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Tala Lee-Turton


Published 20 September 2022 at 10:58am

Tala Lee-Turton, a renowned Ballet dancer from Barnsley, has recently returned to the UK and is excited to launch her brand new production called No Time Like The Present

Tala came up with the concept for No Time Like The Present during the global pandemic as she began to think of where and how she could dance for audiences again and this led to the creation of her own production company. Tala has pulled together a diverse, international team for No Time Like The Present, collaborating with choreographer and soloist of American Ballet Theatre, Zhongjing Fang.

Tala Lee-Turton said of the piece: “It is a real privilege to be able to bring this production to Wentworth Woodhouse and Sheffield Botanical Gardens and I’m so pleased to be performing in South Yorkshire. I want to encourage people who might not normally go to see a ballet production to connect with this dance and music experience - five dancers, how they are moving and what they are thinking; expressing their inner realities as women.”

We caught up with Tala as she was about to embark on her first public performance of No Time Like the Present, at Wentworth Woodhouse and, later, at Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Tala explains:“I started out at a local dance school in Barnsley and from there progressed to study and train at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow – I was only the third British female ever to graduate from there at the time, an achievement I am really proud of.

“With No Time like the Present, I wanted to investigate innovative and unusual ways to bring dance to the beautiful green spaces of South Yorkshire.

“I also wanted to bring dance to people who are non-theatre and non-ballet goers, as sometimes the walls of a theatre call feel restrictive. I am so passionate about being a creative producer of dance as performances like this are designed to inspire people and be thought provoking, so they talk about it long after the event is over.

“Many people ask if I get my work ethic from my time at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, but it really started before that, from my family and my roots in Barnsley. I believe that if you work hard and really strive to achieve, then you will be successful.

Tala has other works currently in development, celebrating South Yorkshire. Immediately after No Time Like The Present, she begins a residency at Yorkshire Dance where she will research and develop a new work, Here Lies, exploring the lives of the unrecorded women buried at Sheffield General Cemetery. Simultaneously, Tala is working on a feature film as part of Screen Yorkshire’s talent development programme, FLEX, inspired by her working class mixed heritage family background in Barnsley.

“I hope as many people as possible in South Yorkshire get the chance to see and enjoy my work.”

Kate Brindley, Director of Arts, Culture and Heritage at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “It is fantastic to see such a talented local artist making her own ballet productions here in South Yorkshire. It is interesting to hear that it was during the pandemic, a really challenging time for so many people, that the idea for her own production was born and it is wonderful that she is encouraging people who may never have been to ballet before to come along and experience it. Artistic performances like these are a great way to connect communities and engage people where it matters the most.”

The event is supported by both Arts Council England and Sheffield City Council.

For more details, visit the website


Last Updated: 20/09/2022

Published In: Arts, Culture, Heritage, Featured