Fitting tribute to Leeds dance legend

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Performers will take to the stage to pay tribute to a shining light of the city’s dance scene.

Leeds based Phoenix Dance Theatre and Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) will together lead a tribute to Nadine Senior, who died in January 2016.

The Celebration Gala for Nadine Senior, which will take place at West Yorkshire Playhouse on October 8 at 7pm, will feature dance, live music, film, poetry and guest speakers.

Nadine was deputy headmistress of Harehills Middle School when she began introducing the students to dance. Her revolutionary approach harnessed the children’s natural ability and recognised their talents in movement.

Three young men in particular would have their passion for dance ignited and go on to form Phoenix Dance Theatre in 1981: David Hamilton (founding artistic director), Donald Edwards and Vilmore James.

Nadine lobbied to prove the need for professional dance education in Leeds and in 1985 founded NSCD; it remains the only provider of conservatoire-level professional training in contemporary dance outside of London.

Janet Smith, principal of NSCD, said: “This will be a very special event for us in paying tribute to an extraordinary woman who championed the value of arts education from a young age in achieving the highest aspirations for all.”

The gala will include a performance of Robert North’s ‘Troy Game’, one of Nadine’s favourite pieces.

Proceeds from the event, jointly organised by NSCD and Phoenix Dance Theatre, will go towards a bursary to support young dancers.

The gala has gained the support of Leeds City Council and Leeds BID.

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