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My son has such happy memories of performing age 6 with balletLORENT! He went on to successfully audition for Royal Ballet School Junior Associates, spent two happy years doing that! He recently did video auditions in the garden, and won a place at Central School of Ballet Associate. 

Parent of Community Cast Participant

I was overjoyed and so proud of her to have the opportunity to perform at the Hippodrome.

Parent of Community Cast Participant, The Lost Happy Endings

I was on such a high when I got home that it took me hours to unwind and get to bed. It was an experience I never expected to have, but thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to see what goes on backstage too, such a lot but coordinated so well.

Adult Community Cast Participant, Rumpelstiltskin

Community Casts

Throughout its long history balletLORENT has frequently mixed dancers of various ages, backgrounds and dance training together. This reach and range has extended to us adopting into some shows, performers with no dance or theatrical training at all, and us extending our performing dance family to include toddlers, primary school children, pregnant women and adults up to - and well beyond - retirement age. Depending on what story we are telling we will extend an invitation to join us, with a particular focus on trying to reach people who have talent but little opportunity to join a professional dance company on stage.

It is impossible to count the number of individuals who have engaged with the company over the years, but through the fairytale trilogy of Rapunzel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin, and our new family dance work The Lost Happy Endings we have worked with over 5,650 children and adults aged 0-87yrs, and have seen over 550 of them perform on stages across the UK with our professional dancers

To see how we have involved the community into our productions, you can watch two of our recent productions, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Lost Happy Endings, featuring members of our Newcastle Community Casts performing alongside our professional dancers: 

Watch Rumpeltsiltskin on SKY ARTS and MARQUEE TV

Watch The Lost Happy Endings on MARQUEE TV

Georgina Wells, British Theatre Guide

“One thing that sets this production apart is its inter-generational cast, which includes local schoolchildren and senior members of the community alongside the professional dancers. Crucially, they aren’t just extras, added in to scenes as an afterthought, but an integral part of the cast—whether dancing, knitting or playing part of the Shepherd’s flock. This creates a genuine feeling of inclusivity, which adds further to Rumpelstiltskin’s heart-warming magic.”

“Having community cast on stage made the performance relatable even though it was fantastic!” Faith Johnson, Audience Member, Northern Stage

In Newcastle, balletLORENT works in partnership with local primary schools during the research and development of our family productions, delivering creative dance workshops in school before inviting several children to out of school sessions and rehearsals. The invited children then form part of the community cast for our productions, informing and developing the vocabulary and movement in collaboration with our professional dancers. 

For Rumpelstiltskin, the company also incorporated adults aged 65+ from the local communities that we toured to. In Newcastle, we delivered workshops in community centres, day and residential care centres, and to knitting groups across the city to find the cast for our performances at Northern Stage. 

In each town and city that we tour to, we engage a local community cast, recruited through workshops in schools and community centres. These participants join the company in rehearsals before performing alongside our professional cast. 

In The Lost Happy Endings, we worked with a mixture of primary school children we met during workshops, and children who had previously performed in Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin as part of our talent development programme. 

You can find out more about the true magnitude of the community casts we work with head over to our Archive.

You can also see evaluation reports for our community cast programmes in Newcastle here

We thank Friends of balletLORENT Karen Trewinnard, Maureen Newall, Anna Story, Lynn Harman & Julia Daynes; Good Friends Heather Crompton, Joe Gamble, Patricia Ritchie & Kate Lorent; and Best Friends Derek Newall & Christopher Campbell for their continued support of the company. 

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