Talented young dancers selected to join the country’s flagship company

Monique Ademilola. Picture by Gigi Giannella
Monique Ademilola. Picture by Gigi Giannella

Two talented dancers from West Sussex have been selected to join the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), the country’s flagship organisation for young dancers.

Monique Ademilola (aged 16, from Crawley) and Jackson Shallcross-Platt (17, from Haywards Heath) are in residency with the rest of the company’s 40 dancers, rehearsing for the world premiere (April 7) of a new piece created by award-winning contemporary dance choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan.

Jackson Shallcross-Platt. Picture by Gigi Giannella

Jackson Shallcross-Platt. Picture by Gigi Giannella

Spokesman Agnish Ray said: “Through NYDC experience workshops held in 14 different towns and cities, 30 new members were selected from all over the country, joining 11 dancers returning from last year’s NYDC cohort.

“The new company is working under the guidance of the company’s guest artistic director Michael Keegan-Dolan, an associate artist of Sadler’s Wells, to create a new work called In – Nocentes, which will be premiered at Sadler’s Wells on April 10, followed by a national tour. Set to a re-composition of The Four Seasons by Vivaldi, this new commission is a ritualistic piece with which Keegan-Dolan celebrates the natural and instinctive way in which young people can move and behave.

“The dancers are mentored during three intensive residencies over the year, in order to create, rehearse and develop the new piece, with the final residency held March 26-April 9.

“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.

“Now in its fourth year, NYDC has established a reputation for innovative, challenging and influential work, and 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 percent of all former NYDC dancers now either in further dance studies, in vocational training or working professionally.”

NYDC director Jane Hackett said: “We believe in the importance of identifying talent at an early age.

“These young people have the potential to be the future leaders of the dance world and we want to provide them with as many tools as possible to excel and succeed.

“Joining NYDC can be a life-changing experience, presenting career possibilities, raising aspirations, self-esteem and confidence, and introducing the very best of professional dance practice.”

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