Special Invite - Tickets For The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater For Young Black Dancers!

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Special Invite! Register now for #AYD100
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AYD100 - Register Now!

Special Invite! See the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Live at Sadler's Wells Theatre!


Register now for tickets for our AYD100 Campaign

We are inviting 100 young Black students to see the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on either the 5th or 11th September, 2019, at Sadler's Wells Theatre. Tickets are available for young people aged 12 – 19 years, of African and Caribbean descent, who have an interest in dance. 
To register, visit: www.ayd100.eventbrite.comTickets are £5 each. 

This is an event NOT TO BE MISSED so don't sleep on it!

The tickets have been provided to encourage more young people of African and Caribbean descent to see live dance shows across a range of genres. We know from our own experiences and testimonials from our young dancers how important it is for them to see successful role models take up space in different dance genres that they once thought were not for people that looked like them. 

We'd like to also thank the many individuals who donated to our crowdfunding campaign and Sadler's Wells Theatre who made this possible.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
About the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance. The company has earned a reputation as one of the most acclaimed international ambassadors of American culture, promoting the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance. To see videos of the AAADT, visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/AileyOrganization

Please also feel free to share the information with any other young people who may be interested.

Tickets are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. To register, visit: 
www.ayd100.eventbrite.com
Enjoy!


Many thanks,

Kamara Gray and the dancers of Artistry Youth Dance

Register NOW!
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Happy New Year!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR from Artistry Youth Dance!
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Artistry Youth Dance

 

Happy New Year from Artistry Youth Dance!

 
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year! As we look forward to the year ahead, we also reflect back on a fantastic 2018. In 2018 we celebrated our five year anniversary and thank everyone who has contributed to our success. We are grateful for your continued support, and wish you a year ahead filled with prosperity, success, happiness, and lots of dance! 2018 saw Artistry Youth Dance work with an incredible roster of dance artists, teachers, choreographers, dance companies, and creatives. Our students also had some great individual achievements. Below is a recap of some of our accomplishments, which we hope you enjoy reading. We look forward to connecting with you in 2019!

Best wishes,


Kamara and Artistry Youth Dance
Artistry Youth Dance

DANCE CLASSES AND MORE!


We have had an amazing programme of dance in 2018. There have been a total of:

  • 154 classes and workshops, totalling 262 hours of dance!

AMAZING TEACHERS

The dancers have worked with an amazing team of teachers for their regular weekly classes. There have been 4 regular teachers:

  • Kamara Gray
  • Heather Benson
  • Mbulelo Ndabeni
  • Myriam Tsehay

We’ve worked with an additional 14 dance artists, companies, creatives, and choreographers:

  • Brandon Lee Sears (credits include: Motown Musical UK, Heathers Musical, Come From Away Musical)
  • Urdang Academy
  • Hakeem Onibudo/Impact Youth Dance
  • Lorena Perez Lira (Cinematographer)
  • Brandon Lawrence (Birmingham Royal Ballet)
  • Arts Educational School London
  • Bianca Boyce (Life Coaching, Motivation)
  • Elsabet Yonas (Summer Dance Intensive)
  • Sarita Piotrowski (Summer Dance Intensive)
  • Adam Parson (Guest Choreographer – Summer Dance Intensive)
  • Alesandra Seutin (African Contemporary – Guest Choreographer, pictured)
  • Jeroboam Bozeman (Current dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pictured)
  • Vicki Igbokwe/Uchenna Dance company
  • Carole Edrich/ 'Dancegr.st' (photographer)

STUDENT SUCCESS


We’ve worked with 22 young people through our regular youth dance company programme, and delivered workshops and events for an additional 100 people. Our students have also had some brilliant successes, including:

