• Phoenix at 30!

    I was at the new Northern Ballet Theatre/ Phoenix Dance building in Leeds today and it was such a joy to see the original Phoenix boys gathered in rehearsal for a celebratory performance this evening - how time has flown!

    It seems like only yesterday that the original Phoenix were shaking up the world of contemporary dance and it got me thinking about how far we have come as a field. In 1984 when The Glory of the Garden was published by the Arts Council, Phoenix were one of the major beneficiaries of the new funding to be devoted to dance as it became an art form treat in its own right rather than as an adjunct to music.

    Over the period that followed our dance scene has changed so much. From a predominantly educational base the form has grown and developed at an exponential rate and this has brought so many challenges,

    My career in dance started at the same time as Phoenix launched and I now marvel at the resilience of this company which in some ways seems to reflect the resilience of dance.

    As a dance educator in the late 70's and early 80's, I count myself privileged to have had the opportunity and fortune to learn my craft from some amazing people - Nadine Senior, Margaret Dunn, Peter Kyle and Chris Bannerman to name only three. Many of my closest colleagues, friends and peers have a similar background and have gone on to do many different things in dance and the arts. The dance field has so many stories to tell and we need to get better at telling them ...... we need an oral history, we need to capture our stories .... seeing Pete Huggins today also reminded me that there is also an incredible visual history of the development of the field. I go to bed pondering how we might capture all of this history so that it is not lost to future generations .....

    Happy birthday, Phoenix .... under your new leadership you are looking great!

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