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Northern Ballet Graduate professional programme


Kat09
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Ok gut feeling.... this is basically paying for an apprenticeship. Do they still take apprentices like they used to?

 

Just as an example the Vienna State Ballet apprentices were paid and got all this. Same in Munich!

 

Unpaid apprenticeships are the bane of the ballet world. Cheap way of getting corps de ballet and the take up rate of moving into the companies is not so great.

 

Don't get me wrong. Apprenticships are brilliant. A great link between school and professional. A good way for the dancer's body to mature enough for a company. I really think they are a fabulous way forward but paying for it isn't the way forward. In effect it is paying for more schooling. Of course the name is a huge lure.

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Julie - I fear the days of paid ballet apprenticeships are numbered.  When I was dancing professionally in Europe (rather a long time ago now), it was normal to have paid apprentices, who earned less than the corps de ballet, but still enough to live off.

 

As so often happens, we are following the trends in the USA.  So not only are apprenticeships not paid any more, but you actually have to pay fees for the privilege!  A course fee of £3000 plus living expenses for a year would certainly mount up.

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It's the same with these wretched unpaid internships where young people are actually doing a day's work but are not being paid anything. It's pure and simple exploitation of young people and a very regressive trend.

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Agree. And I have a feeling we will see this more and more, sadly.

 

I'm always interested to see who Northern are taking on, and where they trained, as historically they liked Central's graduates and there was a strong relationship between the two. Over the past few years this connection seems to have diminished. Now they have several apprentices (none from Central).....and now this next rather worrying step.

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This is mirrored by the increasing trend of graduates taking Masters degrees even though they have no intention of moving into academia. When I graduated in the 1980s it was rare for graduates to embark upon Masters degrees although a certain number did undertake futher professional training eg Law Society Finals which was a one year post-graduate course before a two-year paid apprenticeship in a solicitors firm.

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Just a thought, but as it states that applicants can be from the age of 18 - could this be seen as an alternative to the final year of training at a traditional ballet school?  In which case it would actually be cheaper for many than a Dada course. 

 

It will be interesting to see the ages of those accepted onto the programme.

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Guest Autumn days

This looks like a great opportunity but surely it is not like an apprenticeship? Whilst the link mentions the opportunity to work with Northern Ballet the Northern Ballet Academy is a separate entity and a school!

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I may be incorrect but I see the Academy and Company as very much linked i.e same building, and Yoko Ishino. I think the graduate year looks good. Ideal for a very young graduate who could still benefit from a year in training but with a more professional perspective.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

This looks like a great opportunity but surely it is not like an apprenticeship? Whilst the link mentions the opportunity to work with Northern Ballet the Northern Ballet Academy is a separate entity and a school!

The northern Ballet Acadamy is not a school. There is a seperate 6th form aged Northern Ballet School in Manchester that is different from the Northern Ballet Academy in Leeds. The Academy runs open classes, associate and CAT schemes. The professional graduate programme I think would very much be linked with the company. I may be wrong but I think I looks a great opportunity and I imagine it could well feed into the company if they liked what they saw! Edited by Balletgirlsplease
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The northern Ballet Acadamy is not a school. There is a seperate 6th form aged Northern Ballet School in Manchester that is different from the Northern Ballet Academy in Leeds. The Academy runs open classes, associate and CAT schemes. The professional graduate programme I think would very much be linked with the company. I may be wrong but I think I looks a great opportunity and I imagine it could well feed into the company if they liked what they saw!

What do you mean by "it's not a school", Balletgirlsplease? If they run ballet classes, they are a ballet school, right?

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I know what Balletgirlsplease means. Northern Ballet Academy is not a full-time lower or Upper school. It's an Associate scheme affiliated with the company, as opposed to being affiliated with a school. They do open classes and summer schools but they are not a full-time school. Ballet Cymru has a similar scheme IIRC.

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I understand but a local school doing after school and Saturday classes would be called a school so "why not Northern Ballet Academy" was more my question?

 

For the purpose of doing ballet at what appears to be a very good level, it is a school of ballet like lots of others except better, no?

Edited by afab
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I think we are into semantics here. As balletgirlsplease has said Northern Ballet Academy run open classes, an associate scheme and are also the only ballet CAT in the country. The associate and CAT scheme train students up to the age of 16 at which point they will audition alongside everyone else for 6th form places elsewhere if they wish. There is no full time training at the Academy.

