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Press Release: National Youth Dance Company reveals new line-up of young talent for fifth year

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National Youth Dance Company reveals new line-up of young talent for fifth year


30 new young dancers from across the country chosen to join 40-strong company 
Damien Jalet to lead as Guest Artistic Director
- Tarantiseismic to have World Premiere at Sadler’s Wells in April 2017
Entire 2015/16 cohort of dancers all graduate and achieve the Gold Arts Award
Sadler’s Wells and artists illustrate commitment to building vibrant dance future 

National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), the country’s flagship national organisation for providing dance opportunities for young people, announces its line-up of 40 outstandingly talented young dancers for this year. Through NYDC experience workshops held in 14 different cities throughout the UK, 30 new members were selected from all over the country, joining 10 dancers returning from last year’s NYDC cohort. 

The new company is working under the guidance of 2016/17 Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet to create Tarantiseismic, a new work which will premiere at Sadler’s Wells on Wednesday 19 April 2017, followed by a UK national tour. This new commission sees Jalet present a unique piece of theatre which addresses themes of melancholia, ritual, control and abandon. Jalet’s revered choreographic style combined with the young dancers’ energy and talent is set to produce a mesmerising experience that shifts the consciousness of the audience. Further details about the production and tour venues will be announced at a later date.

The dancers are mentored during three intensive residencies over the year, in order to create, rehearse and develop the new piece. In February, the residency will be held in Hull to coincide with their City of Culture 2017. Throughout the dancers’ time with NYDC they are given a unique insight into the dance profession, gaining skills and techniques that open up career possibilities. 

Damien Jalet is a French and Belgian choreographer and dancer. He has worked as a dancer for several companies such as Les Ballets C de la B and Wim Vandekeybus. As a choreographer, Jalet has been involved in many collaborations with companies such as Eastman, Chunky Move, Icelandic Dance Company, Akram Khan, Erna Omarsdottir and Sasha Waltz. Recent directing projects include Babel (Words), which won the Olivier Award for Best Dance Production in 2011, les méduses, an itinerary installation inside Louvre museum in Paris with 30 artists, and a restaging of Ravel’s Bolero for the Paris Opera Ballet – a collaboration with Marina Abramovic and Cherkaoui. Damien Jalet is entitled ‘Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres’ by the French government and is a laureate 2015 of the Kujoyama residency in Kyoto.

In his appointment as NYDC Guest Artistic Director, Jalet follows in the footsteps of Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists Michael Keegan-Dolan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan and Jasmin Vardimon, who have each in turn held the position over the past four years. Through their work with NYDC, these internationally acclaimed artists illustrate their commitment to young artists and highlight the power young dancers have to shape the future of dance. 

Now in its fifth year, NYDC has established a reputation for innovative, challenging and influential work, producing open-minded, curious and brave 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. The entire group of 40 talented dancers from the 2015/16 year achieved Gold Arts Award during their time in the company. 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. 

Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding said: I am delighted to welcome 30 new talented dancers to NYDC and to Sadler’s Wells. These young people have the potential to grow into the leading dance artists of the future and we are committed to providing them with all the skills and tools they need to develop. The company has been going from strength to strength since 2012 and I look forward to seeing what the new cohort will create with Damien Jalet this year.” 

NYDC Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet said: I accepted this challenging invitation to create a work for the 40 dancers of NYDC, because I feel it is a beautiful task to attempt to channel the incredible diversity of talents and personalities of this group of young dancers into a full evening of performance. I am moved by their desires, their hopes, their fears, their joy, their will to become what they dream of in a world where not much room has been left for them. Driven by their urge to dance, we explore together in Tarantiseismic how notions of abandonment, instability, empowerment through collective energy could convey in one common, complex yet transcending rhythm.”

NYDC is jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Education from the National Lottery and Grant in Aids funds


Founded in 2012, and hosted at Sadler’s Wells, NYDC is an exciting young company that creates and performs innovative and influential dance, drawing together some of the brightest young talent from across the country to work with Sadler’s Wells’ internationally renowned Associate Artists. NYDC is funded jointly by Arts Council England and the Department for Education, from the National Lottery and Grant in Aid funds. 
Since NYDC’s inception in 2012: 
- 150 dancers have joined the company, working intensively with renowned dance artists including Guest Artistic Directors: Jasmin Vardimon (2012-13), Akram Khan (2013-14) and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (2014-15) and Michael Keegan Dolan (2015-16). These 150 dancers come from over 60 different towns and cities in England. 
- Over 2000 young people have worked with the company 
- NYDC has delivered 87 workshops in 32 different venues across 22 towns and cities 
- Over 30,000 people have seen the company perform 
- NYDC has featured in 47 performances, visiting 20 different venues across the UK, including some leading theatres in the country. 

Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance house, committed to producing, commissioning and presenting new works and to bringing the very best international and UK dance to London and worldwide audiences. Under the Artistic Directorship of Alistair Spalding, the theatre’s acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap. Since 2005 it has helped to bring over 90 new dance works to the stage and its award-winning commissions and collaborative productions regularly tour internationally. Sadler’s Wells supports 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and an Associate Company and nurtures the next generation of talent through hosting the National Youth Dance Company, its Summer University programme, Wild Card initiative and its New Wave Associates. 
Located in Islington, north London, the current theatre is the sixth to have stood on the site since it was first built by Richard Sadler in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera all having started at Sadler’s Wells. 
Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and currently receives approximately 9% of its revenue from Arts Council England.


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