Monique Ademilola – London Contemporary Dance School, BA Honours Contemporary Dance
Analeise Auguste – London Contemporary Dance School, BA Honours Contemporary Dance
Alexzandra Barnes – Urdang Academy Diploma in Professional Dance with full funding from a Dance and Drama award (DADA)
Kendra Chiagoro-Noel – National Youth Dance Company 2018/2019 / Shift Youth Dance Company
Aaliyah Dawkins – Unconditional offer for Uxbridge college (Dance and Production) / Ballet Black Associates programme
Elizabeth-Rose Esin Kelly – Guilford School of Acting (Musical Theatre) / Shift Youth Dance Company
Adanna Lawrence – Round 2 (final 15) – BBC Young Dancer of the Year, Contemporary Dance category

PERFORMANCES


We have performed at, and been involved with 12 events, performances, and projects, including:
  • Dance/Fashion Filming Project with Lorena Perez Lira
  • Mixin Media at The Place
  • Tune-D In Project at The Place
  • CallyFest Bus Stop Dance Floor
  • Jamaican High Commission - Youth Forum
  • ‘Fearless’ - End of Year Show
  • Africa Centre Summer Festival
  • Summer Dance Intensive, part of Islington Council's Summer 'Launchpad' activities
  • ‘Fresh’, at The Place
  • ‘Hansel and Gretel’ by Uchenna Dance (led by Vicki Igbokwe), at The Place (pictured)

GROUP TRIPS


There have been 9 Group Trips to see shows, events, and performances
  • Ballet Black
  • Move It
  • Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • National Youth Dance Company (Sadler’s Wells)
  • Phoenix Dance Theatre at the Peacock Theatre
  • Rambert Dance School Summer Show at The Place
  • Urdang Summer Show at the Shaw Theatre
  • ‘Reckonings’, a triple bill featuring work by Julie Cunningham, Botis Seva, and Alesandra Seutin, at Sadler's Wells (pictured)
  • Motown the musical

COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS


We’ve been involved with 2 collaborative projects
  • Tune-D In Project with Youthsayers youth music company, produced by Hakeem Onibudo (pictured, photo credit: Alicia Clarke)
  • Fusion Project with Urdang Academy and Impact Youth Dance
Here's wishing you a wonderful year ahead!
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Happy Birthday to us!

It's our 5th birthday!!

Artistry Youth Dance is celebrating its 5th anniversary on the 14th April!! We are thankful for our dancers, teachers, choreographers, venues, sponsors, and supporters for helping us get this far!! Check out this video made in honour of this wonderful occasion! 

Welcome to our 2017 teachers!

This term we have a fantastic line-up of teachers working with the dancers!

Damien Johnson.jpg

Damien Johnson—Guest teacher (ballet)

Damien was born in Dallas, Texas and received his training from Etgen-Atkinson School of Ballet and  the Booker T. Washington School of the Arts. He then studied on a full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. In 2002, Damien joined the American Repertory Ballet and then the Dance Theater of Harlem Ensemble in 2003. He first joined Ballet Black in 2005 before moving to Los Angeles Ballet in 2008. Damien returned to Ballet Black in 2009. As the longest serving member of Ballet Black, Damien has been featured in many Company works by choreographers that include Irek Mukhamedov, Liam Scarlett, Richard Alston and Javier de Frutos, and created the title role of Orpheusin Will Tuckett’s 2011 production for Ballet Black. He created the roles of The Lover in Christopher Hampson’s Storyville (2012), The Soldier in Christopher Marney’s War Letters in 2013, Oberon in Arthur Pita’s Ballet Black production of A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014) and The Ruler in Second Coming (Mark Bruce in 2015). Damien is also a sought-after teacher and is Ballet Master for the Ballet Black Company and Associate Programme.

