NYDC

NYDC workshops get young people dancing nationwide

National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) has begun delivering its annual series of experience workshops across the UK, showcasing its talent and encouraging young people to dance. The workshops are aimed at anyone aged 16 to 18 (or up to 24 if deaf or disabled) who is interested in dance, or looking to pursue a career in the sector. A selected number of participants will be called back to a final workshop at Sadler’s Wells later in the year, after which 30 young dancers will be invited to officially join the company’s next cohort.

Run by Sadler’s Wells, NYDC seeks out the brightest talent in dance from across England to work closely with renowned professional artists. Since its inception in November 2012, the company has built a reputation for creating ground-breaking work and producing high-calibre artists that are curious and brave. Each year, a different group of 30 dancers has the opportunity to work with a world-class choreographer and their creative team to create new work and perform it at art venues around the country. Acclaimed dance makers Jasmin Vardimon, Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Michael Keegan-Dolan, Damien Jalet and Sharon Eyal have been Guest Artistic Directors of NYDC in previous years. Emerging choreographer Botis Seva was recently announced a the next Guest Artistic Director for the company, which has been performing to over 30,000 people to date.

NYDC’s experience workshops give participants a sense of what life is like as a NYDC dancer. Participants join a company class, get to learn repertoire from NYDC productions and take part in different creative tasks. This is a great chance for young aspiring dancers to meet the company, learn more about it and further their personal trajectory in the world of dance.

In line with Sadler’s Wells’ core ethos and values, NYDC prides itself on being open and inclusive. Its workshops actively encourage dancers from a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and dance styles. A diversity of experience makes for a better team, and it is an important part of our working practice to bring the workshops as far as possible outside London, to those who otherwise might not be able to take part. An in-built philosophy within the Company is that of giving back – the sharing with others of what has for so many been a fundamentally life-changing experience.

The company is embarking on a concurrent tour to eight venues across England with Used to be Blonde, its latest production by Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Sharon Eyal, with music by composer Ori Lichtik. The show has been commissioned as part of a series of 20 original works celebrating the 20th anniversary of Sadler’s Wells’ current building in Rosebery Avenue – the sixth to be built on the site since the theatre was first established in 1683.

NYDC will deliver experience workshops in 18 cities across England throughout May, June and July. For more information, visit the NYDC website. Participation in the workshops is free, but places must be booked using the online booking formTickets for performances of Used To Be Blonde are available here. 

Botis Seva is the next Guest Artistic Director of National Youth Dance Company

National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), the country’s flagship organisation for young dancers run by Sadler’s Wells, will work with choreographer Botis Seva as its next Guest Artistic Director. NYDC begins its search for the next intake of 30 young dancers to join the company for 2018-19 and work with Seva to create a new dance production, with Experience Workshops taking place across England from next month. The organisation has been granted further support for the two years ahead from the Department for Education and Arts Council England, to continue nurturing the country’s young talent and building the leading dance artists of the future.

Seva takes over from the current Guest Artistic Director, Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Sharon Eyal. Used To Be Blonde, Eyal’s production for National Youth Dance Company, premiered to critical acclaim at Sadler’s Wells earlier this month and is touring across England this summer.

Botis Seva is a dance artist, choreographer and director working within the realms of contemporary dance, physical theatre and hip-hop. He was awarded the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund and the Marion North Mentoring Award in 2015, and has won two international choreographic competitions: Choreography 30 in Hannover, Germany and Copenhagen’s International Choreographic Competition. Seva’s recent dance credits include InNoForm for the British Dance Edition & Laban Theatre, Woman of Sun for Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership Compass Commission, outdoor work H.O.H for Without Walls, GDIF & Norfolk & Norwich Festival and TuTuMucky for Scottish Dance Theatre.

Seva and his collective Far From the Norm have previously performed at Sadler’s Wells with Breakin’ Convention, and curated a Wild Card evening in the Lilian Baylis Studio. In October his work will be seen in Reckonings, a triple bill commissioned by Sadler’s Wells to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our current theatre building, which will also feature pieces by UK-based dance-makers Julie Cunningham and Alesandra Seutin.

Botis Seva, NYDC Guest Artistic Director, said: “I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with National Youth Dance Company. I look forward to sharing my passion for dance with these young performers, and having the opportunity to challenge my own dance language while I am Guest Artistic Director. Having the chance to work with NYDC has always been on my bucket list, and I hope with the support of Sadler’s Wells this experience will truly push me as an artist.”

