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Press Release: Director of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare joins Northern Ballet’s Board of Directors


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Director of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare joins Northern Ballet’s Board of Directors
 

Northern Ballet has appointed Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, to its Board of Directors. Award-winning Northern Ballet, which is currently celebrating its 45th anniversary and was recently voted Best Company at the Taglioni European Ballet Awards, specialises in creating and performing full-length classical narrative ballets. The new appointment comes as Northern Ballet continues to pursue its ambitious plans for the future which include extending the Company’s repertoire by working with established and emerging choreographers to create new short and full-length ballets and increasing the extensive reach of its national tour. 
 
Former-dancer Kevin O’Hare was born in Kingston upon Hull and after training at The Royal Ballet School, progressed to become a Principal Dancer at Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, later Birmingham Royal Ballet. After retiring from the stage in 2000, Kevin held a number of Company Management positions before being appointed Administrative Director of The Royal Ballet in 2009 and, following Monica Mason’s retirement, Director of The Royal Ballet in 2012. Since then, in addition to presenting the Company’s heritage repertory, he has demonstrated his commitment to new work by commissioning many one-act and three full-length ballets. Aside from promoting outstanding creativity his role includes responsibility for artistic excellence, developing talent and widening the Company’s performing platform.
 
On joining the Northern Ballet Board, Kevin O’Hare said: ‘I was born in Yorkshire and as a long-time admirer of Northern Ballet's work I am delighted to join the board in this, the company’s 45th year. I look forward to working alongside Sir David Wootton and fellow board members in supporting the future of such a vital dance Company.’
 
Alongside Kevin O’Hare, Harrogate-based Independent Director Elizabeth Jackson has also been newly appointed to Northern Ballet’s Board. A Chartered Accountant with considerable experience in Corporate Finance gained with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Elizabeth left in 1999 to join a start-up business specialising in the recruitment of board directors to private equity backed businesses. Having played a key role in the formative years of Directorbank Executive Search, she led the secondary buy out as Chief Executive in 2006 and subsequently led the acquisition of Hanson Green, a City head-hunter in 2008. Since 2011 she has turned her attention to developing her interest in horticulture starting up a new business in support of the British Flower movement.  
 
Sir David Wootton, Chairman of the Board, said: ‘It is a good compliment to Northern Ballet that persons with the skills and experiences which Kevin and Elizabeth will bring are joining our Board. We continue to strengthen our Board so that the Company has top-class guidance and advice to match our top-class artistic and management standards. I warmly welcome Kevin and Elizabeth.’

Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper DL, said: ‘I am delighted that two such distinguished people have joined our Board, both bringing hugely valuable but different skills to the Company. Elizabeth’s extensive corporate experience will add further business perspective to our hugely successful organisation and Kevin’s wealth of knowledge in the dance world will be a great asset to the Company. We look forward to developing our relationship with The Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House both in terms of performances and looking at the possibilities to present work collaboratively in London and Leeds.’
 
Northern Ballet are currently in London performing a Mixed Programme (12 – 14 May 2015) and Elves & the Shoemaker (15 – 16 May 2015) at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre. Tickets can be booked online at roh.org.uk or by calling the Box Office on 0207 304 4000.
 
-ENDS-
 

 
Notes to Editors
For more details of Northern Ballet's tour, on sale dates and booking information, please visit northernballet.com/whatson.
 
Voted Best Company at the 2014 Taglioni European 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 48 dancers tours a combination of full-length new work and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK and is the only large scale ballet company to do so. Northern Ballet will introduce a new strand of touring in 2015, widening the Company’s already extensive reach. The new mid-scale tour will see the Company perform in nine additional venues. 
 
Northern Ballet tours widely with its ballets for children, the first three of which were adapted for TV by CBeebies, and also performs a mixed programme showcasing the versatility of its dancers.
 
Visit northernballet.com for more information on the Company and tour. Production images and information are available via the online media centre.
 
