The performing arts are an important industry in the UK. According to the report Private Investment in Culture 2007/08 published by the Arts & Business section of Business in the Community culture was worth £7.7 billion to the UK economy in 2007. It may reasonably be assumed to be worth somewhat more now. Northern Ballet is astute as to the value of the arts to business and hosted a breakfast meeting for businessmen and women on the 23 Sept 2013 which attracted patent attorney Debbie Slater from Urquhart-Dykes & Lord as well as me (see Jane Lambert "The Things I do for my Art: Northern Ballet's Breakfast Meeting" 23 Sept 2013 Terpsichore).
During Q & A at the meeting the company's chief executive officer Mark Skipper said that while there was once a time when patronage of the arts was an act of philanthropy it was now one of mutual self-interest. The reason for that response is that performing arts companies are brands in their own right. In the case of Northern Ballet this was recognized yesterday by their winning the marketing category at the 2013 UK Theatre awards (see the company's press release "Northern Ballet scoops national marketing award" 21 Oct 2013). Northern Ballet was granted that award for the success of its communications campaign for Northern Ballet’s tour of The Great Gatsby.
"More than 50,000 people watched a performance of The Great Gatsby in 9 venues throughout the UK including a sell-out run at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. The campaign generated in excess of £1.2 million of ticket sales exceeding financial target by £150,000."Incidentally, I saw that ballet when it opened in Leeds and reviewed it in "Life follows Art: the Great Gatsby" 8 March 2013 Terpsichore.
Our host at the breakfast meeting was Laraine Penson, Northern Ballet's Director of Communications. She collected the award on behalf of her company at a luncheon at The Guildhall yesterday. At the ceremony she said:
"The arts are full of creative communications professionals who are working very hard in a competitive market and difficult economy. I accept this award on behalf of the communications team at Northern Ballet. This award recognises the achievements of the whole company because if the production and performance didn’t meet the audiences expectations all our work would be for nothing.”The press release notes that Northern Ballet has been shortlisted for the cultural category of the Welcome to Yorkshire "White Rose Awards". As everyone knows one can't wish an actor good luck. You say "Break a leg!" instead. But you can't really say that to a dancer. My ballet teacher tells me that the balletic equivalent is "chookas" though others say "toi-toi". Let's wish Northern Ballet both. As I experienced recently, for only the second time in my lifetime, an institution from our region is capable of true artistic greatness (see "Realizing Another Dream" 15 Sept 2013).
David Wilson "Pythagoras and Pliés – Mathematical Beauty" 5 March 2011 Dave Tries Ballet
Jane Lambert "Cracking Nuts - Copyright in Choreography" 24 Nov 2011 IP Northwest
Jane Lambert "Ballet and Intellectual Property - my Excuse for reviewing 'Beauty and the Beast'" 31 Dec 2011 IP Yorkshire
Jane Lambert "Northern Ballet's Ondine" 14 Sept 2012 IP Yorkshire
Jane Lambert "From Bar to Barre" 20 March 2013 Terpsichore
Jane Lambert "Intellectual Property and Ballet" 20 April 2013 Terpsichore