National Date For Déda Dancers
Two of Déda’s Youth Performance Companies have won coveted places in a top level national dance festival in Plymouth next month.
The Derbyshire groups are among the final selection of four groups who will perform at U.Dance 2015, which will be held in Plymouth in July (22-25).
Bounceback and Derbyshire Youth Dance Company (DYDC) are Déda’s auditioned youth performance groups for young dancers who are looking towards future careers in dance.
Bounceback is a group of 16 young dancers who rehearse at Déda in Chapel Street, while Derbyshire Youth Dance Company is a group of 14 young people from North Derbyshire who are based in Chesterfield.
Both were among 20 youth dance groups from across the UK who performed original 15-minute choreographic pieces at the prestigious Clore Ballroom at London’s South Bank Centre earlier this year to qualify for U.Dance 2015.
The annual event celebrates and showcases the very best youth dance work from across the country, led by Youth Dance England.
The Derbyshire groups will perform at the festival alongside the National Youth Dance Companies of England and Wales. They will also have the unique opportunity to work with nationally renowned artists, inspiring them to develop their own dance skills and introduce them to new creative ideas.
Bounceback has won a host of awards over the years with several members going onto the National Youth Dance Company, conservatoire training and recently on to Déda’s own specialist BA Hons Dance degree with the University of Derby to further develop their skills.
Their piece for the U.Dance framework is entitled ‘Heroes’, depicting the journey of soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War.
Choreographer Alice Vale explained: “This is a challenging topic with the movement created from photos and memories of those who fought in the conflict. It is particularly interesting as most of the cast are females but are representing men.”
Derbyshire Youth Dance Company (DYDC) was set up two years ago by Déda, Chesterfield Borough Council and Dance4’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) to develop aspiring young dancers in the north of the county.
Their piece is entitled ‘Here We Are, Now’ which is an exploration of human nature and is improvised at each performance.
Among the young dancers taking part is Joshua Horsley (20) from Long Eaton who has been a member of Bounceback for four years and is a student on the University of Derby BA Hons Dance Degree based at Déda.
He was also part of the Bounceback group which won the U.Dance title in 2012 with their innovative ‘Rite of Spring’ choreography.
Joshua said: “The national U.Dance festival is an amazing experience. As well as performing, you have the opportunity to meet professional dancers, take part in workshops and really hone your skills.”
Isobel Webster (16) is a student at St Benedicts Performing Arts College. She said: “Our piece is unique as it is more narrative with a story line about the First World War.
“It is very emotional both to watch and perform and I think that it takes our performance skills to another level.
“I was too young to perform in ‘Rite of Spring’ so am really looking forward to Plymouth.”
Rosie Roberts (15) from Belper is on the Dance4 CAT programme as well as being part of Bounceback at Déda.
She continued: “I love contemporary dance as it is a way of expressing myself and this subject has certainly taken us all out of our comfort zone as it requires acting as well as dance skills.”
And Lucy Appleby (17) from Ilkeston who is a student at Derby College, concluded: “We are working hard on the choreography to fine tune and adapt it for the bigger space on stage at Plymouth. I really hope that we get a good reception as it is something very different to what we have done before.”
Clare Limb, Déda’s Head of Dance Development and Learning said: “We are over the moon that both of our auditioned youth dance companies have made it to the prestigious U.Dance 2015 festival and are flying the flag for ‘Made in Derbyshire’.
“Bounceback and DYDC performed in the New Dimensions programme of the national competition framework which is the top level of youth dance in the country.
“The feedback from the judges in London was incredible, recognising an experimental approach to choreography and performance which pushes the boundaries of youth dance.
“This is therefore a fantastic acknowledgement of the high standard of choreography and teaching through the Déda Academy programme and a reflection of just how hard our young dancers have worked to achieve a place at the national festival.”