22 of the UK’s best young dancers to tour Scotland with dance showcase

14 Jun 2019

Dancers from Project Y 2018 © Paul Watt Photography

From Wednesday 24 to Saturday 27 July, the annual Project Y tour will visit Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen and Inverness to showcase the extraordinary talent of some of the UK’s best young contemporary dancers upon their completion of the intensive dance training programme, the Project Y Performance Course.

One Dance UK member, YDance (Scottish Youth Dance) – the award-winning national dance organisation for children and young people in Scotland – established Project Y in 2006 as the only intensive contemporary dance and performance programme of its kind for 16 to 21-year olds. Each year up to 25 exceptional young dancers are selected from a rigorous audition process to form the Project Y Company. The company spend four-weeks over the summer working with four different choreographers to create new dance works which are then toured to venues across the country.

Starting on Monday 1 July, the 2019 company will work with acclaimed choreographers Tony Adigun, Christine Devaney, Rosie Kay and Thomas Small to create a diverse and exhilarating line-up of new work. Part of the appeal of Project Y to both participants and audience members is the diversity of the programme. Each choreographer has different methods of creating material based on diverse themes. Variety is at the heart of the project, ensuring participants get a breadth of experience during the four weeks and audiences see a varied programme of outstanding performances.

Many of the young performers study dance full time at training colleges in Scotland and England, and some younger participants are still at school but have a keen interest in pursuing dance as a career. This year’s participants are from as far afield as Liverpool and the Isle of Skye. The Leverhulme Trust provide bursaries for the dancers to attend Project Y funded by the Leverhulme Arts Scholarships Grant.

Award-winning choreographer Rosie Kay who will be working with the Project Y dancers to create a brand-new piece of work to be performed on the Project Y Tour said:

 “I’m delighted to be working with YDance and creating a new work with the Project Y dancers. Working with young people is hugely inspiring to me, and often informs my practice and professional works. I like to understand how young people think, as well as encouraging them to be the future professionals in dance and the arts. I’m looking forward to making a new piece of work informed by the dancers and challenging them to perform with body, mind and soul at their highest levels.”

“You really are seeing the future of dance in the making”   

Anna Kenrick, Artistic Director of YDance said:

“Project Y is a unique intensive training and performance programme which aims to develop the technical, creative, and performance skills of the young dancers taking part. It gives them a real sense of what it’s like to work in the industry as a performer – from the audition process, to working with top choreographers to creating and rehearsing a number of dance pieces, right through to touring the work on a national tour. The dancers are selected through a rigorous audition process and their talent is extraordinary. You really are seeing the future of dance in the making.”   

 Project Y opens at Tramway (Glasgow) on Wednesday 24 July and will tour to Macrobert Arts Centre (Stirling, 25 July), The Lemon Tree (Aberdeen, 26 July) and Eden Court (Inverness, 27 July). See for further information and booking details.