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Press Release: Northern Ballet - New dance film brings together science and ballet

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Thursday 26 August 2021
For immediate release 


New dance film brings together science and ballet


Kevin Poeung and Riku Ito in ÅNGSTRØM. Photo Emily Nuttall.


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A new partnership between the University of Leeds and Northern Ballet has culminated in an original dance film exploring conceptual ideas of pattern and geometry.


ÅNGSTRØM, which is released today and can be viewed at northernballet.com/angstrom-extended, is the result of a collaboration between Kenneth Tindall, Artistic Director of Digital and Choreographer in Residence at Northern Ballet, and Dr Briony Thomas from the University of Leeds School of Mechanical Engineering and School of Design. 


ÅNGSTRØM investigates the parallels which can be found between crystallography (the study of crystal structure), geometry in design and choreography. The aim of the final film is to show how both science and the body — through dance — create patterns and geometry, highlighting the connections between science and the arts, which are often portrayed as opposites. 


Kenneth Tindall said: ‘As we move towards Leeds 2023 and its year of culture Northern Ballet aims to seek out new and exciting collaborations to engage and strengthen its relationships within the city and worldwide. 


We hope this collaboration with the University of Leeds and Dr Briony Thomas is the start of a long and fruitful investigation of the possibilities between science and art.’


The choreography of ÅNGSTRØM is informed by structures of x-ray crystallography, capturing moments where a crystal scatters a beam of x-rays and expresses changing states of matter within an atomic world. The University of Leeds pioneered the cross-disciplinary exploration of pattern and structure in the twentieth century. In the 1930s, physicists in the Department of Textiles used x-ray diffraction to study textile fibres and realised the potential impact of crystallographic theory on design.


Dr Thomas said: ‘Patterns are an elegant connection between art and science. Repeating patterns in textiles are based on the same ideas of symmetry and groups that developed through the study of crystal structures. 


It was this connection between the artistic expression of pattern and the science behind it that inspired us to create ÅNGSTRØM. Visual references to diffraction patterns, lattices, and the changing states of matter, are interwoven throughout the piece.’


ÅNGSTRØM is the result of a connection made through the University of Leeds Cultural Institute's Leeds Creative Labs. This pilot work was funded by Northern Ballet and the University's Interdisciplinary R&I Fund for Culture. Future plans to develop the partnership include community involvement to develop greater understanding of the parallels between the disciplines and advance opportunities for learning and access.

Notes to editors


ÅNGSTRØM credits

Choreography & Film Direction
Kenneth Tindall

Concept & Realisation
Dr Briony Thomas

Minju Kang
Riku Ito
Kevin Poeung
Lorenzo Trossello

Cinematography Direction & Post Production
Emily Nuttall

Lighting Design & Realisation
Alastair West

Lighting Programmer
Abbi Fearnley

Lighting Assistant
Sam Day

Studio Technical Manager
Martin Smith

Northern Ballet

Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s leading ballet companies and the widest touring ballet company in the UK. Bold and innovative in its approach, Northern Ballet is prolific at creating new full-length work with a unique blend of strong classical technique and impressive storytelling. Northern Ballet’s repertoire embraces popular culture and takes inspiration from literature, legend, opera and the classics, pushing the boundaries of what stories can be told through dance.


A champion for the cultural exports of the North, Leeds-based Northern Ballet is dedicated to bringing ballet to as many people and places as possible, under the leadership of Artistic Director David Nixon OBE. Northern Ballet’s Company of dancers performs a combination of its full-length ballets and specially created ballets for children at more than 40 venues annually.

Launched in 2019, Northern Ballet’s digital dance platform ensures more people can access their work, from full-length films of popular ballets through to exciting short dance films by up-and-coming choreographers and filmmakers. Visit digitaldance.org to discover more.

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

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