Dance Direct at MOVE IT! 2013

Dance Direct at Move IT! 2013

MOVE IT, the ultimate dance experience, is the UK’s biggest dance event, and since its inception has welcomed 20,000 dance fans to share their passion for dance in one huge celebration.

2013 saw MOVE IT take place from 8-10 March, and the event presented fantastic performances by dance schools and colleges, great opportunities for dancewear shopping, an array of over 200 classes to take part in, and even some very special guests on the stage and on the Interview Sofa. These included Twist and Pulse, the winner of the first series of So You Think You Can Dance Charlie Bruce, Got to Dance judge and former Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt, Principal of English National Ballet Daria Klimentova, a special performance by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and even former prima ballerina and newly appointed Royal Academy of Dance President Darcey Bussell. Dance and ballet enthusiasts had the chance to hear her talk about her work with the RAD and what the year ahead has in store.

The Dance Direct stand was busy throughout the weekend, with dance fans, students and teachers eager to snap up the latest dancewear and dance shoe fashions. From leotards, to new tights, to ballet shoes, jazz pants, hoodies and t-shirts, Dance Direct look sure to be clothing most of the dance population for the year ahead! The Dance Direct team also had lots of new Dance Direct catalogues to give out to the dance-hungry crowd, and gave out vouchers of different values to winners who texted in their email addresses and free water bottles to keen tweeters. Teachers had the opportunity to join the team to learn about Dance Direct’s new costume ranges, with lots of sparkling tutus and costumes on display around the area!

MOVE IT will next take place from 7-9 March 2014.

Scottish Ballet’s Highland Fling

Scottish Ballet Logo

Scottish Ballet is gearing up to present Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling from the end of April until the end of May 2013, a completely different realisation of the plot in comparison to the original classical Romantic ballet La Sylphide on which Highland Fling is based and was inspired by. Directed and choreographed by Bourne and performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, the northern parts of the UK will be awash with a very different type of theatre and emotion that is usually associated with classical ballet, tutus, tights and pointe shoes.

Scottish Ballet will present the work of five-time Olivier Award-winning choreographer Bourne and also gain an exclusive license to the work, which is a fantastic and imaginative reworking of the piece, translating it into a contemporary Scotch twist. First premiered in 1994, and re-choreographed and designed in 2005, Bourne’s Highland Fling has a unique twist to it. Bourne is renowned for presenting work in this way, not dissimilar to that of Scottish Ballet. The company is the first to be given an exclusive license from Bourne to present his work and it will be the first time Scottish Ballet dancers have worked with the choreographer. Bourne’s approach and technique are eagerly anticipated by the company.

Highland Fling transforms La Sylphide into a story of rock and roll, and love, the addiction of James, gothic fairies, with twists and turns along the way. As James’ love for a strange and beautiful sylph becomes an obsession, he embarks on a fateful journey that takes him from the mean streets and nightclubs of Glasgow into a magical world beyond reality and reason.

Scottish Ballet will be touring to Theatre Royal Glasgow 27 April-4 May, Eden Court Theatre Inverness 9-11 May, His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen 16-18 May and Festival Theatre Edinburgh 22-25 May.

Compass Commissions: Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership

Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership

The Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership is looking for UK based dance artists and companies to create three new pieces of work for presentation at both Greenwich Dance and the Laban Theatre during July 2013-April 2014, falling under the umbrella “Compass Commissions” for newly conceived work.

The trio of commissions offered are listed as the following:

  • One outdoor/site-sensitive work

A work conceived to be performed at a specific site or (preferably) be adaptable to perform in any number of non-traditional performance spaces.

  • One theatre-based work

A work conceived for performance in a conventional theatre setting which will stand alone as a full performance event, with potential to tour to a range of dance/performance venues, nationally and internationally.

  • One work for a family audience

A work which will stand alone as a full performance event, with potential to tour to a range of dance/performance venues, both nationally and internationally. The work may be conceived for performance in conventional theatre venues but other modes of presentation will be considered.