My understanding of the graduate scheme is that it is for dancers who have completed their full time training, maybe haven't secured a contract or feel they need some additional training, closely linked to the company as opposed to the Academy. I agree with other posters that finding an additional £3,000 funding will prevent many dancers from taking advantage of the scheme which I'm sure will be amazing.

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Oops I was slower than every-one else so my reply looks a bit out go place now!

In answer to afabs question I think the reason they call themselves Northern Ballet Academy is to prevent people mistaking them for Northern Ballet School which is a full time vocational 6 th form in Manchester. :-)

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I mean it isn't a 'school' in the sense that it doesn't offer A' levels or GCSE's like RBS or any other full time course. There is no full time training there other than this graduate year. But it is very different from your local dance 'school'. It's hard to explain. A lot of children do go there for their open ballet classes so in that respect it is like a local ballet school. And yes as kitsch queen says it does get confusing with The Northern Ballet School in Manchester which provides full time 6th form dance training.

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I`m sure Patricia Macdonald must feel some sadness at the way things have turned out for Northern Ballet School in  Manchester.She set up the school over 40 years ago as a classical ballet school for the north of England that was non-boarding,but was the feeder school for Northern Ballet Theatre. Many of their graduates went into the company. In fact in old Dancing Times adverts of the school,the first 2 NBS students to be accepted into the company were shown. When I was there as a child,NBT would use children from the school in their productions of Nutcracker,etc. Then NBT moved to Yorkshire, Christopher Gable affiliated NBT with Central,and it appears,killed the connection with Northern Ballet School. Now of course,that connection is completely severed,by NBT`s own Academy. I`m sure the school is still very successful,but i get the impression that not too many graduate and join classical ballet companies,unlike the way it used to be. Sadly,they don`t even have children`s classes on Saturdays and coaching classes after school anymore.[Miss Rhodes was lovely with the younger ones.] Hardly ,I imagine the way the Principal would have wanted her school to end up. 

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I mean it isn't a 'school' in the sense that it doesn't offer A' levels or GCSE's like RBS or any other full time course. There is no full time training there other than this graduate year. But it is very different from your local dance 'school'. It's hard to explain. A lot of children do go there for their open ballet classes so in that respect it is like a local ballet school. And yes as kitsch queen says it does get confusing with The Northern Ballet School in Manchester which provides full time 6th form dance training.

I understand what you mean now... But I'm utterly confused about the Nortern Ballet School in

Manchester now because I thought I knew it quite well but my understanding from their publication was that it was a post 18 school with 3 years degree courses and all and no 6th form!!! Help!

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Afab!! My mistake! My brother auditioned there at 16 so I was confused! It is post 16 rather than 6th form if you get my drift! I am confusing you!

http://www.northernballetschool.co.uk/en/nbs_diploma_in_dance.php

Phew! Thank you for that as my DD plans on auditioning there at 17 having finished A'levels by then! No worries Balletgirlsplease! Edited by afab
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Thank you for sharing that the quays. I had no idea about the history between Northern Ballet School and the now Northern Ballet. Very interesting and like you said not what it's founder anticipated for the school. I was not aware that it was originally purely classical as they have a successful performing arts faculty now.

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Tota

I`m sure Patricia Macdonald must feel some sadness at the way things have turned out for Northern Ballet School in  Manchester.She set up the school over 40 years ago as a classical ballet school for the north of England that was non-boarding,but was the feeder school for Northern Ballet Theatre. Many of their graduates went into the company. In fact in old Dancing Times adverts of the school,the first 2 NBS students to be accepted into the company were shown. When I was there as a child,NBT would use children from the school in their productions of Nutcracker,etc. Then NBT moved to Yorkshire, Christopher Gable affiliated NBT with Central,and it appears,killed the connection with Northern Ballet School. Now of course,that connection is completely severed,by NBT`s own Academy. I`m sure the school is still very successful,but i get the impression that not too many graduate and join classical ballet companies,unlike the way it used to be. Sadly,they don`t even have children`s classes on Saturdays and coaching classes after school anymore.[Miss Rhodes was lovely with the younger ones.] Hardly ,I imagine the way the Principal would have wanted her school to end up. 

Your assumptions are not quite right!

