25 of the UK’s best young dancers to tour across Scotland this August

7 Jul 2017

Image: Paul Watt Photography

From Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th August, the annual Project Y tour will visit Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Stirling to showcase the extraordinary talent of some of the UK’s best young contemporary dancers upon their completion of intensive dance training programme, the Project Y Performance Course.

YDance, the 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 in Scotland. 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 Scotland.

The 2017 Company will work with acclaimed choreographers Alan Grieg, Hagit Yakira, Steven Martin and Theo Clinkard 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 experience a varied programme of outstanding performances.

Many of the young performers study dance full time at training colleges in Scotland and England, and 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 Worthing in West Sussex. The Leverhulme Trust provide bursaries for the dancers to attend Project Y funded by the Leverhulme Arts Scholarships Grant.

18-year-old Andrew Gibson, one of the dancers selected for this year’s Company, said:

“I wanted to join the Project Y Company when I found out the project offers a chance for emerging dance artists to work with amazing choreographers from throughout the UK. I also understand the project is a friendly environment to work with other young dancers.”

Andrea Callaghan, a returning dancer for 2017 who took part in Project Y last year said:

Project Y has been extremely helpful as it has made me much more confident performing to large audiences. I was learning movement that was completely different to anything I had ever done before. I made great friends with loads of people already studying contemporary dance all over the UK, or looking to do so in the future, many of whom I now see very often.” 

Carolyn Lappin, Executive Director of YDance said:

“2017 sees the 12th annual Project Y summer programme for young contemporary dancers from all over Scotland.  This unique intensive training and performance programme develops young dancer’s technical, creative, and performance skills, and also develops them as people – they become more confident and motivated, ready to take on new challenges. Some of our Project Y students from the first few years are now working as professional dancers and dance workers – YDance has employed a number of them, and I am sure that this year’s company will make their mark in a similar way.”

Lighting for the Project Y tour will be designed by Simon Gane, costumes by Jenni Loof, and the Production Manager is Raymond Short. Project Y opens at Tramway (Glasgow) on Wednesday 2 August and will tour to The Gardyne Theatre (Dundee, 3 August), The Lemon Tree (Aberdeen, 4 August) and Macrobert Arts Centre (Stirling, 5 August). Tickets are available from venue box offices.