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Learning & Participation News

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Friday 2 February 2018
Rumpelstiltskin workshops go nation-wide ahead of UK tour

Workshops and casting sessions are underway at schools and community groups across the UK ahead of balletLORENT’S national tour of Rumpelstiltskin, which begins on 24 March.

Young cast members have been chosen in several locations and our recruitment continues over the coming weeks.

Eight children will be chosen to take part in the production at each performance venue in Pitlochry, London, Huddersfield, Salford, Hull, Oxford and Aberdeen.

The young cast, all age four to nine-years-old, most of whom have never had any formal dance training before, will be joined by four older people who will be recruited from workshops with community groups.

In addition to these 12 community cast members in each performance, two children who have previously appeared in balletLORENT’s Snow White, will take the roles of the young Rumpelstiltskin and the young shepherd’s daughter. These children took up development opportunities with balletLORENT and will show what they have learned as part of larger roles in Rumpelstiltskin.

As part of their involvement in Rumpelstiltskin all of the children will be given the opportunity to take part in the Arts Council’s Arts Award.

The Arts Award is offered at five different levels and consists of qualifications that support anyone up to the age of 25 to connect and take part in the wider arts world. To achieve the award, young people take on challenges in art form, participate in arts activities and share their skills with others. Young people create a portfolio to record their creative journey. Along the way they are supported by an Arts Award Adviser. At balletLORENT we have two qualified Arts Award advisers.


The Search for balletLORENT's Rumpelstiltskin Community Cast Begins....

Over the past few weeks we've begun the process of finding young people to become part of our Rumpelstiltskin community cast as we rapidly move toward the Premiere at Northern Stage in October.


A big thanks to all the young people, their carers, their schools and their teachers for supporting the process. This year, we've seen children from six schools across Newcastle - Central Walker C of E Primary School, Knop Law Primary School, St Paul's C of E Primary School, Hawthorn Primary School, West Walker Primary School and Westgate Hill Primary School!


Natalie Trewinnard, balletLORENT's Creative Associate said: "We enjoyed working with so many enthusiastic, talented and creative young people from all over Newcastle. They have all contributed in some way to the production and we thank you for your generosity in offering up your time and creativity."


We must also say a big thank you to Byker Community Centre and Riverside Community Health Project's Carnegie Building for hosting our workshops.

Community Cast 2017 Community Cast 2017
balletLORENT Easter Dance Intensive, 10-13 April 2017

We had a great time last week at out Easter Dance Intensive!

The week was delivered by our experienced company dancers and focused on contemporary dance styles, taking inspiration from our next production, Rumpelstiltskin, which premiers in the Autumn.

Parents and carers were invited to a sharing on the final day, where the children showed what they had achieved during the week.


"What a fantastic show.... so much achieved in just 4 days. Huge well done to Gavin, Natalie & Maria for the wonderful magic you worked on our children. Emma had a brilliant week and learned so much- THANK YOU ALL"


"Thank you all on behalf of Michael - he has again had a brilliant week with Balletlorent."



Arts Award

Through balletLORENT’s Easter Dance Intensive, we were delighted that the majority of the children took the opportunity to complete Arts Award Discover level. Arts Award inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents: it's creative, valuable and accessible. It deepens engagement with arts and culture, develops both creative and leadership skills, and importantly the Arts Award leads to a national qualification.

ballet lorent Easter Dance Intensive 2017 ballet lorent Easter Dance Intensive 2017

Giulia's Blog:

'My Chance to Grow - A Journey with Children'

Giulia is a former balletLORENT apprentice and she managed to raise funds via a successful Kickstarter campaign and Arts Council Grant to work with us on our Autumn tour of Snow White and continue her professional development. Giulia has been documenting her experiences through an online blog which gives a flavour of what it's like to tour as a professional dancer and how balletLORENT works with a young cast of children local to the venue we are performing in. To keep up with Giulia and the rest of the company click on the following link: Giulia's Blog.

School Work:

Rockliffe First School, Whitley Bay

Earlier this year we performed a Pop-Up Mini Version of Snow White to pupils at Rockcliffe First School. Debbi led a short presentation to the children before Gavin and Natalie danced excerpts from the piece. The children even had the chance to join in by playing the animals in the forest section!

