Thursday 10 March will mark both the opening night of Northern Ballet’s Casanova at Leeds Grand Theatre and the opening of a new exhibition by Leeds artist Christine Eastham who has been creating artwork inspired by the Company throughout the show’s rehearsal period.
This unique collaboration began under lockdown when a series of commissions by ex Premier Dancer (and wife of Casanova director Kenneth Tindall) Hannah Bateman led Christine to begin painting from Northern Ballet production images, captured by Caroline Holden. As the Company moved back into the studios following a period of home-working, Christine was invited to continue this strand of her work, observing Company dancers live in class and during rehearsals.
Pictured: a selection of works created on Northern Ballet dancers by Christine Eastham.
Christine is a Leeds born artist who has trained at Leeds College of Art, Nottingham Trent University and Reading University. After a career in teaching, Chris began painting full time in 2016. She was a quarter finalist of Sky’s Portrait Artist of the Year in 2019.
A compilation of the drawings and paintings which she made whilst visiting Northern Ballet’s studios, along with a catalogue of work, will be on view from 10 March until 10 April at Coles Gallery in Leeds Corn Exchange. A private viewing will be held on 10 March to coincide with the opening performance of Northern Ballet’s critically acclaimed Casanova at Leeds Grand Theatre. The ballet will continue its run until Saturday 19 March before embarking on it’s national tour.
Pictured: Christine's sketches of Northern Ballet dancers in dress rehearsals for Casanova.
‘The exhibition is a celebration of dance, both as a source of joy and connection with others - something which was woefully missing during this last two years. It will hopefully mark a return to a time in which normal activity, such as visiting the theatre, and art galleries can be enjoyed.’