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Press Release: Sharon Eyal announced as Guest Artistic Director of NYDC

Jan McNulty

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National Youth Dance Company
- Sharon Eyal announced as next Guest Artistic Director of the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC)
- Experience Workshops for 2017-18 intake continue in June and July

National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), the country’s flagship organisation for young dancers which is run by Sadler’s Wells, will work with renowned choreographer Sharon Eyal as the next Guest Artistic Director of the company. NYDC continues its search for the next intake of 30 young dancers to join the company for 2017-18 and work with Eyal to create a new dance production, with Experience Workshops taking place across England this June and July.

Eyal takes over from the previous Guest Artistic Director of NYDC, Belgian choreographer Damien JaletTarantiseismic, Jalet’s production with the National Youth Dance Company, premiered at Sadler’s Wells earlier this year and performs across England this summer as part of a UK Tour.

One of the most exciting female choreographers working today, Sharon Eyal was born in Jerusalem and danced with Batsheva Dance Company from 1990 until 2008. She served as Associate Artistic Director of the company from 2003-4 and House Choreographer of the company from 2005-12. In 2013, Eyal launched L-E-V with her long-time collaborator Gai Behar. L-E-V presented the UK Premiere of OCD LOVE at Sadler’s Wells last year and premieres new work Love Chapter 2 at the Montpellier Dance Festival later this summer. L-E-V has toured across the world, visiting cities including New York, Paris and Amsterdam. Her other choreographies include Killer Pig and Corps de Walk for Carte Blanche Dance of Norway, Too Beaucoup for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Plafona for Tanzcompagnie Oldenburg, Germany, Sara and Salt Womb for Nederland Dance Theater, Half-Life for the Royal Swedish Ballet and Untitled Black for the Goteborg Opera.

Sharon Eyal, NYDC Guest Artistic Director, 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.

NYDC Experience Workshops take place across England in June and July. 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. Experience Workshops are used as an opportunity to be considered for a place in the 2017-18 company. They are open to dancers from all backgrounds and abilities, with experience in any dance style. 

In her appointment as NYDC Guest Artistic Director, Eyal follows in the footsteps of Damien Jalet and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists Michael Keegan-Dolan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan and Jasmin Vardimon, who have in turn held the position over the past five 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 sixth 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. 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.

NYDC is jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Education through Grant in Aid funds


2017 UK national tour dates of Tarantiseismic:
Sunday 25 June: Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University
Saturday 1 July: Dance City, Newcastle
Saturday 8 July: The Curve, Leicester
Friday 14 July: Birmingham Hippodrome, as part of UDance 2017
Sunday 16 July: Latitude Festival
Tuesday 18 July: Jerwood Dance House, Dance East, Ipswich
Thursday 20 July: Middleton Hall, Hull

NYDC Experience Workshops for 2017-18 intake:
Sunday 25 June: Peninsula Arts – Plymouth University, Plymouth
Sunday 2 July: Dance City, Newcastle
Saturday 8 July: Curve, Leicester


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. 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), Michael Keegan Dolan (2015-16) and Damien Jalet (2016-17). These 150 dancers come from over 60 different towns and cities in England. 

- Over 2500 young people have worked with the company 
- NYDC has delivered 101 workshops in 34 different venues across 22 towns and cities 
- Over 32,000 people have seen the company perform 
- NYDC has featured in 48 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 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 130 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, an Associate Company and three International Associate Companies. It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University. 

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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