Each commission will receive support in the form of a minimum of one performance opportunity, rehearsal facilities for maximum of six weeks, production time, technical support, sharing opportunities mid-process and admin support or desk space if required. Artists may or may not have a previous relationship with either organisation involved

This dynamic partnership has been created by Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban to provide ground-breaking dance performance, bespoke support for dance artists and an all-embracing programme of community and education work across South East London. As a result, new choreographic and creative work may have the chance to be conceived.

Rambert Dance Company’s Summer Schools

Rambert Dance Company Logo

The time of year has come again when young dancers everywhere are scouting out summer schools to take them through to the holidays, filled with ballet shoes, tap shoes, jazz shoes, and lots of leotards!

Summer schools are a fantastic way to experience a new style of dancing, or a new organisation or vocational college, and are also useful to decide which institutions dancers might like to apply and audition for when the time comes. For younger dancers they can experience a few days or a week or more of full-time dancing, possible singing and acting, lots of new friends and whole host of different classes to take part in.

The prestigious Rambert Dance Company also runs summer schools, giving dancers the chance to find out a little more about the company and what life is like as a company dancer. For Rambert, the dancers help throughout, be the programme for adults, youths or even “young movers”. For 2013 Rambert Dance Company will be running the following:

  • Adult summer programme on 25 and 26 July: these two special days of classes of general level hold a wonderful opportunity to work with dancers and teachers associated with Britain’s leading contemporary dance company. The programme includes contemporary technique classes, body conditioning classes (yoga or pilates) and repertoire workshops which focus on one current and one historic piece of Rambert repertoire: Sounddance by Merce Cunningham and Swansong by Christopher Bruce. Participants will learn movement phrases and look at creative tasks focused around them.
  • Adult summer school between 5 and 9 August: a unique opportunity to work closely with some of the most exciting dancers and emerging choreographers in dance today, geared towards dancers of an intermediate or advanced level.
  • Youth Summer school for Young Movers between 29 July and 2 August: this exciting week of classes and choreography is led by Rambert’s animateurs (professional dancers and teachers). Drawing on recent Rambert repertoire there will be daily contemporary classes and workshops for a great opportunity to dance, create perform and be inspired!

Project Y – Scottish Youth Dance’s Initiative

YDanceScottish Youth Dance created Project Y in 2006 in order to give talented young leotard-clad dancers the opportunity to develop their dance skills and experience what it is like to be a professional dancer. Over the past 7 years the programme has been hugely developed, and there are now two different ways for young dancers to get involved: the Performance course and a number of Foundation courses, open to any dancer who wants a taste of their possible future.

The Performance course is a four week programme designed for aspiring young dancers aged 16 to 21 who want an exclusive taste of what it is like to be part of a professional dance company. Dancers are able to work with some of the top choreographers from both the UK and abroad and as a result create a new programme of dance pieces. As a company in its own right, Project Y will then tour, performing at a number of venues, such as The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow), the Lemon Tree (Aberdeen), Eden Court (Inverness) and Carnegie Hall (Dunfermline), having  also appeared in the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay! The course takes place during the summer holidays, usually at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

The Foundation courses are weeklong programmes for a younger spectrum of dancers, aged 12 to 18. These courses for aspiring hopefuls are a beneficial way of improving dance technique and getting a taste of the Performance course above. The courses include a daily contemporary class – leggings galore – and choreography workshops led by members of the YDance team for Scottish Youth Dance. The participants on the courses will also have the chance to be involved in creating an inspiring new dance work and get the chance to perform it too! The Foundation courses also take place during the summer holidays.

Vaslav Nijinsky tribute

Vaslav NijinskiSunday 10th March 2013 will see the London Coliseum host a tribute performance to Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the greatest male dancers of the early twentieth century. The performance will be made up of a Russian Ballet Icons Gala and Dinner, celebrating the life and work of a legend, with today’s ballet world owing much to this ballet dancer in particular.

