Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors returns for 2012-13
Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors is back and we want you to be part of it.
After the amazing success of the scheme last year we’re looking for people aged 11-25 to join The Lowry Dance Ambassadors for 2012-13. A FREE scheme that gives you access to performances and artists in return for sharing your opinions. Your ideas are vital to us and could help shape dance in your region.
We have an open day on Sat 22 September to recruit new Dance Ambassadors where there will be a great range of free activities from 10.30am - 1.30pm as well as a chance afterwards to see the world renowned Birmingham Royal Ballet perform Swan Lake for an incredible £5!
If you are interested in becoming a Lowry Youth Ambassador book your place on our FREE open day through the Lowry Box Office by calling 0843 208 6000.
Take a look at what the Dance Ambassadors got up to last year and what you could be a part of:
Who we are looking for?
Youth Dance Ambassadors:
We want young people aged 11-25 who love dance and want to get involved with dance in their region.
We are also looking for people aged 17-25 from each Northwest region to be a Youth Dance Ambassador Regional Co-ordinator.
Image: Jasmin Vardimon’s Freedom (an example of one of the dance shows coming to The Lowry this season which you could get involved with as a Dance Ambassador)
From Madrid to Birmingham: Following Danza Contemporanea de Cuba
By Emma Martindale (@emmamartindale)
During my time working at The Lowry as Coordinator of the Youth Dance Ambassador Scheme, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a preview in Madrid of Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s new work ahead of their May/June tour of the UK. Excitedly I boarded the plane accompanied by Janina Mundy, our Head of Marketing, and armed with pens and paper we spent the flight discussing potential topics and questions to ask the company if given the opportunity to snatch a couple of minutes with them. Research of the company had proved somewhat difficult: although they have toured the UK once before in 2010, the companies humble base in Havana has led to their internet presence being somewhat stagnant. So armed with little knowledge of the company and their programme for the evening being in Spanish which neither myself nor Janina could translate, we arrived at the Hotel Opera hoping for a short rest before seeing the evening’s performance with the hope that the show and the universal language of dance would provide some food for thought before meeting the company the following day.
HOFESH SHECHTER at THE LOWRY
Participants of the youth workshop will also be given the opportunity to take part in a Q&A session with the company artists after the workshop at 2pm led by our Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors. In preparation for the company’s visit, the Dance Ambassadors interviewed Hofesh Shechter himself to find out a bit more about the show. You can read the interviewhere. Book on the Youth Dance Workshop today to get the chance to put own questions to the company!
Poppin’ and Lockin’- Elektro Kif at the Lowry
The past two nights have seen Blanca Li’s Elektro Kif grace the Quays Theatre stage. The show takes ’electro’ – a dazzling urban streetdance that mixes breaking, disco, vogue, popping and locking – off the streets of Paris, mixing it with theatre, and providing a fast, funny show about the hopes, fears, friendships and fights of a group of men at college. Our Dance Ambassadors were invited to see the performance to see if the show was as fun as promised!
The show was opened by No ID, a dance crew from Liverpool, who have been successful in making it through to the finals of the Southbank Centre’s Dance Your City competition. Dancers from across the world were invited to submit a video of them dancing in their home cities amongst famous monuments and architecture, and the videos were uploaded online for viewers to vote for their favourites. No ID’s performance was full of energy and skill, and we wish them the best of luck in the final on the 2nd March! You can also watch their successful video below:
Following No ID’s performance, the 8 male dancers of Elektro Kif burst onto the stage in a frenzy of bright colours and energetic movement. Dance Ambassador Isabel Webb has submitted this review of the performance, hot off the press:
Having never seen this genre of dance before, I didn’t know what to expect when I went to watch Elektro Kif. But from the moment the curtain went up, the dancers were full of an exuberant energy that was so contagious that I couldn’t help but smile. The performance brought a raw edge to a refreshingly comical take on the study of personality and character in teenage boys. The dancers managed to pull off youthful characters and create a jovial atmosphere for the audience to relish. The piece also managed to convey serious undertones; a feat which is difficult to achieve in the middle of an upbeat dance. Overall, I would just say that Elektro Kif is a really energetic piece and is definitely worth seeing!
