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Image: London Contemporary Dance School


northern ballet dance passion

Conservatoire graduates feature in BBC Arts #DancePassion Live

Dance companies from across the UK will come together for a major on-air and online celebration of dance on Friday 5 April. #DancePassion is a new dance festival organised by BBC Arts in collaboration with One Dance UK along with leading names and exciting new talent from across the dance scene. The day will feature 11 hours of performance, rehearsals and behind-the-scenes insights.

All of the events in Leeds – featuring DAZL, RJC, Möbius Dance, Akeim Toussaint Buck, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet, DeNada Dance Theatre, and Gracefool Collective – will be hosted by Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Check out the full running order for the day on the BBC website and look out for Conservatoire graduates in the below features:

10:00 – Company Class with Candoco Dance Company

At London’s Studio Wayne McGregor contemporary company Candoco Dance Company present a company class with their disabled and non-disabled professional dancers and invited guests. Candoco was founded by LCDS alumna Celeste Dandeker-Arnold. Company dancers include Toke Strandby and Fabian Jackson (NSCD).

12:15 – Autobiography in rehearsal with Company Wayne McGregor

Company Wayne McGregor rehearse Autobiography, which is choreographed by Wayne McGregor CBE, and based on his own DNA and 25 year archive. Company dancers include graduates Jordan James Bridge, Fukiko Takase (LCDS), Jessica Wright (Central), and Jacob O’Connell (Rambert).

13:00 – Rambert and Marion Motin

Rambert presents a sneak peek of their brand new work by Marion Motin. Company dancers include graduates Sharia Johnson, Adam Park, Stephan Quildan, Kym Sojourna (Rambert), Pierre Tappon, Nancy Nerantzi (LCDS), Brenda Lee Grech and Jacob Wye (Central).

13:15 RJC Dance Youth Provision Carnival troupe ‘ROOTS, RESPECT AND STILL RISING’

This first of three Leeds performances is inspired by and honours 25 years of RJC Dance, founded by NSCD graduate Kathy Williams, and is presented by young people aged 9-12 years.

Möbius Dance: Time Moves Slow

A new commission by NSCD alumnus Jamaal Burkmar ‘Time Moves Slow’, performed by NSCD graduates Ana Fernández Melero, Stefania Pinato and current NSCD third year students Charlie Hogan and Iolanda Portogallo.

Windows Of Displacement (excerpt)
Using his own journey of migration from Jamaica to the UK as a catalyst, NSCD graduate Akeim Toussaint Buck brings together dance, spoken word and song to tell a story that is both deeply personal and universal.

13:45 – The Science of Lifting with Motionhouse

Motionhouse performers demonstrate lifts and showcase the strength and physicality of their performers, notably their strong women. Artistic Director Kevin Finnan MBE and Rehearsal Director Junior Cunningham (NSCD) talk about how the dancers work together to execute a lift.

Company dancers include graduates Martina Knight, Alasdair Stewart, Naomi Tadevossian (LCDS), Junior Cunningham, Daniel Massarella, Rebecca Williams, Aaron Watkinson, Joel Pradas, Beth Pattison (NSCD), Chris Knight (NSCD, LCDS), Shannon Kate Platt (Rambert), and Apprentice Rebecca Knight (NSCD).

13:30 – Akram Khan Company

At Sadler’s Wells in London, Akram Khan Company invite you to check out the rehearsals for their new company production, Outwitting the Devil. Acclaimed choreographer and NSCD alumnus Akram Khan recently won a record eighth National Dance Award.

State of Mind by ACE Youth
Centred around schizophrenia, State of Mind explores the status of our consciousness, our perception of our intuition and the outside world and how it affects our actions, behaviour and body movements. The work is choreographed by Douglas Thorpe and performed the youth dance company of ACE dance and music, founded by NSCD alumna Gail Parmel.

15:00 – English National Ballet

Dancers from English National Ballet rehearse Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings. Company dancers include graduate Sarah Kundi (Central).

15:45 – Phoenix Dance Theatre in Rehearsal: Left Unseen

Get an insight into studio activity in Leeds as Phoenix Dance Theatre’s company dancers rehearse contemporary dance piece Left Unseen by Amaury Lebrun. This is a unique opportunity to hear from the Company’s Artistic Director, Sharon Watson (LCDS and NSCD). The piece was originally commissioned by Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Company dancers include graduates Vanessa Vince-Pang (Rambert), Carmen Vazquez Marfil (CSB, NSCD), Natalie Alleston (Rambert, NSCD), and Apprentices Jasmine Gordon, Frances Shepherdson, Elliott Augustine (NSCD).

National Dance Company Wales: Rygbi – Annwyl I Mi/ Dear to Me

In Swansea see NDCWales dancers and local Ospreys Rugby Club in rehearsals for NDCWales’ new production. Company dancers include graduates Ed Myhill, Mathew Prichard (Rambert), and Apprentice Aisha Naamani (LCDS).

16:15 – Rosie Kay Dance Company: Telling the Stories of Frontline Soldiers with Dance

After experiencing a career-threatening injury, Commonwealth Games Handover choreographer and LCDS alumna Rosie Kay was drawn to the parallels between soldiers’ and dancers’ training, and the commitment, discipline and strength required. Ahead of the premiere of 10 SOLDIERS at Birmingham Hippodrome in May see the dancers perform whilst Rosie discusses her ideas.

17:30 – The Night is Young, So Are We

In a second Leeds trilogy choreographer and Central alumnus Kenneth Tindall creates a contemporary ballet duet for Northern Ballet’s Ayça Anil and Harris Beattie (Central) in response to Ella Eyre’s version of We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.

DeNada Dance Theatre

DeNada Dance Theatre is a UK-based dance company that exports, explores and subverts Hispanic and Latin culture in Britain and beyond. In this session they present an in rehearsal excerpt from their new show Mariposa, a transgender tragedy inspired by Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. It is choreographed by the company’s director and NSCD alumnus Carlos Pons Guerra. Company dancers include graduates Marivi Da Silva (NSCD) and Antonette Dayrit (Central).

Gracefool Collective

Using their unique concoction of wildly entertaining dance theatre, NSCD graduate company Gracefool invite YOU to be guests at the non-wedding event of the year as they attempt to come to terms with coming of age in a high pressure, low tolerance, zero hour contract society. Four bridal-clad women attempt to entertain, delight and maintain their dignity in a desperate last ditch effort to work out what the hell it all means.

18:30 – Scottish Ballet – Celebrating 50 years

For the big day, tune in LIVE on Facebook from the Glasgow dressing rooms of Scottish Ballet’s Spring! tour. Meet the dancers as they prepare to go on stage. Company dancers include Central graduates Thomas Edwards, Jamiel Lawrence, Aisling Branagan, Amy McEntee, and Rishan Benjamin.

You can watch all these amazing performances live on Friday 5 April, then on demand at


[Image: Kenneth Tindall’s The Night is Young, So Are We for Northern Ballet, photograph by Emma Kauldhar]

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