pastures new. Good luck to them both.

 

I am guessing that it must be something that has been arranged, but cannot be announced for other reasons. I wouldn't imagine that they would both leave without a solid offer. Something after October 2016.

 

.....American in Paris starts in March 2017 in London. It seems a similar follow on to the shows that have been in NB recently. 

 

I guess the next question is whether NB have talent to promote from within, or will look outside. Any thoughts Janet?

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IF they were to join the London AAiP Company, they could well be alternates for R. Fairchild (NYCB) and L. Cope (formerly RB).  I doubt sincerely that Fairchild will do eight performances a week in London - outside of the previews and first few production weeks - given that he said in the NYT that it 'practically killed' him.  I would suspect too - given his NYCB principal responsibilities that Fairchild will stay the minimum period his London contract will allow.  Both of the Broadway alternates (who had their first two performances in the Paris launch) have gone on to appear regularly on Broadway and in the case of the first alternate performer playing Jerry (Fairchild's role) - himself a former dancer with SFB - not only will he have taken over at the Palace but also will leave to lead the First National Tour which, I sure, is rightfully fiscally rewarding.  Dancers careers - as we all know - are - relatively short.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I guess the next question is whether NB have talent to promote from within, or will look outside. Any thoughts Janet?

NB is brimful of young emerging talent and there are some dancers I think have been under-used recently but M&T have been the stariest of partnerships since Cleopatra in 2011 and will be enormous footsteps to step into. As only on leave of absence, maybe Mr Nixon will bring in guests while also giving opportunities to the upcoming dancers.

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I've been in Durham for a couple of days with BRB so apologies for the late publication of the press release:

 

Northern Ballet’s Premier couple to become Resident Guest Artists

 

Northern Ballet’s Premier Dancers Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley are to take a leave of absence from the Company to pursue new opportunities. The pair, who have formed a dynamic dance partnership under the directorship of David Nixon OBE, will return as Resident Guest Artists to perform in Northern Ballet’s Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet from September – October 2016.

 

Californian Martha Leebolt joined Northern Ballet in 2001 and worked through the ranks to become a Premier Dancer in 2009. She has created many iconic roles including Daisy (The Great Gatsby), Cleopatra (Cleopatra), Cinderella (Cinderella) and Beauty (Beauty & the Beastand in 2010 won a National Dance Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) for her performance as the Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons

 

Tobias Batley joined Northern Ballet in 2004 becoming a Premier Dancer in 2012. The British dancer, raised in Rivington, has created roles including Winston Smith (1984), Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby), Mark Antony (Cleopatra),and Prince Mikhail (Cinderella). He was nominated for National Dance Awards in 2010 and 2012 for Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) and for Best Male Dancer in 2015.

 

Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon OBE said of the pair: Martha and Tobias have had an extraordinary journey with Northern Ballet from very young dancers in the corps, to the leading artists they are today. Through their hard work and commitment they have made a significant contribution to both my work and the Company as individuals and as a creative and inspirational partnership. There comes a time, especially when a dancer has been in the same place for a long time, that artists needs to go out and discover new things which will enrich them and take them to new heights. Both Martha and Tobias are at this place in their lives and I respect their decision to broaden their life experience. This is not about saying goodbye forever and I am therefore pleased that they will both still be doing some performances with the Company next season. We all wish them the very best.’

 

Martha and Tobias will perform in Wuthering Heights at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds in September 2016 followed by Romeo and Juliet which tours to Sheffield, Canterbury, Belfast, Woking and Bradford during September – October 2016. Casting will be announced at a later date, see website for updates. For tour dates and booking information see northernballet.com/whatson.

 

-ENDS-

 

Notes to Editors

Martha Leebolt

Martha Leebolt is from California and trained at the Black Mountain Dance Centre and at BalletMet Columbus. She joined Northern Ballet in 2001. Martha won the 2010 National Dance Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) for her performance as the Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons

 

At Northern Ballet she has created many roles; Cleopatra (Cleopatra ch. David Nixon), Beauty (Beauty & the Beast ch. David Nixon), Cinderella (Cinderella ch. David Nixon), Julia (1984 ch. Jonathan Watkins), Daisy (The Great Gatsby ch. David Nixon), Mistress (On Such a Night ch. Gillian Lynne), Pas de Deux (Yorkshire Trilogy ch. Jonathan Watkins), Pas de Deux (Powerhouse Rhumba ch. David Nixon), Pas de Deux (The Architect ch. Kenneth Tindall), Project #1 (ch. Kenneth Tindall) and We Never Said (ch. Kenneth Tindall).

