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Press Release: first direct increases sponsorship of Northern Ballet

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first direct increases sponsorship of Northern Ballet


In a challenging climate for arts and culture funding, Leeds-based bank first direct, has announced that it will extend its sponsorship of internationally acclaimed Northern Ballet, continuing the successful partnership which started in 2010.


To launch the sponsorship and in honour of midsummer’s day on Monday 24 June, Northern Ballet dancers Olivia Holland and Mariana Rodrigues paid a visit to the first direct call centre and crèche in Leeds dressed as fairies from the Company’s forthcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream .


Lisa Wood, Head of Marketing at first direct commented:


‘We recognise the importance of supporting local organisations and charities.  Our relationship with Northern Ballet has been very successful and their philosophy to be committed, creative and passionate fits perfectly with first direct’s. As a result of the partnership we’ve been able to invite customers to the Company’s captivating performances and the amazing feedback we’ve received confirms we’ve made the right choice.


‘Our people also enjoy being part of the relationship; dancers will visit our call centre in Leeds and onsite crèche and our people have access to tickets for local dress rehearsals.’


Mark Skipper DL, Chief Executive of Northern Ballet commented:


‘For 2013 we’ve already created a new full-length ballet, The Great Gatsby, which has been a sell-out success on tour around the UK, and we will follow this with a new production of Cinderella which opens in Leeds in December. We have also extended our national tour with the introduction of our first ballet for children, Ugly Duckling. The support from first direct is invaluable to Northern Ballet in making sure we are able continue to reach an ever-growing number of people in more towns and cities and to keep moving forward with new productions and new initiatives.’ 


Northern Ballet is renowned for creating new full-length ballets and for touring these throughout the UK reaching more people and places than any other major ballet company.  Its second national tour of the year will see the Company performing at ten venues around the UK this autumn. The tour opens with A Midsummer Night’s Dream at West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on Friday 6 September.

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