Arts Council England
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Youth Dance England’s Young Creatives programme supports choreographers to develop their talent

Youth Dance England's Young Creatives programme culminated in April of this year with an inspiring showcase of new works produced by this year's cohort of young choreographers - all performed in front of a packed house at The Clore Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House.

Young Creatives is a national programme managed by Youth Dance England in partnership with The Royal Ballet School and Royal Opera House that aims to help young people aged 15-19 to develop their choreographic skills and deepen and broaden their knowledge of choreography. The programme has developed the skills of over 80 young choreographers since it started in 2008. It is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England's Grants for the arts programme.

This year's Young Creative programme has seen a further eight young choreographers get the opportunity to develop their practice through the creation of new dance pieces. A further 28 Young Creative Associates were chosen to work with the Young Creatives to make and perform the new pieces.

In January 2015 each of the Young Creatives were assigned a professional choreographer as a mentor who supported them as they developed their ideas and worked with their dancers, sharing their experiences of creating work and developing a career in choreography. In addition to receiving mentoring, each of the young choreographers took part in a 'Skills Boosting Weekend' at Royal Opera House and an intensive residential at The Royal Ballet School's White Lodge.

The skills weekend encouraged each of them to begin looking at choreographic techniques, costume, music and how to communicate effectively when choreographing work with your peers. The intensive residential provided them with the opportunity to draw on the support and expertise of White Lodge's teachers and staff.

The pieces of work developed included:

Mary Anderson, Amore Infinito
Inspired by the poem You're by Sylvia Plat, Amore Infinito explores how literary imagery can be translated into movement vocabulary

Niamh Milligan, Inside Out
Inside Out is a powerful piece that explores the emotions of having gender dysphoria - in this instance a girl born into a boy's body

Unique to this year's programme, Youth Dance England delivered 11 choreographic workshops across six regions, which were identified as having fewer participants accessing the programme. These were South West, North East, North West, East Midlands, East Region and Yorkshire and involved 93 young people.

"One of the best things I have done in my life!" Mary Anderson, Young Creative.

Cate Canniffe, Director, Dance, Arts Council England, said: "Talent development, such as Youth Dance England's Young Creatives programme, is an essential part of the work that we support and invest in. Youth Dance England's introduction of choreographic workshops across England is an essential step in widening access and ensuring that more young people have the opportunity to develop their skills."

"I found the mentoring session really interesting, extremely helpful and valuable. My idea seemed to develop more and more as every minute passed, which was really exciting" Meghan Otty, Young Creative

The Young Creatives Programme will continue to support talent as part of a new three commissioned grant (2015-18) by Arts Council England that brings together four leading dance organisations to create a unified "go-to" industry body. The consortium consists of Youth Dance England (YDE), the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), Dance UK, and the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA).

Through combining their expertise, the consortium has created a simplified, strengthened and specialist partnership body nurturing and developing talent and delivering excellence in: education; youth dance; dance of the African diaspora; performance, health and well-being; management, leadership and career development.


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