Video: Leeds ‘dance legacy’ set to go on UK tour

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World class contemporary dancers from Leeds are in rehearsal for the world premiere of their new show.

The dancers from Phoenix Dance Theatre will appear at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from February 12-15, before going on a nationwide tour.

Sharon Watson with Josh Wille and Carmen Vazquez Marfil at the Phoenix Dance Theatre rehearsals.

Sharon Watson with Josh Wille and Carmen Vazquez Marfil at the Phoenix Dance Theatre rehearsals.

Many of the dancers and the current artistic director Sharon Watson were pupils at Harehills Middle School where a lasting legacy of dance was created, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of one particular teacher - Nadine Senior.

The former school site has gone on to become the Shine centre in Harehills.

Artistic director Sharon Watson said: “Leeds and Yorkshire certainly play a significant role in the dance world as the talent developed here continues to influence the sector on both a national and international level.

“Being in the north gives me the freedom to be different and instils that typical can-do Yorkshire attitude. The world is starting to shout about Yorkshire as a cultural destination and I am very proud that dance and Phoenix play a significant part in adding to the attraction.”

She said the company’s eight full-time professional dancers worked tirelessly and trained 365 days a year to reach such a level of fitness and skill, adding: “They are fit and dedicated and it is an amazing show.”

Darshan Singh Bhuller, the company’s former artistic director who now lives in New York, has also contributed to part of the triple-bill event.

Speaking of the reunion Ms Watson said: “It is a real pleasure to have Darshan back with Phoenix here in Leeds.

“Our schooling and experiences are similar so we have a shared understanding of the history and value of dance in our city.”

Mr Singh Bhuller who is now based in the United States added: “It has been eight years since I worked with Sharon and this is a happy reunion.

“This feels natural and I’m delighted to be back in Leeds.”

“I think Yorkshire has always had a high profile through dance education and with various companies setting up here.

Dance has gone from strength to strength in Yorkshire - long may that steady progression continue.”

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