Iain Mackay is Artistic Director of Yorkshire Ballet Seminars, who hosts To The Barre – an intimate evening of conversation with an esteemed group of ballet stars, including Marguerite Porter MBE and Wayne Sleep OBE. To The Barre streams online on Saturday 24 July at 7:00pm (BST). Tickets are available to buy via: stream.theatre.
All proceeds raised will go towards the charitable work that the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars delivers through its residential courses and training events. Yorkshire Ballet Seminars takes great pride in being able to provide scholarships to the most talented students, and bursaries for those who are unable to pay the fees.
Iain Mackay is the Artistic Director of Yorkshire Ballet Seminars. Before taking on the role, Mackay attended the Summer School in 1991, before training at Dance School of Scotland and The Royal Ballet Upper School. In 1999, he joined Birmingham Royal Ballet where he was a Principal for 14 years under the direction of Sir David Bintley.
You’re hosting To The Barre, what can you tell us about it?
I am hosting a livestream Q&A on Saturday 24 July which will consist of a fun evening of discussion, covering the rich history of the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars with a group of wonderful people, Marguerite Porter MBE, Laura Connor, Wayne Sleep OBE, Sir David Bintley and Brandon Lawrence and we will delve into their fascinating ballet careers.
Why is this such an important event for Yorkshire Ballet Seminars?
It is a fantastic way for us to keep in touch with the many ballet fans who have always supported us, but due to COVID have been unable to attend our Seminars for the last two years. We are also hoping to reach new friends far and wide, thanks to the beauty of a digital livestream event.
Tell us about some of the guests taking part, and why they want to support Yorkshire Ballet Seminars?
They are not only incredible figures within the ballet world but they also all have a unique, close connection with Yorkshire Ballet Seminars. Wayne Sleep taught at the first Seminars 46 years ago and continues to come every year and Sir David Bintley attended the Seminars as a student.
Marguerite Porter, former Prima Ballerina of the Royal Ballet, was Director for 12 years and taught me when I first attended in 1991. Laura Connor has been involved with the seminars for over 30 years and Brandon Lawrence was discovered at the Seminars by Marguerite and taken to the Royal Ballet School straight away.
They all hold huge amounts of ballet knowledge, and are wonderful, kind and funny human beings so there will be plenty of opportunity for fun and inspiring conversations during the Q&A.
Is this the company’s first livestream?
This is the first livestream we have done, and we can’t wait!
What are you most proud of from your time at Yorkshire Ballet Seminars?
Watching the students grow in confidence during their short time with us is just phenomenal and seeing all of these wonderful teachers give so generously to them is truly inspiring.
What would you say to anyone thinking of watching To The Barre?
Join us, it will be an evening full of wonderful stories, interesting facts and lots of laughter. The money raised from the event will go towards the charitable work that Yorkshire Ballet Seminars delivers through our residential courses and training events, and we would really appreciate your support at this time.