Expressions - a celebration of inclusive dance
Showcasing the exciting new work of inclusive groups and dancers from across Yorkshire and beyond, Expressions is returning to the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre on 10 and 11 July 2024.
Celebrating the talents of disabled dancers and giving them the opportunity to perform on a professional stage, Expressions is the only event of its kind in Leeds.
Applications will be opening soon for disabled dancers and inclusive groups who would like to perform as part of Expressions. We also invite Dance for Parkinson's groups to take part. If you're not sure if you're eligible to get involved, watch the video below.
To be accessible for performers and audiences alike, all performances have a relaxed structure.
Want to know more about Expressions?
FAQs for those applying
When and where are the performances?
The performances take place at Northern Ballet's home studio theatre, the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, 2 St Cecilia Street, Leeds LS2 7PA.
The performances are across the following days/times. If your application is successful, you will be performing in one of these time slots:
- Wednesday 10 July, 1pm & 7pm
- Thursday 11 July, 1pm & 7pm
If you're performing live, you will be asked to attend a short tech run before your performance takes place. You can specify when you'll be available for this in your application form.
What can I submit?
You can submit a piece of dance or creative movement to be performed live as part of the Expressions festival. Alternatively, we also welcome applications for filmed work that can be showcased as part of the festival.
Please note that we need to receive filmed work as a file and not via an online link (Youtube, Vimeo, etc). The deadline for us to receive your film is Monday 27 May to ensure our Technical Team have time to test the files and ensure your film plays at the best possible quality.
Your piece may be up to 7 minutes long. Shorter pieces are also welcome.
All performances are relaxed, which means:
- the lights in the auditorium will remain on during the performance
- the audience can make noise during the performance
- the audience can leave and re-enter the auditorium as you need
- if audiences need to leave the auditorium, there is a chill out space available
- the sound and lighting are adapted to reduce the volume and remove flashing lighting effects
- ear defenders are available if the sound is too loud
We also provide a Changing Places Toilet (hired from AccessoLoo) and a temporary changing space with a fixed height bed and hoist.
Our building is wheelchair accessible. You can find more detailed access information on our Access in our Building webpage.
You will receive a building guide ahead of the performances which will show you the spaces in the building that you will use, our facilities and some of the building's rules. We will endeavour to work with any group or dancer to meet their access needs so that they can take part.
Please email Expressions@northernballet.com if you have any questions.
Process and deadlines
The deadline for applications is Friday 15 March. Applications are open to inclusive dance groups, Dance for Parkinson's groups and solo work. Pieces for the performances will be selected by an impartial panel who will use the applications received to create a varied and exciting programme.
Northern Ballet's Learning team will be in contact on Friday 22 March to notify you of their decision. If you or your group are offered a performance slot, you will be sent further paperwork to complete as well as more information about the festival, including a schedule and visual story to help prepare your group for their visit to Northern Ballet. The deadline to submit this paperwork and any music or film files will be Monday 27 May.
Please don't worry if your group aren't selected to perform - there are still lots of other opportunities for getting involved with Expressions, from taking part in workshops to watching exceptional performances. We hope you'll join us as we continue to celebrate and champion inclusive dance in all its forms.
Completing the application form
You are able to complete your application in a number of different formats. It's available as a Word document on our website, which you can either complete by hand, scan and email to us, or complete digitally. A digital form is also available. This will automatically be submitted to us once you've completed it.
You are also able to record a video or audio note answering the questions if that's easier for you. Alternatively, if you'd like to answer the questions over the phone, via a Zoom call or at an in-person meeting, we can arrange this for you too.
Get in touch with us via Expressions@northernballet.com or 0113 220 8000 to find out more. You must have submitted your form by Friday 15 March.
‘The facilities and the inclusivity of the event offers young people an unforgettable experience and an opportunity that is not widely available for Special Educational Needs groups’
Karen Williams, Greenacre School
‘The event is a brilliant performance opportunity, well organised and within great facilities. Our group wish to improve their performance skills and share their artistic practice widely. Expressions helps us to do this in a supported and trusted environment’
Ceri Brierley, Raised