Title: Phoenix Dance Theatre
Classmark: MS 1941
Size and medium: 58 boxes; 8 rolls
Records created by Phoenix Dance Theatre, from their founding in 1981 until 2011. Contains: the management and administrative records of the organisation, including board minutes, financial reports and committee minutes, building leases, agreements, correspondence and plans; photographs of dancers; performance and production records, including photographs of individual productions, production files containing correspondence, cue sheets, costume lists, script prompts, costume designs and swatches etc.; education and outreach workshop photographs; public relations records, including press cuttings, publicity material, magazines, press packs; personal papers of individual connected to the company and audio-visual material.
Phoenix Dance Company was formed in 1981 by David Hamilton (Artistic Director), Donald Edwards and Vilmore James, three young men who had their enthusiasm for dance sparked by the tuition they received at Harehills Middle School, particularly from teachers John Auty at Intake High School and Nadine Senior who went on to found the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Initially, the three members of Phoenix performed work created within the company, mainly in educational settings, however their fresh approach to contemporary dance won them support amongst audiences and critics and they quickly built a following beyond their home city. In 1987, Neville Campbell joined Phoenix as Artistic Director. This appointment marked a major expansion of the company and its repertoire as under Campbell’s direction, the company employed female dancers for the first time and increased to a company of ten. In the same year Phoenix moved out of Chapeltown and established a permanent base at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds city centre.
Margaret Morris took over as Artistic Director in 1991 and under her the company began to expand its overseas touring. Following Margaret Morris, Thea Nerissa Barnes became Artistic Director in 1997 and under her leadership the company set about preserving its heritage by establishing the company’s first archive. Darshan Singh Bhuller took over as Artistic Director in 2002 and immediately began reshaping, beginning with rebranding the company Phoenix Dance Theatre. Under his direction the company moved into larger scale venues and refocused itself as a multi-cultural company. He commissioned eight new works from established and young choreographers, sourced two existing pieces for company revivals and personally choreographed three new pieces, as well as restaging two of his previous works, including the full-length Planted Seeds.
Sharon Watson was appointed as Artistic Director in May 2009. Under her Phoenix has re- introduced diverse mixed programmes of work by established and up and coming choreographers, including classic pieces from the company’s extensive repertoire, and the company has refocused its ambitions, aiming to be the leading middle scale dance company of the UK. In October 2010 Phoenix moved into purpose-built new premises in the Quarry Hill area of Leeds alongside Northern Ballet. With the company having just celebrated 30 years of outstanding dance, the world class facilities of this new home give Phoenix Dance Theatre the platform to continue producing work of the highest quality in the future.
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Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.