Overall, it looks like the evening was a roaring success! You can find out more about the company and the remaining UK tour dates on the Dance Touring Partnership website.
DTP have also posted a great video featuring an interview with Blanca Li and highlights of a beginner’s Electro class- bonus points if any of you can spot a fellow Lowry employee…
Amy Thompson on BRB’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’
“On Tuesday 26th January, a group of Youth Dance Ambassadors arrived at The Lowry. We went to watch Beauty and the Beast, collaborate with Simon Harper (the PR director for the company) and promote the upcoming dance season.
When we arrived, we were treated to a preview of the show we would see in the evening. We watched over half an hour of the technical rehearsal. It was a special experience and a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the lives of such great dancers. However, it was a little odd at the same time, we saw ballerinas pairing pointe shoes with fleecy body warmers and romantic tutus with long track suit pants! And that was just the women, it was especially surreal to see the principal man pirouetting around the stage and flashing a giant white tick to the spectators each time he rotated. That half hour was even more special for me because it gave me a window into what I hope my future holds.
After this we were all feeling motivated, however the warmth of the theatre and the beauty and elegance of the dancing had lulled the whole group into a state of sleepy calmness. We traipsed up the stairs to the office area of the theatre where we were given a brief on our duties that evening. Following this, we were given a little time to research the companies. We also had our individual videos recorded, in which we speak about our time as a dancer and a dance ambassador (I’m sure you will be able to see these soon!).
After dinner, we met two of the dancers of the company and documented an interview with them, which was also filmed. The dancers we met were James Barton (a First Artist) and Jade Heusen (an Artist). We spent half an hour with them, asking them questions about their daily routine – which proved to be very busy, and how they thought we should promote contemporary dance. They gave us a very valuable insight and a lot of tips about how they want their livelihood to be marketed, not least because “some of the Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers have recommended it”.
Following the interviews, we were taken down to the foyer where we would have to promote the upcoming dance season. Each and every ambassador spoke to very many people about contemporary dance and I hope gave people an insight into the array of items which will grace the stage at the Lowry in the upcoming months.
After handing out a very large stack of leaflets and advising young dancers to join the North West Dance website, the show began at half past seven. It was even more magical than the rehearsal. We were lucky enough to see the cast with Robert Parker as the Beast; he brought to life the role and captured the audience as he carried them on his journey. Combined with Elisha Willis as Belle, I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the two principals and the rest of the magical cast in their performance of Beauty and the Beast.”
By Amy Thompson
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Last week saw the arrival of BRB at The Lowry and their lavish production of Beauty and the Beast. Our Dance Ambassadors had a very busy day, watching the technical rehearsal with Media and PR Manager Simon Harper (our dancers found it very amusing to see the dancers wearing hoodies on stage!), meeting and interviewing James Barton and Jade Heusen from the company and finally watching the performance in the evening! Looking at the feedback we’ve received from our Dance Ambassadors, the day was a huge success, and here’s how Eleanor and Georgina describe the performance:
Eleanor Davidson: ”Last week I went to watch the evening performance of Beauty and the Beast and would highly recommend it to anyone. The dancer who was dancing the role of Belle danced with an enormous amount of gracefulness and beauty as did the dancer who was playing “Wild Girl”. If you haven’t seen the Beauty and the Beast ballet before it would be a little difficult to follow the story line as it it very different to the famous Disney Version of the story. My favourite part of the performance was probably when Belle was flying alongside the raven to the Beasts Mansion. The ballet was fantastic and enjoyable to watch with a few hints of comedy in there. As always with the BRB the costumes and scenery were OUTSTANDING. Well done and thank you to the Birmingham Royal Ballet for yet another fantastic performance and a great night out.”
