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National youth dance organisation seeks talented performers

By David Porter

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YDance (Scottish Youth Dance) – the award-winning national dance organisation for children and young people in Scotland is seeking talented dancers from across the north and north-east aged 16 to 25 for the dance performance training programme, the Project Y Performance Course 2020.

Established by YDance in 2006, Project Y is the only intensive dance training programme in the UK offering young dancers the experience of creating, rehearsing and performing as part of a touring contemporary dance company.

Spending four weeks during the summer as a member of the Project Y Company, dancers work with four choreographers to create and rehearse four new dance works before performing in venues across Scotland in the annual Project Y Tour.

The dancers are involved at the heart of the creative process and gain invaluable experience of what it’s like to rehearse and perform as a professional dancer.

The four choreographers confirmed to work with the young dancers this year are Anna Kenrick, Sandrine Monin, Emma Jayne Park and Jessie Roberts-Smith.

Anna Kenrick is the Artistic Director of YDance and since joining the company in 2007 she has choreographed ten Project Y pieces to date and each year choreographs the main work of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland.

Anna said: “Working with the Project Y dancers is a highlight of my year.

"It’s a real pleasure working with such talented, motivated and unique dancers who bring such a richness to the work we create.

"It’s always such an exciting process where everyone gets the chance to shine and show their incredible skills.”

Sandrine Monin trained at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, attended the European programme DANCE in Germany, and graduated from Palucca Hochshule für Tanz with a Masters degree.

As a professional dancer she worked with various choreographers and performed around Europe and the UK for renowned companies Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Sandrine develops her own independent choreographic work as well as work for companies, youth groups and music videos.

Sandrine said: “I am very much looking forward to creating my first work in Scotland.

"I am very excited to take part in Project Y 2020, especially in an all-female choreographer line-up and can’t wait to share my practice with a talented bunch of young artists.”

Emma Jayne Park works under the creative handle Cultured Mongrel as a dancer, theatre maker, collaborator and micro-activist.

From her base in Scotland she works locally, nationally, internationally and as Associate Artist with The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival; one of the world's largest social justice arts festivals.

Emma said: "I'm a firm believer that you begin being an artist as soon as you are involved in making work.

"Therefore, I am really excited to collaborate with the young dancers involved in Project Y to see how we can challenge and support each other whilst making a performance that galvanises audiences to question what dance can be and can do."

Jessie Roberts-Smith is a full-time dancer with Scottish Dance Theatre based in Dundee.

She is currently touring work by Sharon Eyal, Emanuel Gat, Colette Sadler and Botis Seva, and is developing So Long and Slender, her own work made in 2019 with fellow dancer Luigi Nardone.

Jessie said: "I’m so looking forward to getting to know the 2020 company of dancers.

"Getting to discover their unique ways of moving as well as exploring what binds us together.

|My early training as a dancer was with a youth company and it is the most invaluable window into professional dancing life.

"It’s a huge privilege for me to share my experience while we make a piece of work that shows off their power and skills and is wonderful and strange."

The Project Y Performance Course 2020 will run for four weeks starting on Monday, July 6.

The first three weeks will be based in Glasgow to create and rehearse with the choreographers.

On the fourth week, the company will tour and perform in venues across Scotland.

To take part in the Project Y Performance course you must be aged between 16 and 25 on the first day of the course and be able to commit to all rehearsal and performance dates.

You do not need to be Scottish or living in Scotland, and you do not need to be in full time training to take part in the Project Y Performance Course, however professional dancers are not eligible to take part.

Applications are now open and anyone interested in applying should visit www.ydance.org for more information.

Applications close on Sunday, March 1.

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