National Youth Ballet - Bright Young Things. Photo Amber Hunt (1)
National Youth Ballet - Bright Young Things. Photo Amber Hunt

For its 2018 season, the National Youth Ballet (“NYB”) will present Bright Young Things, a mixed programme of ballets choreographed by some of the UKs most eminent professionals and rising talents, performed by a Company of young dancers aged 9-18 from across the UK.

Bright Young Things will encompass seven short ballets inspired by the lives of extraordinary people, and celebrating the power of imagination and being bold, with ambition and flair. The programme will feature two pieces of classical repertoire alongside five fresh new commissions created especially for NYB’s young Company.

Two works from NYB’s repertoire will return for 2018; Antony Dowson’s 1950’s inspired classic Bright Young Things, and Janet Kinson’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Alongside these will be five ambitious new works; Jo Meredith’s Finding Your Voice, following the life of 1920’s “It Girl” Clara Bow; Louise Bennett’s Ada, a ballet inspired by mathematician Ada Lovelace,Sophie Laplane’s WATUSI, a bold new work from Scottish Ballet’s choreographer in residence; Matt Nicholson’s Another Night’s Dream, a modern twist on Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy; and Emily Jane Boyle’s The Red Balloon, a new narrative ballet  based on the 1950’s French film, to be performed by NYB’s Junior Company.

Now in its 31st year, NYB provides empowering and transformational opportunities for young people to participate in, create and perform ballet. At the heart of its annual season is a two-week residential programme that sees the young company come together with a team of professional dancers, choreographers and teachers to take them on a journey from studio to stage, emulating the experience of being in a professional dance company. This year 105 dancers aged 9-18 were offered places with the Company and will perform in the 2018 season.

NYB also nurtures talent offstage, and through its Beyond Ballet platform offers emerging artists the chance to create work in a company environment alongside established professionals. Aimed at early career professionals aged 18-35, Beyond Ballet offers artists mentoring, shadowing opportunities and a paid role as part of the artistic team, with their work being profiled within the season. This year’s Beyond Ballet artists are choreographers Emily-Jane Boyle, Sophie Laplane and Matt Nicholson, with other young creatives also working in the areas of rehearsal direction, lighting and wardrobe.

The 2018 season also sees the return of the annual Choreographic Competition, with the winning piece being showcased within the Bright Young Things programme. This year’s competition takes place on Thursday 23 August and will be judged by Birmingham Royal Ballet Director and NYB Patron David Bintley, CBE, and Birmingham Royal Ballet First Artist and 2017 NYB Beyond Ballet choreographer Ruth Brill.

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