The Northern Ballet company have come up with an ingenious way to create to interest new audiences in Ballet.
Northern Ballet are giving audiences the chance to watch rehearsals of the performances as a way of ‘trying before buying’. The company, which is based in Leeds has described the idea as “the perfect treat for ballet lovers, or an introduction to ballet for ballet virgins.”
‘Ondine’ will be the rehearsed ballet that audiences will be able to see. There will be two rehearsals a day at 1.10pm and 5.40pm on the 9th, 23rd and 30th August. The rehearsals will take place in the the practice rooms and last around an hour.
Audiences will be charged £5 for the performance, which includes a small lunch during the early rehearsal, or a drink with the evening show. What is even better is that the £5 is then redeemable from a full price ticket of Ondine, which will be performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse between 8th-15th September.
We can’t think of anything more brilliant to help widen the audiences of ballet. From my experience, you don’t have to a be a prima ballerina or have to know anything about the art to be able to appreciate and enjoy it and hopefully this scheme will prove it!
As much as we enjoy watching and at one point performing, we can’t help but understand why schemes like this have to happen. Watching live ballet is very expensive because it is such a rare and exclusive talent, and the price sometimes reflects who the assumed audience should be, but this is clearly wrong.
Even if there are people who see the rehearsals, and don’t want to see the whole performance – that’s fine. At least the Northern Ballet has given those people the opportunity to see something, they may not have thought about before.
We hope that other ballet companies all over the UK follow suit, and target their productions to new and wider audiences with similar incentives like this one.