Phoenix dance theatre is on a high. With new purpose-built premises in Leeds, and a charismatic director in Sharon Watson, the 10-strong ensemble is ready to take on the world. On Tuesday night, with a cold wind slicing off the sea, a small but enthusiastic crowd bundled into the Connaught theatre to catch Phoenix’s latest programme, Particle Velocity. Richard Alston’s All Alight was created for the company earlier this year, and its lyricism and quiet good manners make it a perfect opener. Set to Ravel’s Sonata
Nadine Senior, Founder of Northern School of Contemporary Dance, reflects on the incredible success of her work as a dance teacher at Harehills Middle School in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1970, I was appointed Head of Physical Education in an all-girls high school in Leeds. Many of the girls in this inner city, multi-cultural school had behavioural problems and one of them eventually burnt the school to the ground
Harehills Middle School has been reborn as Shine – a building for start-ups, established businesses and the arts. The school’s most lasting legacy is perhaps a passion for dance in Leeds. Nadine Senior was appointed Senior PE teacher at the school during the 1970s. One result was the birth of, the now nationally renowned, Phoenix Dance Theatre and later the Northern School of Contemporary Dance
The Times, 15 Aug 1981
A Town Like New Orleans?
All in all, very good television, may be occasional but delightful, beautifully photographed and edited and with no obtrusive interviewer. It was produced by Ian McNulty who doubtless knew, as I did, that Leeds is nothing like New Orleans but has its own stubborn brand of individualism and is worth keeping an eye on for just that reason.
Daily Mail , 15 Aug 1981
They talk about books, plays, films, television programmes which ‘change your life,’ … But last night’s programme A Town Like New Orleans? had a direct influence on my behaviour. Having seen it, I deliberately went out and put money in every buskers collecting hat that I could see.
The Times , 14 Aug 1981
A TOWN LIKE NEW ORLEANS? (BBC2, 9.45 pm) is about a musical explosion, or rather a series of pops, because this is a film about Leeds’ two hundred or so jazz, rock and folk groups that pack the pubs, the pavements and the front rooms of unlovely semi-detached houses.
In many Durham mining villages residents are suffering from planning blight, whilst in Macclesfield, architect Rod Hackney refurbishes old houses and communities. As Langley Park’s Railway Street faces the bulldozers, we ask should local authorities demolish old housing or renovate instead?