Northern Ballet looking for cash for Leeds children’s hospice project

DANCE: The Hitchens family are among those involved.
DANCE: The Hitchens family are among those involved.
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Staff at Leeds’s Northern Ballet have launched a Christmas Appeal to raise funds for its Children’s Hospice Project.

The project, which is run in partnership with Martin House Children’s Hospice, gives children with life-limiting illnesses and their families the rare opportunity to access and enjoy activities within the arts together.

Northern Ballet hosts workshops in the professional dance studios at its city-centre HQ.

Working with Northern Ballet’s Dance Education Officers, the families participate in creative movement workshops that explore stories from the Company’s repertoire. The workshops incorporate music therapy and sensory experiences using props to involve and immerse the whole family into the experience. The project also involves photography workshops where the families learn skills including composition, lighting and capturing movement from a local photographer. This enables the families to not only create mementos of their time with Northern Ballet, but improves their ability to take photos and capture special memories together outside of the project.

Selina McGonagle, Director of Learning at Northern Ballet, said: “We believe that everyone should have access to high quality dance but so often these families miss out because their child’s needs prevent them from attending the theatre.

“Our Children’s Hospice Project aims to help the families enjoy special times together, create memories as a family and enjoy the arts away from the medical, emotional and logistical demands of their daily lives.”

Families also attend Northern Ballet performances with this year’s participants having seen Tortoise & the Hare at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre and a visit planned to Leeds Grand Theatre this month to see The Nutcracker.

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