Tala Lee-Turton is a British Chinese creative producer for dance on stage and on screen, professional freelance dancer and graduate of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow, originally from Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Based between London and Sheffield, Tala produces innovative, female-led works, collaborating with diverse, multi-disciplinary and empowered creatives. She is building a repertoire of original works connecting creatives and audiences with impactful dance experiences that challenge social and cultural boundaries.
Tala is a storyteller, championing marginalised and intersectional voices through innovative use of movement in live performance and film. Her productions include Chinese Laundry, Here lies and No Time Like The Present. She is currently part of Screen Yorkshire’s talent development programme, FLEX, and talent lab, Filmonomics, run by Birds Eye View.
In 2016, Tala made history as only the third British female to graduate from the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy in its then 245-year-history. Upon graduation, she worked with ballet companies including English National Ballet and Astrakhan State Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 2020, she founded Tala Lee-Turton Productions and continues to dance as a freelancer.
Born and raised in Barnsley, Tala began dancing at the age of four and in 2012, at just 16-years-old, she won her place at the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy and moved 2000 miles to Russia to pursue her dream and achieve the world-class standards of Russian classical ballet. She had to learn the Russian language from scratch and adapt to a strict regime at the Bolshoi, working up to ten-hours-a-day, six days a week
© Xenia at Zavod Studio
Tala also competed in several international competitions as a pre-professional including the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida where she finished in the top 10 of the professional category, ranking third overall female. Her hard work paid off when she was awarded a professional contract, after four years of intensive training at the Bolshoi.
Tala’s ballet company experience includes performing in Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella-in-the-round, at the Royal Albert Hall with English National Ballet, and with Astrakhan in their beautiful, purpose built theatre, and also on international tours of Italy and China. Tala’s repertoire includes classics, such as Cygnets and Neapolitan in Swan Lake, plus soloist roles in Giselle, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. She has also danced in neo-classical works such as Waltz of the White Orchids, Piaf and Andrei Rublev.
Tala is proud to be an ambassador for her home town and region; winning the Proud of Barnsley Young Superstar award in 2012 and also becoming a Barnsley Civic Champion.
Tala wrote this blog during her four-years of training at the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. The blog follows Tala’s journey as a 16-year old exploring Moscow, learning Russian and gives an insight into the intense training regime that turned her into the professional dancer she is today.