Nijinsky’s parents owned their own dance company, performing throughout the Russian Empire. At the age of nine, Nijinsky entered the Imperial School of Dancing in St. Petersburg, graduating in 1907 and joining the Mariinsky Theatre as a soloist. Following his first role in La Source with Russian ballerina Julia Sedova, Nijinsky’s success was phenomenal. He went on to join Diaghilev as principal dancer in 1909, and was commended for his expression, the beauty of his body, his featherweight lightness and steel-like strength, his great elevation, and his extraordinary virtuosity and dramatic acting. 1912 saw Nijinsky’s career as a choreographer begin, creating L’Aprés-midi d’un faune, Jeux and Le Sacre du printemps for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, heralded as daringly original.

As part of the Russian Ballet Icons series, the evening will present a unique opportunity to see several pieces from Nijinsky’s repertoire such as Petrushka, Les Sylphides, Scheherazade, The Spectre of the Rose, The Afternoon of a Faun, as well as modern masterpieces by contemporary choreographers such as Wayne Eagling, Wayne McGregor, Jerome Robbins, Kim Brandstrup, August Bournonville and Russell Maliphant. The programme will be presented by dancers from the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theatres, the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Stanislavski Theatre, Moscow, with the cast including Leanne Benjamin, Alina Cojocaru, J’aime Crandall, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Dmitry Gudanov, Kirill Kurlyaev, Alban Lendorf, Marianela Nunez, Evgenia Obraztsova, Artem Ovcharenko, Ludmila Pagliero, Giuseppe Picone, Ivan Putrov, Marianna Ryzhkina, Thiago Soares, Iñaki Urlezaga, Edward Watson, Maria Yakovleva and Svetlana Zakharova.


Youth America Grand Prix gala

Youth America Grand PrixThe Youth America Grand Prix, one of the most esteemed ballet competitions in the world, assembled an all-star cast of mostly principal dancers from some of the best companies in the US, and beyond, for its highly anticipated gala. Dancers from American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater were in attendance, assembled by the YAGP organisers for a programme of excerpts from ballet’s most classic and revered works.

The gala concluded and followed the regional semi-finals of the ballet scholarship competition. Named as “Ballet’s Greatest Hits”, the gala served to be a rare collection of exceptional ballet talent of tutus, pointe shoes, tights and fantastic ability, class and interpretation in one evening. In addition to this, for the first time the gala also marked the first filming of a live performance – as well as documentary footage – which will become part of Emerging Pictures “Ballet in Cinema” series broadcast to cinemas all over America in the spring.

The evening began by presenting some of the students from the previous two days of competition, demonstrating the sheer talent that is anticipated by ballet fans all over the world, solidified by the professional performances of the students’ professional counterparts. Variations from Swan Lake and La Bayadere were amongst those performed at the gala, making the evening a very special one for the competitors and the audience. Works from Ailey repertoire, The Nutcracker and Giselle were also performed, providing the audience with great hope for ballet in the twenty-first century, and beyond.

The Prix de Lausanne 2013

Prix de LausanneRunning in 2013 from 28 January to 2 February, the Prix de Lausanne is an international ballet competition for young dancers aged 15 to 18 years who are not yet professionals. The Prix is a non-profit cultural foundation, which depends solely on the generosity of its donors.

The first Prix competition was staged in January 1973 in the Théâtre municipal de Lausanne, instigated by Philippe Braunschweig, his wife, Elvire, and Rosella Hightower. In the summer of 1972, Braunschweig travelled to London to request the support of The Royal Ballet School in order to add value to their work in finding the best ballet tights and pink pointe shoe-clad dancers.

The team wanted to enhance the international image of the Prix, so therefore felt it was necessary to take the competition abroad. The Prix consequently visited New York in 1985, Tokyo in 1989 and Moscow in 1995, seeing three large foreign trips in the space of ten years. Each was based on the same format: selected rounds for the semi-final held in Lausanne for European candidates, with this stage paralleled in the host cities.