Georgina Nulty: ”I went on Wednesday to see Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast and i would just like to say that I loved it. The principal ballerina playing Beauty danced so gracefully and beautifully that it was breath taking to watch. The Beast also was amazing and danced with a strong nature but danced gently in the more emotional parts of the piece. I also thought that the male hare was fantastic and was extremely good at being able to show his character through his dancing in such a life like way as well as making it look simple and delicate. The incredible sets and costumes really added to the feel of the performance and made it even more realistic. Over all, the performance was great and i would definitely recommend a friend to see it as i have for many others of the Birmingham Royal Ballet shows.”
Kelly McFarland: “To sum it up in three words: Breath-taking, Beautiful and mesmerising. Not once during the whole performance did my eyes leave the stage. It was not the Disney version of the well-loved story so there were no dancing tea cups or candle sticks. It was the Grimm Brothers version. Haunting, full of emotion and well thought out. The dancing of Belle and the Beast was some of the best and most emotive I have seen. I enjoyed every second. BRB are a wonderful company and I have yet to see a performance that I have not wanted to watch again and again.”
And if you were left wanting more after last week’s wonderful performance, here’s a clip of my personal favourite section- the ravens! Enjoy.
Signatures 2012: As inspired by Shaun Parker
In October 2011, some of our Dance Ambassadors went to see Shaun Parker’s Happy as Larry at The Lowry, and the performance received rave reviews from our DA’s. Here’s what they had to say:
Lucy Anderson: “Happy as Larry was one of the best shows I have seen, the dancing was incredible and it was a really funny and upbeat performance with lots of little twists and tricks. I thought that it was very cleverly made and I would definitely go to see another show by them; the choreography was amazing and the dancers were excellent!”
Kelly McFarland: “Happy as Larry was upbeat, fun and colourful […] The choreography was sharp and flowed and sometimes left you with your mouth hanging open. The music is upbeat and fits the pace of the show perfectly. You come away from the performance feeling happy.”
Isabel Anderson: “From the second it began I was already laughing- the playful, funny, and unique performance they put on was like no other I have seen before. The company involved many different personalities, shapes, sizes, and dance styles, yet they came together in an inspirational way leaving me stunned at how dance could be so funny! The dance show “investigates the elusive nature of human happiness” and tells a story which, no matter who you are, you understood and came together on. I would recommend this show to absolutely anyone; it was a show which had me experiencing many different emotions and one that without doubt I would love to see again!”
Parker’s fun and energetic choreography; an intoxicating mix of ballet, break-dance, roller-skating and highly physical contemporary dance, aims to ‘investigate the elusive nature of human happiness’, and that’s exactly what Shaun Parker demanded of the choreography included in Dance Initiative Greater Manchester’s annual Signatures showcase.
Signatures is a platform for ‘young, dedicated and enthusiastic dancers’, offering each of the ten groups who take part an unique opportunity to choreograph their own work based on the motifs taught during a day-long workshop led by a renowned choreographer, with Shaun providing this years inspiration.
Dance Ambassadors Isabel and Lucy Anderson went to the Signatures performance to see what work was produced, and here’s what they had to say:
Tickets are still on sale for tomorrow night’s Signatures showcase at The Lowry!
The performance will include ten performances from youth dance companies across the North West, performing ten newly-choreographed pieces all inspired by Shaun Parker and Company’s Happy as Larry, which came to The Lowry in October.
This is a great opportunity to see the work of local young dancers, so to buy tickets please follow the link here to The Lowry’s event page.
Earlier in the month, Dance Ambassadors Emma and Samira met with two of the groups taking part in the Signatures performance, and you can watch their interview with the dancers above.
New Adventures have put a bit of weight on…
It was my first experience of seeing Ballet and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The dedication that Birmingham Royal Ballet have is second to none.