Sadler’s Wells new national youth initiative


It’s time to celebrate the extraordinary talent of young dancers across England as Sadler’s Wells unveils the next cohort of the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC). With 32 dancers aged between 16 and 24, hailing from 21 different towns, cities, and villages, this truly nationwide company is set to take the dance world by storm. Led by Guest Artistic Director Oona Doherty, they will be working on an exciting new piece called Wall, which is set to premiere at Leeds Playhouse on Saturday, April 13th, before embarking on a national tour.

Wall is an exploration of Britain through the eyes and voices of young people from around the country. It delves into their thoughts, highlighting both the good and the bad, the old and the new. Through repetitive movements of resistance, stamina, and will, the dancers showcase their strength and beauty, embodying the greatness of Britain.

The production promises to be a visual and auditory feast, with music by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey, lighting design by John Gunning of Malaprop Theatre, and costume design by Ryan Dawson Laight, who has an extensive background in theater and dance. Award-winning photographer and video maker Luca Truffarelli adds his talents as the audio, photo, and video collaborator, while NYDC alumna Nya Bardouille serves as Assistant to the choreographer.

After its premiere at Leeds Playhouse, Wall will embark on a captivating journey to Wakefield, Falmouth, Ipswich, Latitude Festival, Leicester, and London, with a highly anticipated performance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre on Saturday, July 13th. This is an unmissable opportunity to witness the creative energy and raw talent of these young dancers.

The NYDC’s new cohort for 2023/24 includes a diverse group of dancers from various regions across the country. From Leeds to Derby, Manchester to London, and many places in between, these talented individuals have come together to form a dynamic and inspiring company. Each member brings their unique background and dance experience, making the NYDC a melting pot of creativity and expression.

During their time with the NYDC, the dancers receive invaluable insight into the dance profession. They live and work together as a tight-knit company, supported by the NYDC staff and artistic team. This year-long experience equips them with the skills and techniques necessary to pursue dance careers, while also fostering personal growth, self-esteem, and confidence. The dancers benefit from mentorship during four intensive residencies in school holidays, where they collaborate with the Guest Artistic Director to create and rehearse a stunning new piece. The 2023/24 residencies will take place in Suffolk, Birmingham, Yorkshire, and Greater Manchester.

Guest Artistic Director Oona Doherty expresses her admiration for the company, emphasizing their boundless creativity, stamina, and energy. Working with the next generation of performers and dance makers is not only infectious but also inspiring for her. Doherty is eager to see what this collaborative teamwork will produce and is proud to contribute to the world of dance.

Head of National Youth Dance Company, Hannah Kirkpatrick, highlights the importance of the NYDC as a platform for young dancers to showcase their talent and express their passion for dance. The company provides an opportunity for these individuals to learn how to work effectively within a professional dance company while creating a powerful new dance piece. By highlighting the significance of dance in their lives, the NYDC demonstrates what can be achieved when given the opportunity, platform, and resources.

As Sadler’s Wells continues its unwavering commitment to nurturing young dance talent, the announcement of the NYDC’s 2023/24 cohort and the upcoming Wall tour marks an exciting chapter in the world of contemporary dance. Prepare to be captivated by the energy, creativity, and sheer brilliance of these young dancers as they take center stage and showcase their talents to the world.