1998-2001 saw the team develop a new path for the Prix to ensure it was increasingly education-orientated and tailored to the needs of future dance professionals, ready in their tutus, also required to master contemporary forms of expression. A Contemporary Dance Prize was created in 2000 as a result, rewarding a finalist who displayed exceptional potential when performing their contemporary variation. The best candidates of the final, who the jury feel have reached the peak of their training, may be awarded an apprentice scholarship that will enable the dancer to undertake a professional internship in one of the international ballet companies partnering the Prix. Since 2008, the Prix final has been broadcast live on the internet, meaning dance-fans all over the world can view the prestigious competition.

Some of the most renowned ballet dancers have found their beginnings at the Prix de Lausanne, including Darcey Bussell, Daria Klimentova, Gillian Murphy, Sergei Polunin, Deborah Bull, Christopher Wheeldon, Ethan Stiefel, Carlos Acosta and Miyako Yoshida.

MOVE IT 2013

MOVE IT 2013

MOVE IT, the UK’s biggest dance event is the ultimate dance experience for dance fans, students, teachers and parent alike. Whether your interest is flared jazz pants-style commercial, pretty-in-pink ballet shoes or rock-and-ready street dance complete with the latest dancewear, MOVE IT has something for you.

Taking place between 8 and 10 March 2013, MOVE IT is gearing up to welcome 20,000 dance fans to Kensington, Olympia in London. Visitors to the venue will be able to watch performances in the showcase theatre and on the main stage, take part in classes or the freestyle stage, shop for dancewear, meet dancing stars on the interview sofa and talk to experts for advice in one of the biggest celebrations of dance.

There will be a huge variety of dance classes (over 200) and taster sessions on offer. The UK’s leading dance teachers will be presenting classes, covering everything from Ballet to Lindy Hop, Krump to Ballroom. The range on offer is enough to satisfy every dance enthusiast, no matter your ability level or aim for taking part. Also on offer is the chance to learn the routines from A Chorus Line set to hit the West End this year, develop your ballet technique with English National Ballet, and try out the latest hip hop moves with ZooNation’s Kate Prince to build up your style. Also appearing at MOVE IT will be Sean Cheesman (previous choreographer to Janet Jackson), Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy of Boy Blue Entertainment, Twist and Pulse, Shobana Jeyasingh dance, Got To Dance finalists Boadicea and many more!

New this year will be the chance to discover a career in dance with CDET as a new series of dance classes and interviews. These will offer advice and guidance for anyone thinking of working in the dance industry.

Dust off your dancing shoes and get your tickets!

10 Years of Breakin’ Convention

Breakin Convention 2012

It’s time for the next generation of dancers to shine at Breakin’ Convention, with 2013 marking its 10 year anniversary! To celebrate this special occasion, Breakin’ Convention will be offering two different opportunities for youth dancers in the new year, meaning it is time to don those new urban dance trainers and hit the studio! The festival will run from Saturday 4 – Sunday 6 May 2013.

“Breakin’ Convention 10 x 10” signals the start of a fantastic new platform in the creation of a special Breakin’ Convention crew of ten 10 year olds. An exclusive one-off performance will follow, on the main stage of the Breakin’ Convention festival at Sadler’s Wells. Young dancers will have the opportunity to show off their skills and perform at one of the biggest hip hop dance events in the world in front of an audience of nearly 2,000 people. Members of the crew will have the opportunity to learn from some of London’s most talented and successful artists including Boy Blue’s Vicky ‘Skytilz’ Mantey, and Bruno ‘Boom’ Perrier.

In addition, “Future Elements” will be a scheme aiming to showcase some of the UK’s best up-and-coming youth dance companies that have taken the future of funk in their hands and channelled it through their dancing. Saturday 9 March 2013 will see the best youth dance companies from in and around London present their work, with submissions for Breakin’ Convention’s Future Elements Night now open.

Past companies and dancers who have performed at Future Elements have included:

  • Da Bratz – Boy Blue Entertainment’s next generation of dancers
  • Enigma Dance Company – founded by Botis Seva of Far From the Norm
  • ME:I – Myself Dance Company’s up and coming youth group
  • Kieran Lei – member of K-Lic and star of forthcoming street dance film, AllStars

So far 2013 is looking like a wealth of opportunity for dancers everywhere!