BAC Cataloguing Grant for Business Archives 2019
The judging panel for this year's Cataloguing Grant for Business Archives was impressed with the variety of records of firms represented from across the UK. After individual scoring and joint deliberation, they decided to present the award to Northern Ballet Limited. The Northern Ballet Archive is a rare example with a wide range of record types. The organisation’s growth and development over 50 years is documented, from inception as a regional company to becoming an arts business of national significance. The records provide a valuable insight into social, cultural and economic shifts affecting the business itself and the wider arts sector outside London (where ballet companies have been traditionally concentrated).
Northern Ballet began life as Northern Dance Theatre when it was set up in 1969 by dramatic dancer Laverne Meyer. The Company launched with 11 dancers and a budget of £10,500. It strived to develop new audiences and quickly achieved a loyal following in the North of England.
In 1976 the Company renamed itself Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT), with the focus being as much on the ‘theatre’ as on the ‘ballet.’ In a relatively small UK theatre circuit, which included a number of classical ballet companies, NBT held a unique role, and the Company’s theatrical and dramatic narratives attracted more new audiences to dance. In the 1980s and 1990s full-length productions such as, A Christmas Carol, The Brontës, Romeo & Juliet and Dracula won awards and were huge box office hits, making NBT one of the UK’s most successful touring companies. Read more