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Northern Ballet engages new audiences through local partnerships

  • Date: 5 March 2013
  • Area: North
Martha Leebolt as Daisy and Tobias Batley as Gatsby

Martha Leebolt as Daisy and Tobias Batley as Gatsby. Credit: Jason Tozer

The first performances of Northern Ballet's The Great Gatsby take place in Leeds this week ahead of a nationwide tour. In a bid to attract new audiences to dance, Northern Ballet has partnered with Harvey Nichols, Leeds; East Coast trainsDouble Tree Hilton Hotel, Leeds and MAC Cosmetics. Together they are creating an event for journalists who write for fashion-focused media. The aim is to reach the readers of fashion magazines and encourage them to come and see the ballet. The initiative will also provide potential new business for the commercial partners, as well as showcase the region and its cultural, retail and hospitality offer.

On Friday 8 March guests will travel on East Coast trains to Leeds. During the day they will see a Gatsby-inspired make-up demonstration by MAC on Northern Ballet's premier dancer Martha Leebolt who plays Daisy in the production; MAC is also providing make-up for Northern Ballet's tour of The Great Gatsby. Harvey Nichols is providing a fashion show and lunch and Hilton Double Tree Hotel is providing accommodation as part of a wider partnership in which the hotel offers accommodation to Northern Ballet's guests as well as support for events and launches at the hotel.

Press coverage has already been secured in the Yorkshire Post magazine of a Gatsby-inspired fashion shoot dressed by Harvey Nichols. The shoot took place at Bibis, a restaurant in Leeds with décor which matches the Gatsby look. A second photo-shoot with Northern Ballet received coverage in regional newspapers and information about The Great Gatsby was included in East Coast Trains e-newsletter which is sent to 2 million people.

Catherine Worthington, Communications Manager: Media & PR at Northern Ballet commented, "This event offers Northern Ballet so many different opportunities to engage with partners and develop relationships with members of the press for whom the opening of a new ballet isn't news enough on its own. It provides us with an opportunity to reach new audiences as well as perhaps change people's perceptions of ballet, making it more mainstream and appealing to peoples' lifestyles."

Northern Ballet is one of the Arts Council's National portfolio organisations and more information can be found at their website.