 

In addition, she has also performed; Juliet (Romeo and Juliet ch. Jean Christophe Maillot), Butterfly (Madame Butterflych. David Nixon), Ondine (Ondine ch. David Nixon), Juliet and Lady Capulet (Romeo & Juliet ch. Massimo Morricone), Odette and Odilia (Swan Lake ch. David Nixon), Nikiya (Bayadere, Kingdom of the Shades st. Yoko Ichino), Sugarplum Fairy (The Nutcracker ch. David Nixon), Belle (A Christmas Carol ch. Massimo Morricone), Mina and Lucy (Dracula ch. David Nixon), Cathy (Wuthering Heights ch. David Nixon), Marquise (Dangerous Liaisons ch. David Nixon), Anne (A Simple Man ch. Gillian Lynne), Pas de Deux (Angels in the Architecture ch. Mark Godden), Constance (The Three Musketeers ch. David Nixon), Pas de Deux (Perpetuum Mobile ch. Christopher Hampson), Gertrude (Hamlet ch. David Nixon), Courtesan and Madam Defarge (A Tale of Two Cities ch. Cathy Marston), Pas de Deux (Luminous Juncture ch. Kenneth Tindall), Titania and Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream ch. David Nixon), Solo (Concertante ch. Hans van Manen), An American in Paris (I Got Rhythm ch. David Nixon), Gypsy Pas de Deux (La Traviata ch. Veronica Paeper), As Time Goes By (ch. David Nixon), A Streetcar Named Desire (chDidi Veldman) and Lambarena (ch. Val Caniparoli).

 

Tobias Batley

Tobias Batley was born in Preston and raised in Rivington. He trained at the Hammond School of Dance and The Royal Ballet School. He danced with Jeune Ballet de Cannes before joining Northern Ballet in 2004. He was nominated in 2010 and 2012 for a National Dance Award for Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) and in 2015 for Best Male Dancer. 

 

At Northern Ballet he has created many roles; Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby ch. David Nixon), Mark Antony (Cleopatrach. David Nixon), Winston Smith (1984 ch. Jonathan Watkins), Charles Darnay (A Tale of Two Cities ch. Cathy Marston), Prince Mikhail (Cinderella ch. David Nixon), Pas de Deux (The Architect ch. Kenneth Tindall), Pas de Deux (Powerhouse Rhumba ch. David Nixon), Pas de Deux (Yorkshire Trilogy ch. Jonathan Watkins), Project #1 (ch. Kenneth Tindall), Pas de Deux (Luminous Juncture ch. Kenneth Tindall) and We Never Said (ch. Kenneth Tindall).

 

In addition, he has also performed; Hamlet (Hamlet ch. David Nixon), Romeo (Romeo and Juliet ch. Jean Christophe Maillot), Dracula (Dracula ch. David Nixon), Romeo (Romeo & Juliet ch. Massimo Morricone), Anthony (Swan Lake ch. David Nixon), Albrecht (Giselle st. Yoko Ichino), Cavalier (The Nutcracker ch. David Nixon), Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights ch. David Nixon), Brandt (Ondine ch. David Nixon), Valmont (Dangerous Liaisons ch. David Nixon), Pas de Deux (Concertante ch. Hans van Manen), Pinkerton (Madame Butterfly ch. David Nixon), Bob Cratchet and Young Scrooge (A Christmas Carol ch. Massimo Morricone), Demetrius, Lysander and Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dreamch. David Nixon), Prince (Beauty & the Beast ch. David Nixon), Pas de Deux and Solo (Perpetuum Mobile ch. Christopher Hampson), Three Preludes, I Got Rhythm and Rhapsody in Blue (I Got Rhythm ch. David Nixon), Aramis(The Three Musketeers ch. David Nixon), Angels in the Architecture (ch. Mark Godden), As Time Goes By (ch. David Nixon) and A Simple Man (ch. Gillian Lynne.

 

Northern Ballet

For more details of Northern Ballet's tour, on sale dates and booking information, please visit northernballet.com/whatson.

 

Nominated for Outstanding Company at the 2015 National Dance Awards and voted Best Company at the TaglioniEuropean Ballet Awards, Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s five large ballet companies. Based in Leeds it performs throughout the UK as well as overseas. Northern Ballet’s productions mix classical dance and theatre, embracing popular culture and taking inspiration from literature, opera, or giving a unique interpretation of popular classical ballets.

 

Northern Ballet is the busiest touring ballet company in the UK and is typically on the road for around 32 weeks of the year. The Company of 45 dancers tours a combination of full-length new work and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK. Northern Ballet also tours widely with its ballets for children, all four of which have been adapted for TV by CBeebies, and also performs a mixed programme showcasing the versatility of its dancers.

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Dear Forum (especially Janet), as the casting for American in Paris (in London) has been disclosed, I wondered about Tobias & Martha, and whether their plans have come public?

It seems like they had something concrete happening, but there doesn't seem to have been any news? 

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A bit late in the day but great news for Martha and Toby.  They are the artistic directors designate of Southern California Ballet based in San Diego:

 

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/pomerado-news/entertainment/sd-cm-pow-scb-founder-retiring-20170222-htmlstory.html

 

 

SoCal is Martha's alma mater so a particularly nice completeness for her.

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Culling for the links as I do, I have realised that there are a lot of schools in America that have "performance seasons" (usually Christmas, Easter and Halloween) where they use professional dancers as well as students.  

 

I believe that SoCal wants to increase the performance seasons and use more professional dancers in the future.

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