Powerhouse Ballet's debut

May 4th 2019 sees Powerhouse Ballet's first performance, as guests of KNT Danceworks at their 10th Anniversary Show.

In September 2018 Choreographer Terence Etheridge came up to Leeds, to  PHB's Leeds home of Dance Studio Leeds to audition dancers for and then create a new piece with his chosen cast. If you click on his name you'll see his biography on the Duchy Ballet site, Duchy are a youth focused amateur company based in Cornwall.

I auditioned for the piece with little expectation other than the chance to take class with another, different teacher,  I wasn't  disappointed when I wasn't cast.

However along with various people who have been involved with Powerhouse Ballet, we attended, as audience members,  Northern Ballet's 2018 triple bill, and that set a few tongues wagging among the cognescenti, over his presence ,  and who were those two rather tall ladies he was with? who obviously also know Kenny Tindall and various other Northern Ballet company members...

Returning to the creation of the piece 'Aria'. The following day those selected and some other interested Powerhouse ballet dancers returned to Dance Studio Leeds  to create the piece...  Across the Autumn and Winter of 2018 into 2019, the cast and Ballet Mistress/Rehearsal Director  Beverley Willsmer rehearsed this piece...

During this time Powerhouse was offered the opportunity to debut as a company and premiere this piece at KNT Danceworks 10th Anniversary Show at the Dancehouse Theatre. The Dancehouse Theatre  as well as being a fully functional theatre is also home to the Northern Ballet School and a good proportion of KNT's children's and adult recreational classes.  Quite a few of PHB's membership take their regular week in - week out classes with KNT and others among us have taken part in some of the fabulous intensives and 'Day of Dance' that KNT's principal Karen Sant has organised - KNT and the Dancehouse have become PHB's Manchester home...  both  Karen and Mark Hindle  have taught PHB company classes at the Dancehouse.

The weekend of the 13th/ 14th April 2019 saw Terence Etheridge  come back up to the North to fine tune the piece and give his approval if it was up to standard... He also offered the opportunity for anyone who  wished to do so to come and take the 90 minute 'company' class he would be starting the day with for the cast... We had been conversing over the winter and  I was asked "you are going to come and take class at least once over the weekend aren't you?" that combined with chauffeuse duties to enable the costume designer Amelia Sierevogel to attend the rehearsal to finalise costume detail meant that I would be attending...  Amelia had originally been cast to dance the piece but her growing professional commitments as a Costumier had meant she was unable to commit to the piece.

The morning of the 13th April saw an early start for me to get across to Huddersfield to collect Amelia from where she had been staying and get across to the Dancehouse for a 10am start.

The class was at least (capital I) Intermediate in nature but I managed to keep up and didn't fell totally out of place in the class. This class was fairly typical in structure but fast moving and Intermediate in level  with plenty of change of weight, inside leg, demi pointe , exercises designed to go straight round to the other side...  the centre work incorporated double pose turns (opted out) and double pirouettes  (tried my best and they are getting there)...

After class we adjourned to the Theatre itself to allow the cast (and reserve) to  dance the piece on the stage it is going to be performed on ... and  for the final touches to be made , as well as  an opportunity  for the lighting  designer to  design ...  there are a few teasers out there from the  cast  as  to content,  but i'll let you all wait until the 4th May.

A further day of  tweaking and fine tuning took place on Sunday again starting with a fast moving and quite hard class which i the opportunity to take.

And my moment of the weekend?  being told the following  "You did well in that class Nicola, you are a completely different  dancer to the one I saw at the audition 6 months ago " - that is  praise indeed  from someone whose credits   and career are as long and illustrious at Terence Etheridge's are.



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