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I have just received the following email from Mr Alex Wright, Development Officer: Friends, Patrons & Legacies of Northern Ballet:
"Dear Miss LambertMr Wright does not specify what those new opportunities are and I have been unable to find out despite scouring all the usual on-line publications and social media but whatever they are doing I should like to offer my congratulations to Mr. Batley and Ms. Leebolt and wish them both well for the future.
Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley
As valued supporters of Northern Ballet, we wanted you to be amongst the first to know that at the end of the season, Premier Dancers Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley are to take a leave of absence from the Company to pursue new opportunities.
The pair, who have formed a dynamic dance partnership under the directorship of David Nixon OBE, will return as Resident Guest Artists to perform in Northern Ballet’s Wuthering Heights at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in September, and our tour of Romeo and Juliet from September to October.
Artistic Director David Nixon said: ‘Martha and Tobias have had an extraordinary journey with Northern Ballet from very young dancers in the corps, to the leading artists they are today. Through their hard work and commitment they have made a significant contribution to both my work and the Company as individuals and as a creative and inspirational partnership. There comes a time, especially when a dancer has been in the same place for a long time, that artists need to go out and discover new things which will enrich them and take them to new heights. Both Martha and Tobias are at this place in their lives and I respect their decision to broaden their life experience. This is not about saying goodbye forever and I am therefore pleased that they will both still be doing some performances with the Company next season. We all wish them the very best.’
We are delighted that there will be opportunities to see both Martha and Tobias perform with Northern Ballet throughout 2016, and I hope you will join me in wishing them well with their future endeavours.
While on the subject of Northern Ballet I should also like to mention that Javier Torres will be the London Ballet Circle's guest on 23 May and choreographer Jonathan Watkins will be the Circle's guest on 6 June 2016 (see 70 Years of the London Ballet Circle 10 May 2016).