Northern Ballet’s current Board of Directors
Sir David Wootton (Chair)
Dr Jo Butterworth
Daniel Evans
Alan Harrison
Elizabeth Jackson
Councillor John Procter
Kevin O’Hare
Dr Maxine Room CBE
Terry Smith
Phil Swallow
Victoria Tomlinson
 
Mixed Programme – Tour Dates
London, Linbury Studio Theatre
12 – 14 May 2015                               
Box Office 0207 304 4000
roh.org.uk                    
On sale now 
 
Elves & the Shoemaker – Tour Dates
London, Linbury Studio Theatre
15 – 16 May 2015                               
Box Office 0207 304 4000
roh.org.uk                    
On sale now 
 

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I find this a strange appointment. Surely conflicts of interest may arise because the RB (ROH) and NB are, in practice, competing for ACE funding. Does this appointment and the press release, particularly the reference to collaboration between the two companies, say anything about the relationship with BRB?

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I wouldn't have said so Aileen.  

 

BRB hasn't performed at ROH for over 20 years but does still share the same Board of Governors so I wouldn't read too much into that.  

 

I assume this appointment means that the Royal Ballet is being disbanded and ROH will become NB's 2nd home!   :D

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I wouldn't have said so Aileen.  

 

BRB hasn't performed at ROH for over 20 years but does still share the same Board of Governors so I wouldn't read too much into that.  

 

I assume this appointment means that the Royal Ballet is being disbanded and ROH will become NB's 2nd home!   :D

 

Bless you, Janet.  Laughter is a GREAT restorative.  

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:) - No I think they might manage to keep RB.  However, I do wonder if this is a way of creating a Royal linked touring company, rather like Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet used to be, before they moved to Birmingham to become BRB.

 

I don't think that KO'H becoming a Board Member would be the way forward if that was the thinking but, of course, he has already facilitated NB's appearances in the Linbury.

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I should hope not PdQ - we like to keep our dancers up North!

 

I think most of the movers and players in funding are located in London and perhaps NB is looking for a greater "influence" in London (or perhaps KO'H wants to swap jobs with DN!!!).

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Yes, I agree PdQ.  It's a same the company no longer tours to Plymouth and rarely seem to go to Bath or Cardiff these days.  Hall for Cornwall might be another place they could do well with their small scale tour too.

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This is getting a bit like Classic fm which has orchestras all over the place. The CBSO is now their 'orchestra in the Midlands'. So, we have the RB which is entirely London based. BRB cover the Midlands and places like Plymouth and Sunderland. NB cover the North with trips to the Linbury.

 

This is a hugely simplistic view I appreciate but it's one way of having the Royal setup cover most of the country thus getting much of the Arts' Council funding. Doesn't bode that well for ENB in the food chain does it.

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Yes, I think that ENB is the company which is most vulnerable to cuts in funding. I'm surprised that KO'H has the time to sit on the board of another company. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I'm sure that his appointment has some purpose behind it and that there is some re-positioning going on.

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I don't think you can quite compare ballet companies to orchestras. The reason I would like to see NB tour more is that they have their own repertoire which nobody elese dances. As far as I know, no orchestra has an exclusive repertoire which no other orchestra plays.

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That's a lovely aim PdQ.  I know this season is structured differently with the introduction of the tour to smaller venues but between 26th February and 20 June, NB will have spent just over 13 weeks on the road (excluding the Elves which has a slightly different touring pattern).  If they had tried to do any more the dancers would be on their hands and knees!!

 

Where would you like to see them tour to?  It would possibly mean losing other venues if they were able to.

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NB have at times come as far South as Woking and Southampton.  Don't know how big Woking is, but Southampton is quite a large venue and I wonder if the ticket sales were high enough.  How about one of the SW mid size theatres like Poole Lighthouse.  BRB always goes there during their split tour.

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NB are already booked for Southampton next spring and are in Woking and Canterbury in the Autumn.

 

I thought that there used to be 'territories' set out for BRB, ENB and NB which the other companies were not allowed to perform within. The policy seems to have changed.

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