Launch Day

Kelly-Abbott Dance Theatre needs your help to raise £2,000 in support of our most ambitious dance theatre production to date: Launch Day

We did it!

On 4th Mar 2016 we successfully raised £540 with 16 supporters in 28 days


Kelly-Abbott Dance Theatre needs your help to raise £2,000 which will support our most ambitious dance theatre production to date:  Launch Day



In 2016, Kelly-Abbott Dance Theatre (KADT) presents its most ambitious project to date: Launch Day.

In collaboration with and inspired by the paintings of visual artist Alexander Millar and the shipbuilding heritage of the North-East of England, 5 dancers will bring Millar’s iconic images of the ‘Gadgies’ or ‘Working Man’ to life through striking and powerful choreography to offer a celebration of the industrial history of the North-East.

The result is a wonderful, theatrical experience with a sense of nostalgia and pride in a nation, which was once known as the leading shipbuilding industry in the world.

Launch Day - Alexander Millar

Launch Day premieres at Dance City in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 5 March 2016, however it has taken two and a half years to get to this stage. Kristin Kelly Abbott, artistic director of KADT began researching and experimenting with choreography for this production back in 2013. Kristin admired the paintings of Alexander Millar, so much so that she has three of them hanging in her house. Kristin saw the theatrical potential of Millar’s painted characters and thought it would be a wonderful idea to bring them to life through dance. Funnily enough when she approached Millar, he had similar hopes for his ‘Gadgie’ characters, refering to the scenes of his paintings as ‘street ballet’. It appeared that Launch Day was destined to happen.


Initially, Kristin created a short dance piece that was performed at various choreographic platforms around the North-East such as Public Announcement and Fresh North East at Dance City, Alnwick Playhouse and Middlesbrough Town Hall. It received a hugely enthusiastic response, with the North East Artist Development Network saying that it was:


“a beautiful work and deserves to be performed region-wide and beyond”.



This is our most ambitious cross-artform collaboration to date. However, ambitious means expensive - and this is where your help, no matter how big or how small, could make all the difference. 

Since 2013, Kristin and the company have been working hard researching and developing choreography for this production. Up to this point, Kristin and the dancers have worked for free and given all their spare time to this project. Their passion and drive is fuelled by their love for dance, a strong belief in this production and its potential to be great. Thankfully our hard work has paid off in that we have secured six North-East theatre venues for Launch Day in 2016. We have already received funding from Arts Council England, and are kindly co-commissioned by Dance City and Queens Hall Arts Centre, Hexam for this project.

Now, we hope you will help us with the final push – to raise the final £2,000 we need to fund this stage of the production and make it happen.


  • offering a wide community engagement and participation programme
  • to support the logistics of touring
  • to support the development of the artistic work including projection, costume and props

Your gift will be securing the future not only of Kelly-Abbott Dance Theatre, but also enhancing our company profile in the dance sector not only in the North-East but on a national level.  


In order to thank you for supporting us we have created a range of exclusive benefits that aim to bring you closer to Kelly-Abbott Dance Theatre, Launch Day, its dancers and creative team.

These include two VIP tickets to the premiere performance at Dance City, signed production photos and more - please see the PLEDGE column to your right for details. 

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