Between 25 and 28 August 2016, DanceEast held the first ever Young Rural Retreat for 21 young ambitious dance leaders aged 17 to 21 years.
Young Rural Retreat took place at DanceEast’s purpose-built home, the Jerwood DanceHouse, on Ipswich’s waterfront. It was led by Christopher Hampson, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet and the Company’s Associate Director (Education) Catherine Cassidy. Christopher has participated in previous Rural Retreats for aspiring and existing dance leaders, and as a speaker.
Each day started with a short class and warm-up, followed by plenty of time to listen and reflect, discuss and discover different ideas, and to work with people from different backgrounds and different parts of the world. Speakers included James Mackenzie-Blackman (Executive Director of New Adventures), James Cousins (Artistic Director & Choreographer of James Cousins Company), Kenneth Tharp, Matthew Rushing (Rehearsal Director of Ailey American Dance Theater) and Cassa Pancho (MBE, Founder & Artistic Director of Ballet Black).
The 21 delegates came from far and wide, including Canada, Denmark, Holland, Scotland and all over the UK, to be a part of this first Young Rural Retreat.