Famous ballet dancer looks forward to rare Harrogate date

Really interesting project - Northern Ballets artistic director David Nixon.
Really interesting project - Northern Ballets artistic director David Nixon.

Who would have thought this would ever happen? Ballet in a Harrogate art gallery!

And this weekend’s special event will not just feature any old ballet company.

This exclusive and unique event will include dancers from one of the UK’s top names - the Northern Ballet.

It’s something of a coup for Mercer Art Gallery, a public institution owned by Harrogate Borough Council.

Called Ballet at The Gallery, the performance this Saturday sees Northern Ballet collaborating with celebrated Yorkshire artist Tom Wood who enjoys close links with this publically-run gallery.

Talking to the Harrogate Advertiser, Northern Ballet’s artistic director David Nixon OBE said the event promised to provide a thrilling new creative experience.

He said: “The Mercer Gallery approached us about a possible collaboration and I felt it was really interesting and presented a good opportunity for our company.

“Our dancers have met Tom Wood and visited a gallery to view his work and select portraits of his which inspire them.”

The audience will watch as dancers perform surrounded by Tom Wood’s paintings in the intimate surroundings of the Harrogate gallery.

Although skilled in more abstract art. Tom Wood is best known for his portraits of The Prince of Wales and Alan Bennett in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Wood said he was thrilled by the Leeds-based Northern Ballet’s involvement in this daring new artistic project in Harrogate where his newly-created portraits will serve as the inspiration for exciting new choreography.

“I’m flattered that my work has become the catalyst for exploring new and meaningful ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing the dancers’ new routines. It should be an exciting night.”

David Nixon explained the process involved with Northern Ballet’s first-ever Harrogate adventure.

He said: “Our dancers have been taking part in a choreographic workshop in our studios creating dance pieces for their fellow dancers which are inspired by the portraits they have selected and reflect Tom Wood’s exhibition. Up to six of these dance pieces will be performed at the Mercer.”

Northern Ballet is well known for its strong community links in Yorkshire. Each year it holds workshops for families who access Martin House Children’s Hospice.

To check if there are an tickets remaining for Ballet at the Gallery which takes place on Saturday, February 13 at 6.30pm, call 0113 220 8008 or look online at www.northernballet.com/ballet-at-the-gallery