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Press Release: Awards and accolades for Northern Ballet

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Awards and accolades for Northern Ballet


Northern Ballet has received the 2013 White Rose Tourism Awards for Arts and Culture.  The award comes just days after it was revealed that Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon OBE has been nominated for Best Classical Choreography for The Great Gatsby at the 2014 National Dance Awards.


The White Rose Awards, run by Welcome to Yorkshire, are the biggest tourism awards in the UK. Almost 100 businesses were shortlisted and winners were announced across 16 categories at a ceremony which took place last night in Leeds. The event organisers described the Company as “great ambassadors for Yorkshire.”


The National Dance Awards organised by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle celebrate the vigour and variety of Britain’s thriving dance culture. The Awards will be announced in London on Monday 27 January 2014.


It was also recently announced that the CBeebies television adaptation of Northern Ballet’s Ugly Duckling, a ballet created especially for children, choreographed by Company dancers Dreda Blow and Sebastian Loe and filmed and produced by CBeebies, has been nominated for a Children’s BAFTA in the Pre-School live action category. The Children’s BAFTA’s are announced on Sunday 24 November.


Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive says, “I’m delighted that both the artistic work and the work we do with young people has been recognised through these awards and nominations. Northern Ballet is proud to be based in Yorkshire and we are proud national and international ambassadors for the region. To be recognised at the biggest tourism awards in the country is fantastic. To be recognised by the critics for our productions, placing us amongst the best dance artists in the world, is an honour – we hope it will give us the best start to 2014.”


Northern Ballet’s new production Cinderella receives its world première in Leeds from 17 December before touring throughout 2014.


The Great Gatsby has already received critical recognition from industry peers when it was shortlisted for Achievement in Dance at last month’s UK Theatre Awards where the Company received the Achievement in Marketing Award.



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 24 weeks of the year. The Company of 40 dancers tours a combination of new works and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK and are the only large scale ballet company to do so.

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BAFTA award for Northern Ballet


The television adaptation of Northern Ballet’sUgly Ducklinghas received a Children’s BAFTA inthe Pre-School Live Action category.
Ugly Ducklingwas Northern Ballet’s first ballet created for children and was choreographed bycompany dancers Dreda Blow and Sebastian Loe. The television adaptation of Ugly Ducklingwas commissioned by the BBC for CBeebies and was initially broadcast over Easter weekend.
The Award was presented to CBeebies production team Angela Young, Iwan Watson and TonyReed at last night’s Children’s BAFTA award ceremony in London. 
Funding from Leeds City Council’s Leeds Inspired fund enabled Northern Ballet to create Ugly Duckling with the aim of reaching children and families who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre or engage with ballet. Initially performed at community venues in Leeds, the ballet receivedfurther funding from Arts Council England to tour throughout the North of England. To date more than 25,000 children and their families have seen a live performance of Ugly Duckling; more than 250,000 people have watched the television adaptation and more than400,000 people have experienced the production through BBC iPlayer and the CBeebieswebsite.
After receiving the award Tony Reed, Executive Producer of CBeebies, said: “The Northern Ballet dancers were wonderful to work with; they worked really hard and did everything we asked ofthem. Northern Ballet’s whole outreach programme fits very well with CBeebies; they want to introduce ballet to new audiences so it was a really good fit.”
Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive,Mark Skipper, added: “We are thrilled and excited that Ugly Duckling
has received this recognition. Last month the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall announced his plans for placing the arts at the heart of the BBC. Our partnership with the BBC in the creation of Ugly Duckling is an excellent example of this and should be used as a flagship project. Its impact, reach and success has delighted us all.”
Northern Ballet has been commissioned to create two further ballets for children: Three Little Pigs premièred to sell-out audiences in Leeds in October and will tour throughout the UK in 2014; The Elves and the Shoemaker will première in 2015.
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