Experience Workshops will take place across England from May to July. The workshops are an opportunity to find out more about NYDC. Young dancers will take part in a company class, learn repertoire from NYDC productions and take part in creative tasks. Participants will also meet members of the current company, ask questions and get advice on dance training and careers in dance. Experience Workshops are used as an opportunity to be considered for a place in the 2018-19 company. They are open to dancers from all backgrounds and abilities, with experience in any dance style.

Entering its seventh year, NYDC has established a reputation for innovative, challenging and influential work, producing open-minded and curious dancers. The company brings together the brightest talent from across England, immersing the members fully in the process of creating, performing and touring new work, giving them a unique insight into the dance profession. NYDC has a track record of putting young people on paths to successful dance careers, with over 80% of all former NYDC dancers now either in further dance studies, in vocational training or working professionally. Graduates from NYDC have since danced in Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Teaċ Daṁsa, Hofesh II, and the Jasmin Vardimon Company.

In addition to the core programme, NYDC runs additional projects that support dance in communities across the country. Current members will visit Falmouth in May for a residency with local young dancers who are a part of Propeller and Hall for Cornwall Youth Dance. This starts a creation process that culminates in a large-scale outdoor performance at the Eden Project in July. Also, NYDC recently partnered with the inclusive Corali Dance Company to create a new dance film, directed by Paul Davidson (a Corali and NYDC dancer), which has been developed into a workshop for young dancers with regional partners across England.

Community dance group and NYDC alumni create piece inspired by Lyon Opera Ballet show

If you are coming to see Trois Grandes Fugues by Lyon Opera Ballet at Sadler’s Wells on 20 October, make sure to arrive early to catch a special performance by community dance group Silver Routes and alumni of National Youth Dance Company.

Silver Routes meet weekly at the St Luke’s Centre in Islington and are part of Sadler’s Wells’ outreach programme for over 60s, while NYDC is one of the artist development programmes we run to nurture the next generation of talent. Both projects are part of our Learning and Engagement work, which aims to make dance accessible to all and to inspire new and existing audiences, young people and communities by connecting them with dance and our programme.

The curtain raiser ahead of Trois Grandes Fugues sees 21 dancers from Silver Routes and alumni of NYDC collaborate on a thought-provoking piece inspired by the Lyon Opera Ballet production. Similarly to the three pieces in the programme, it responds to Beethoven’s Grande Fugue op.133. The work has been choreographed by Catarina Carvalho, a former dancer with Company Wayne McGregor.

This is a joint initiative between Sadler’s Wells and Dance Umbrella, an international dance festival celebrating 21st-Century choreography by presenting dance across the capital, including the performances of Trois Grandes Fugues on our stage.

The intergenerational project aims to bring together dancers of different backgrounds to create work in response to our artistic programme. There are two opportunities to watch this piece, at 6:45 and 7pm on the Mezzanine level, before the Lyon Opera Ballet show begins.

We hope you enjoy it!

NYDC tours nationwide and announces new Guest Artistic Director

National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) is touring the UK this summer performing Tarantiseismic, a powerful exploration of melancholia, ritual, control and abandon by choreographer and current Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet. The tour sees NYDC visiting six different venues, including a performance at Latitude Festival in Suffolk, before returning to Sadler’s Wells for the company members’ graduation from the programme at the end of July.

The production is going to be performed in Plymouth, Newcastle, Leicester, Birmingham and Ipswich, ending its run in Hull on 20th July. Alongside the tour, the company is also running experience workshops to engage hundreds of young people in dance. During the sessions, participants learn repertoire from NYDC productions, meet members of the company and receive advice on dance training. A new group of dancers for the 2017-18 programme will be selected based on these sessions.

NYDC has also announced Sharon Eyal as its new Guest Artistic Director for 2017-18. Jerusalem-born Eyal danced with Batsheva Dance Company between 1990 and 2008 and worked as its associate artistic director (2003-04) and resident choreographer (2005-12). In 2013, she founded L-E-V dance company with collaborator Gai Behar. L-E-V made its Sadler’s Wells’ debut with OCD Love in September 2016. Eyal will be leading the new NYDC cohort in the creation of its next production, which will premiere in spring 2018.

Sharon Eyal said: “I am so excited and thrilled to work with the National Youth Dance Company as Guest Artistic Director. I am looking forward to discovering what the new group of dancers can do, and cannot wait to create work together. I’m also thrilled to work with Sadler’s Wells again, who have supported my work previously with L-E-V. It is great to continue our cooperation.”