Heather Benson—Horton Technique

heatherbenson.jpg

 Heather trained with Norma’s Academy of Dance, The Atlanta Ballet Centre of Dance, Total Dance and Dancical Productions. She received a B.F.A. in Dance from The Florida State University and went on to become a professional dancer for a multitude of companies: Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, Urban Bush Women and Philadanco! (The Philadelphia Dance Company). In 2013, Heather was an original cast member of The Apollo Theater’s (NYC) James Brown: Get on the Good Foot and now resides in London. Heather continues to teach Horton Technique weekly at Danceworks and serves as a resident instructor for Artistry Youth Dance and Transform! Dance and a guest tutor for the WAC Arts Diploma Programme. Heather’s class brings excitement and dynamic musicality to the Horton technique! 

Mbulelo Ndabeni—Ballet/contemporary

Mbulelo Ndabeni.png

Originally from Ugie, South Africa, Mbulelo Ndabeni is a London-based dancer, choreographer, movement director, teacher, founder and director of Mbulelo Ndabeni | N'da dance. One Dance UK/DAD Trailblazer 2015-2016, One Dance UK mentoring Programme 2015-2016, Phoenix Dance Theatre's Choreographers and Composer's Lab 2015 and recipient of Dancer's Career Development fund.

Mbulelo trained in Dance For All, Khayelitsha in Cape Town, London Studio Centre, San Francisco Academy of Ballet and Kaatsbaan, New York.

Mbulelo Ndabeni has performed with companies such as Rambert, 'Henri Oguike, Merce Cunningham, Itzik Galili, Mark Baldwin and Christopher Bruce', Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Cape Town City Ballet 'Veronica Peaper, Sean Bovim and Rudy Van Danzig', Cape Dance Company 'Christopher Huggins', Company Chameleon 'Anthony Missen', Longborough Festival Opera 'Didy Veldman' and Company Wayne McGregor. In doing so, Mbulelo has gained valuable experience and skills over many years of working with the top U.K companies and organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as award winning international artists such as ladysmith Black Mambazo and Goshka Macuga.

Auditions for new dancers - Sunday 2nd July, 2017

Seeking dancers of African & Caribbean descent, aged 14-25 years to join our successful youth dance company! This year, we're accepting dancers up to age 25! Don't miss out!

Learn more, and register at: www.artistryyouthdance.com

Meet and greet with dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater!

Artistry Youth Dance had the chance to watch a performance of the talented Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Sadler's Wells Theatre. The students then met Ailey Company members, Yannick Le Brun and Constance Stamatiou, during an informative Q&A session, where they spoke about their experience of being in the Company.

Some of the dancers were also fortunate enough to meet Artistic Director, Robert Battle, which  was a great inspiration.

Auditions for new dancers - Sunday 3rd July, 2016

Seeking dancers of African and Caribbean descent, aged 14-19 years to join our vibrant London youth dance company


Sunday 3rd July, 2016

Artistry Youth Dance is providing dancers with a unique opportunity to join us from September 2016! We are a vibrant youth dance company that showcases and celebrates dancers of African and Caribbean descent, aged 14-19 years. We aim to encourage success through dance whilst also promoting cultural diversity within the dance industry.

We offer young people a variety of fantastic opportunities to develop their dance and performance skills:

  • Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary Dance

  • Performance opportunities

  • Workshops with award winning dance companies and choreographers (previous workshops include Ballet Black, Namron, Savion Glover, Anthony Burrell, Mbulelo Ndabeni)

  • Theatre trips to dance shows and events (Ballet Black, Phoenix Dance Theatre, The Scottsboro Boys, Savion Glover, Dutch National Ballet, Memphis musical, The Lion King musical and many more!)

To register for an audition and to learn more, visit: www.artistryyouthdance.com

Successful end of year dance showcase, 'Aspire'

THANK YOU to everyone who came down and watched our showcase, 'Aspire', and also to those who supported from afar. The evening was a sell out success and it couldn't have happened without the encouragement and generosity of our supporters.

The dancers presented a range of dance pieces in Jazz, Contemporary and Cuban dance styles, choreographed by Kamara Gray, Gerrard Martin and guest choreographer Miguel Altunaga. The evening also featured a piece choreographed by the dancers themselves.

