Photo credit: Steven Creamer Photography
Following performances at the regional dance event, U.Dance East, two groups of young dancers are heading to the national U.Dance 2017 event in Birmingham in July.
Held at the Jerwood DanceHouse earlier this year, the regional showcase saw Dance2 (Advanced Company) and Cambridge Youth Dance Company selected to perform as part of the national festival, alongside around 30 youth dance companies selected from other regional U.Dance platforms.
Bedfordshire’s Dance2 will present its contemporary An Echo, full of folkish elements, group gatherings and wild celebrational energy. Influenced by poems from The Map and the Clock by Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke, and Two Thirds Sky’s film The Water Rail, Dance2 forms the youth strand of professional company Two Thirds Sky.
Contemporary was the name of the game, with Cambridge Youth Dance Company’s contemporary piece KIND also selected. Led by Kate Durrant, this piece was inspired by ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle’, so the focus of the dancers is on the basic need of human kindness and understanding. Since the selection, a Crowdfunder campaign has been underway to enable the group to represent the region, paying for travel and accommodation while in Birmingham. The full target of £1,550 was reached, with the group still under a year old.
U.Dance is the nation’s annual youth dance festival, aiming to showcase the strength and talent of young dancers across the country, and enable hundreds to participate in classes, workshops, careers sessions and social activities. The Birmingham event will showcase these exceptional performers, and demonstrate the wealth of UK dance provision for youth companies. Each performance will have a different programme, showing a range of styles including hip-hop, contemporary and South Asian dance.