Miss MacDonald has actually been very progressive and has recognised the developments in commercial dance opportunities and the financial cut backs facing ballet companies! For a fact, Miss MacDonald has made a CHOICE to develop an outstanding school from which her graduating students are employable. In fact Trinity would confirm that Northern Ballet School has one of (if not THE) the highest employment records for its graduating dance students. Consistently their DADA recipients have a 100% employment record before the end of the graduating summer term. There are many companies who visit NBS to hold private auditions because they are so keen to employ the students. There is one very well know company who call their NBS employees "The A Team".

I may well be wrong but I have never heard mention of the school being set up as a feeder school for NBT either. I know there were ties through contacts and that the two students featured in early school advertising were indeed taken into the company.

Miss MacDonald most certainly doesn't have a shred of sadness about the way her school has "turned out". Although from a ballet background herself, her only aim is to have a successful school that produces professional dancers ie. someone that can support themselves in a dance career, not a necessarily a classical ballet career. One of the schools strength is the fact that the students are so very versatile which is so important. There are students on this very day in London taking the RAD Solo Seal exam and others preparing for this evenings musical theatre performance in Manchester.

The childrens classes ceased to run when the Teacher Training Course closed and that closed when the school funded more and more Dance Course places through the DADA scheme.

Miss MacDonald could not be prouder of NBS and every single thing about the school it has become. She is to be congratulated for keeping up with the times, doing what is best for her students and for not sitting around with her 'ballet hat' on, knowing full well that all round training secures a career as a dancer.

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The official Press Release:

 

Northern Ballet announces new programme for classical ballet graduates

 

Northern Ballet is launching an exciting new finishing year course for ballet graduates, designed by David Nixon OBE, Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director and Director of Northern Ballet Academy and Yoko Ichino, Associate Director of Northern Ballet Academy, to help bridge the gap between leaving full-time training and starting life as a professional dancer.

 

The Graduate Professional Programme, which will run from late August 2013 to late June 2014 from Northern Ballet’s headquarters in Leeds, will improve the standards of dancers who demonstrate real potential but who are not yet strong enough to gain an apprenticeship with a professional company and would benefit from a further year’s training.

 

Places on the programme will be limited to ensure that time can be spent with each individual on a one-to-one basis. Students will receive intensive training to strengthen their classical technique. This will include repertoire and Pilates, as well as some unique opportunities to perform with the professional Company.

 

David says: ‘The dance world is hugely competitive. Thousands of students graduate each year, all competing for a comparatively small number of jobs. Directors and choreographers are looking for people who really stand out. It is a very big jump from the training school to the rigours and demands of life as a full time professional dancer. 

 

I have found at company auditions that I was seeing some great talent but that many of the dancers were not quite ready and would benefit from an extra years training. Our Graduate Programme offers dancers the chance to extend their training that bit further, ensuring they are fully prepared to pursue their dance careers.’ 

 

Dancers applying must be aged between 18 and 20 (18 by August 2013) and hold an EC or UK passport.  The deadline for applications is Tuesday 28 May 2013. Applicants need to submit a full CV, a recent classical ballet photo and a DVD or link to online video of class with long combinations (adage, pirouettes, jumps
and travelling combinations). Female applicants must also include pointe work in their video.

 

The fee for the full year is £3,000. Those interested in applying should contact Faye Cardwell on 0113 200 8000 or email faye.cardwell@northernballet.com  for further information.

 

 

Notes to Editors

Northern Ballet is renowned for its full-length narrative productions which embrace popular culture and take inspiration from literature, opera, or give a unique interpretation of classical ballets. The Leeds-based company is committed to touring throughout the UK and overseas, developing new audiences for dance. It has carved a unique place in the UK’s cultural landscape and was voted Britain’s favourite ballet company for three consecutive years at the National Dance Awards.

 

In 2010 Northern Ballet moved to its new purpose-built, six-story home on Quarry Hill in Leeds’ thriving cultural quarter. This award-winning, vibrant building comprises state-of-the-art facilities and is the biggest centre for dance outside London, including 7 large dance studios and the 230-seat Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre. 

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Wish this had been around last year. it would have been perfect for ds, especially as his initial ambition was to join Northern!

 

Not that I'm complaining now hes in a good long term contract anyway elsewhere!

 

But I do hope Northern new venrure is a success- lucky graduates!

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