Special guest, Namron OBE, was presented as the first patron for the company and was delighted to receive his accolade. The audience included the Worshipful the Mayor of Islington, Councillor Richard Greening and Madame Mayoress Patsy Bradbury who both gave positive feedback for the performance.

Guest Artist, Mbullelo Ndabeni performed a contemporary African piece, 'Beholder of Beauty' alongside the incredible Yamalla Drummers. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all and we look forward to putting together future performances.

We are auditioning for our 2015/2016 company on the 5th July, 2015!

Want to join our fantastic youth dance company? Want to participate in great classes, fantastic workshops, and perform at some of London's best venues? Love Jazz, Contemporary and ballet? 

Auditions are on Sunday 5th July, 2015. Click here to register now!

Ballet Black Workshop Series

For the second year running Artistry Youth Dance was delighted to hold a series of workshops and Masterclasses with Ballet Black. Cassa Pancho's professional ballet company highlights and celebrates the talents of black and Asian dancers from around the world and has garnered praise from all quarters, with recent accolades including the Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Dance Company (2009). Ballet Black is now an Associate Company of the Royal Opera House. It was an amazing chance for the dancers to learn from a professional ballet company, and develop essential ballet technique and performance skills

We welcomed senior artists, choreographers and teachers from the Ballet Black team including Damien Johnson, Cira Robinson, Sayaka Ichikawa, Denzil Bailey, and Reena Bhattacharjee.

For more information about Ballet Black visit balletblack.co.uk/



Performance at the Big Dance 'Youth Dance Day'

On Saturday 28 June, 2014, the dancers performed at Canary Wharf as part of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF). This fantastic event showcased the best of youth dance from across the Capital. The rain held off (just!) to enable the dancers to perform their contemporary/jazz piece, 'No Woman No Cry'. They also took part in high energy dance workshop (led by myself!) to learn the moves for a top secret Big Dance event taking place in London very soon!

We also had the chance to watch professional ballet company, Ballet Black, perform as part of the GDIF. They performed a beautiful excerpt from Two of a Kind, choreographed by Christopher Marney. A wonderful chance to see them perform again. Overall, a great day was had by all!

Dutch National Ballet Junior Company- Group Trip

On the 29th May some of the dancers enjoyed an outstanding performance by the Dutch National Ballet Junior Company. The performance was at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The company features the incredible dancer, Michaela de Prince who was simply breathtaking to watch. I urge anyone who enjoys ballet to go and see her perform if they have the chance!


London Youth Dance article about us!

Artistry Youth Dance has been selected as a regional finalist for 'U.Dance', a national youth dance festival organised by Youth Dance England, Sadler's Wells and Trinity Laban. We've been mentioned in this article by London Dance (alongside the other finalists) regarding our selection in this fantastic event! Very exciting! 

Workshop Series with Ballet Black

The dancers had the amazing privilege of having a six-week workshop series with the award winning Ballet Black. The group had ballet technique classes and learnt repertoire from their piece, The One Played Twice  by Javier de Frutos. Classes were led by Ballet Black choreographers, teachers and dancers including Denzil Bailey, Reena Bhattacharjee and Sarah Kundi. Such a great opportunity to work with a professional dance company and I thank Ballet Black for sharing with the dancers.

Ballet Black is led by the talented Cassa Pancho, MBE, and they describe themselves as: 

"a professional ballet company for international dancers of black and Asian descent. We aim to bring ballet to a more culturally diverse audience by celebrating black and Asian dancers in ballet."

I greatly support their vision and have been a Ballet Black fan for many years and so was super excited that the dancers had the chance to work with them (I even joined in a class or two!). As always, I took some pictures (just a couple!). 

Welcome to our new dancers!

After a break for Summer, we held auditions for new dancers and also welcomed the return of some familiar faces. We thank all the dancers who registered and attended the auditions.

Congratulations to the successful dancers who will be joining Artistry Youth Dance!

A few photos from the day are below.