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balletLORENT joins the portfolio

  • Date: 30 March 2011
  • Artform: Dance
  • Area: North
ballet dancer in green dress appears suspended against black backdrop Caroline Reece and Meritxell Pan Cabo perform balletLORENT's Designer Body, photo: Andy Taylor

Established by artistic director Liv Lorent in London in 1993, balletLORENT has grown to become an established contemporary dance company. The distinctive dance company, which is currently a regularly funded organisation, will be funded as part of the new Arts Council national portfolio from April 2012.

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne since 1996, the company is committed to providing opportunities for dancers, choreographers and administrators to be able to develop their careers in the North East.

ballentLORENT tours its ever increasing repertoire of original work extensively throughout the UK and Europe to critical and public acclaim. It is also keen to continue to build on its national and international standing and its role as an artistic ambassador for the region and the country.

The repertoire is choreographed by Liv Lorent and an established team of collaborators working in partnership with a growing company of dancers who have been involved with balletLORENT for up to 10 years.

Ambitious site-specific works

A number of the pieces appeal to, and often feature, people of all ages. The company also creates and presents innovative site-specific and theatre productions.

One of balletLORENT's most ambitious site-specific works to date has been ballet in Shriek, performed inside the North Tower of the Tyne Bridge Tower, Quayside in 2000.

2001's Life Stories saw a cast of professional and non-professional dancers aged from 4 to 75 years take to the stage for the opening of The Patrick Centre, Birmingham.

The Ball toured to 30 venues throughout England in 2002 and was taken to Düsseldorf, Belfast and Bruges. The show was also held outdoors, in Trafalgar Square, London.

Angelmoth, which premiered in 2006, was the company's first production aimed at an audience of young people as well as adults. Incorporating elements of dance, music, narration, costume and set design, all woven around a new fairytale story, Angelmoth was described by Joanne Parkinson of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as: '...two hours of visually stunning, beautiful entertainment which stretched the boundaries of modern dance.'

In a work premiered in 2008, MaEternal, eight of the company's dancers performed alongside 11 expectant mothers from the local community in Newcastle.

That same year, seven dancers performed on platforms which revolved up to 20 times a minute in Designer Bodies. To add to this ground-breaking development of dance technique, the dancers began the piece dressed in ornate costumes, and ended it naked.

balletLORENT continues to develop its national and international reputation, producing acclaimed work that reaches out to a diverse audience.

Underneath The Floorboards, a dance show for under fives, premiered in November 2010. Critics, and children and their parents were enthralled. As one audience member put it: 'Truly magical. One of the best things I've ever done with my daughter (aged two and a half)'.

In autumn 2010 and spring 2011 ballentLORENT toured Blood, Sweat & Tears, a full-length work looking at the night-time parenting of a newborn child. Kelly Apter wrote in The Scotsman: 'For those who have experienced the relentless fatigue, joys and frustrations of new parenthood, Blood, Sweat and Tears can't fail to resonate'.

New commissions

balletLORENT has travelled far in the last 18 years and, perhaps aptly for a dance company, it shows no signs of standing still anytime soon.

Building on the success of Angelmoth, a new fairytale production for family audiences will premiere in October 2012 at Durham Cathedral as part of Durham Literature Festival. The new work is being created with three major commissioning partners: Sadler's Wells Theatre, Northern Stage and New Writing North. This will be the first time balletLORENT has produced a piece working with co-commissioning partners.  

A new intergenerational piece for 2014/15, Magic Wardrobe, will feature a cast aged six to 60, and to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013 balletLORENT will also tour the 'greatest hits' from their repertoire.

Find out more about dance in Arts Council's new national portfolio.