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said: “Sharon made a great impression on audiences last year when she debuted in the UK with her dance company L-E-V at Sadler’s Wells. She has a distinct approach to her choreography by working collaboratively with dancers to bring the work to stage, which will be important for collaborating with the National Youth Dance Company and giving members the opportunity to shine. Sharon’s style in her work, such as the use of club music, will tune in to the experiences of the young NYDC dancers, and no doubt produce something very special for audiences to see.”

Image: NYDC in Tarantiseismic, photo by Tony Nandi.

Miriam Levy on life in National Youth Dance Company

Miriam Levy, a current dancer in National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), reflects on her first residency with the company, which took place in October at DanceEast, Ipswich. The cohort worked with NYDC Associate Artist Neil Fleming Brown to bond as a company and to learn the the unique movement style of the company’s latest Guest Artistic Director Sharon Eyal, who they will begin rehearsals with in December.

My first residency with NYDC was a truly amazing experience and one I think will stick with me for a very long time. Some of my friends from the CAT scheme (Centre for Advanced Training Programme) were joining NYDC with me and before the residency they asked me if I was nervous to which I surprised myself by realising that I wasn’t. Getting into NYDC had been a big goal of mine so once I achieved it I was really excited to start and ready to start a totally new creative process. Once I arrived, we were really well taken care of and our parents were introduced to NYDC by the staff and returning dancers, who gave us some last minute advice. After this we travelled to Dance East where we went straight from the coach to the studio. We then started by improvising as a whole group to warm up, which was one of the highlights of the residency for me.

We were encouraged to watch each other for inspiration as we were moving and I found the other 40 dancers completely inspiring. In that moment and over the course of the residency I would find myself wanting to watch the other dancers more and more as everyone was so talented in different ways. The individuality of the other company members shone through even as we were trying to master Sharon’s very specific style. Trying to understand how her choreographic style would feel on my body was one of the biggest challenges of the residency for me, as watching videos of her moving reminded me just how different her style is to what I usually encounter in my training. We used to these videos as the start of creative tasks as individuals and in pairs and you could definitely see the progression of the material we made over the three days.

Starting to feel like I’m getting to grips with her style made me even more excited for the December residency, where Sharon is coming to start the creation process officially. This residency felt like a taster of the creation process and definitely left me excited for more. Something that surprised me about NYDC was the intensity of the schedule, and the level of professionalism expected of you as an NYDC member was a new experience for me. NYDC is designed to give you a taste of life in a professional company and one of the key parts of the experience is being in the studio all day every day whilst on residency. This was only a short residency (meaning we only had one complete day in the studio), but the sessions were very physically demanding and it was sometimes hard to maintain your creativity at the end of the long days. Despite this, the atmosphere in the studio was amazingly positive, everyone was completely committed to the tasks we were given and to dancing as best as we could.

One of the amazing things about NYDC is that it brings together people who are just as passionate about dance as each other from all around the country. I feel really grateful to have met people from the other side of the country, who I would never have had the opportunity to dance with otherwise. By the second day, my roommate and I were having a slightly surreal conversation where we couldn’t believe that we’d only met the day before because we already felt like we knew each other so well! The 40 dancers on the coach journey back had a very different dynamic to the 40 dancers who met each other at Sadler’s Wells. Everyone’s nerves had completely evaporated and we were chatting and literally singing together the entire journey home. I think we all felt the same sense of satisfaction of the connection we had made over the three days, as well as the dancing we achieved together.

National Youth Dance Company celebrates Get Creative Day at Sadler’s Wells

On 2 April, hundreds of arts and cultural organisations in the UK marked Get Creative Day. Part of the BBC’s Get Creative campaign, the event celebrated and encouraged participation in arts, culture and creativity across the country. At Sadler’s Wells, National Youth Dance Company members invited people to join them in the foyer for a group improvisation. Audiences, many of them children and young people, danced along or simply travelled with the dancers as they performed throughout the building. A measure of the success of the day was the transition of some visitors from shy spectators to enthusiastic participants – from entering the building, in the space of less than half an hour they were jumping, crawling, clapping and moving with the 40 NYDC dancers.

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The company also offered the public the opportunity to learn a sequence inspired by its new work In – Nocentes, created by leading choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan, which had its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells on 7 April. NYDC is jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Education from the National Lottery and Grant in Aids funds.

 

Images: National Youth Dance Company dancers lead the group improvisation at Sadler’s Wells.