To celebrate its 30th Anniversary Season, The National Youth Ballet of Great Britain (“The NYB”) will present Time in Motion, a mixed programme of ballets choreographed by some of the UK’s most eminent professionals and rising talents, performed by a company of young dancers aged 8-18 from across the UK.
Time in Motion will encompass seven short ballets that together will make a compelling journey through time. Highlights include Scottish Ballet Artistic Director Christopher Hampson’s abstract ballet Carnival set to Saint-Saëns’s humorous score; Birmingham Royal Ballet soloist Jonathan Payn’s classical work IKEN inspired by the Suffolk landscape; a new narrative work by New Adventures Associate Director Etta Murfitt inspired by the Dream Ballet from Oklahoma; and Aspirations, a piece by English National Ballet School’s Director of Dance Samira Saidi.
The Beyond Ballet platform also returns, offering emerging choreographers the opportunity to devise, develop and showcase new works at professional level. This year three female choreographers will create new works. Birmingham Royal Ballet First Artist and choreographer Ruth Brill will present a new work with music by Raymond Fol; Rambert graduate Arielle Smith will present a bold new contemporary piece T-Symmetry, and Louise Bennet will create a new work for the Junior Company set to the wonderful Coppelia score by Leo Delibes. Beyond Ballet also offers training opportunities in other areas of the industry, with several students this year developing skills as rehearsal directors, projection designers and theatre administrators.
The NYB is also delighted to announce that Patron David Bintley CBE will be the guest Judge for the in-house choreographic competition which will take place at Summer School. The winning piece will be showcased within the Time in Motion Season.
The 30th Anniversary Season is led by Mikah Smillie, who last year was appointed as the new Artistic Director of The NYB. Under her dynamic leadership, The NYB continues to provide a unique opportunity for young performers to perform both newly commissioned works and celebrated masterpieces by the dance industry’s top choreographers. With a commitment to broadening the reach of the company across the UK, this year NYB held auditions in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester as well as London. Masterclasses also took place alongside auditions, taught by some of NYB’s professional ambassadors and alumni including Jonathan Payn, Erina Takashashi, James Street and Carrie Johnson.
Mikah Smillie said today: “The 2017 NYB Season has seen many exciting new opportunities for the company, in the first steps of our new initiatives to bring NYB to an even greater audience of young dancers. The excitement created by working professionals, emerging artists and young dance students creating and being inspired by each other is so incredibly exciting. It not only provides our young dancers with a snapshot into how company life works but it also develops important learning skills, creative partnerships and most importantly, lifelong friendships which are at the beating heart of every dancer’s life. The team at The NYB look forward to nurturing and developing these alliances, providing performance opportunities for a greater number of young people across the whole of Great Britain.”
The NYB involves talented young dancers aged 8 to 18 in every aspect of creating a ballet, giving them the opportunity to perform on a professional stage at a professional level. The Company also encourages children from all walks of life to become involved with dance through schools and community workshops. The NYB utilises the skills of students in associated arts and encourages the talents of young designers, costumiers, musicians and student teachers in the preparation and production of all their work. Through the Beyond Ballet platform, the Company also nurtures young choreographic talent, supporting young choreographers in devising and showcasing their own works at professional level. This year 105 dancers from across the country were offered places with the Company, and will perform in the 30th Anniversary season.
* Notable NYB alumni include Drew McOnie (choreographer), Sir Gregory Dean (Principal at Royal Danish Ballet), Jessica Brown Findlay (Actress, Downton Abbey) and Tyrone Singleton (Principal at Birmingham Royal Ballet), as well as many alumni working for leading companies including Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. Patrons include Carlos Acosta, Sir Matthew Bourne, Darcey Bussell, Joanna Lumley, Dame Monica Mason, Wayne Sleep and Sir Peter Wright.
- Photos by Tim Cross