Westgate Hill Primary School, Newcastle

Over a six-week period in the summer Caroline and Natalie led creative dance workshops to over 120 Yr 1 pupils at Westgatehill Primary School, Newcastle upon Tyne. The workshops were based on the theme of ‘Out and About’, and related to the well-loved children’s book The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda Armitage, which the children were studying throughout the term. Caroline and Natalie also facilitated after school clubs at Westgatehill Primary School for children from reception to Yr 2. A perfect way for the children to let of steam after a hard day at school, these clubs were fun, exciting and somewhat exhausting! Two of our former apprentice dancers, Giulia and Gabi also joined us to help deliver some of the sessions.

Morpeth Goosehill First School

Back in March Gavin, Natalie and Giulia helped create a short piece of work with Yr2 pupils at Goosehill Primary School, Morpeth, based on the story book Elephant Dance by Theresa Heine. Our team led a couple of sessions in which themes from the book were explored, and the children performed a finished work for families and friends just before Easter.

We were very happy with the project and the input we received from balletLORENT. It would have been nice to have a little more time, however, that was our issue, not yours, and we feel that you dealt with the limited timescale excellently. We felt that you had a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve and your input matched that, if not exceeded it. We felt that you interacted well with all of the children including those with additional needs. The children responded very well and enjoyed your sessions, some were truly inspired although this was something that they would normally not have fully participated in. Parents really enjoyed the final production. We are reluctant to recommend you to other year groups as we now want to keep you as a year 2 secret! No, joking aside, we would recommend you without any hesitation following your input with us. Sandra Bell, Teacher, Morpeth First School

Youth Theatre & Dance:

Live Theatre Garden Launch

balletLORENT was commissioned to create a new work on 35 members of Live Theatre’s Youth Theatre as part of the launch of the new gardens at Live Theatre in July. Peter and The Wild Flowers, was directed by balletLORENT’s artistic director, Liv Lorent, with a sound score by composer Scott Twynholm, and was made collaboratively with the Live Theatre’s youth theatre members and balletLORENT dancers Natalie and Caroline. The piece was part of a longer performance which included a new song celebrating the history of the land on which the garden was built, written by Jane Holman. The work was performed six times over three days in the almost glorious sunshine and was a great opportunity for the youth theatre members to gain experience and skills in outdoor performance work. Focussing on themes of growing up and letting go of the many precious things we hold throughout our childhood, the work filled the garden with dance, music, song and lots of colour! If you didn’t catch the performances in July, then you missed out on super heroes, seagulls, bubbles, water fights, and edible flowers! We are delighted to have been commissioned to make this work, and to have had the opportunity to work closely with the fantastic team at Live Theatre!

Y dance!!!!

Gavin has recently been to Scotland to choreograph and direct a new work in collaboration with Liv on the 11 wonderful members of Y Dance, Scotland’s national youth dance company, to be performed throughout the summer. You can see a short interview with Gavin about the project here: Y Dance Vimeo On returning from Glasgow, Gavin said; ‘It was inspiring as a choreographer to work with such a mature and engaging group of young dancers. I worked with the dancers’ personal memories and universal feelings of belonging, to push both their physical and emotional capabilities as performers.  It was a thrill to work with such passionate, committed young dance artists, the future of dance is in good and fascinating hands!’ Have a look at Y Dance’s website:

Higher Education:

Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance and Music

In June our Associate Director, Debbi, was commissioned to create new work on the graduating dance students at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance and Music, London. The new work, entitled H.O.M.E was performed as part of the degree course graduation performances and was presented alongside new works by Kerry Nicolls, Dam Van Huyn, Martin Nachbar and Theo Lowe.   After the performances Debbi said: ‘The dancers were an absolute pleasure to work with; generous in their engagement  and enthusiastic in their approach, commitment and contribution to this collaboration. Our starting point was a selection of photographs and text from the book Byker by Newcastle based artist, Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen. It captures the community of Byker in Newcastle during the 1970's before the area was demolished and redeveloped. I was interested in exploring the students individual expressive and theatrical qualities, pulse and heartbeat. To encourage and explore a physical and emotional response to the images and text through this process.’



balletLORENT Limited is a registered charity in England and Wales (no.1162921) and a registered company (no.05093450)