National Youth Dance Company announces its next two Guest Artistic Directors

11 Jun 2019

MADHEAD by National Youth Dance Company

NYDC MADHEAD image by Manuel Vason

Entering its eighth year, National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), the country’s flagship company for young dancers run by Sadler’s Wells, appoints its next two Guest Artistic Directors, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant in 2019/20 and acclaimed choreographer Alesandra Seutin in 2020/21.

NYDC has begun its search for the next intake of 30 young dancers to join the company and work with its newly appointed Guest Artistic Director, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant, to begin creating the new commission in autumn 2019. NYDC Workshops are taking place across England until 8 July to find the next cohort.

Russell Maliphant takes over from current Guest Artistic Director, the Olivier award-winning dance artist Botis Seva whose work created for NYDC, MADHEAD, premiered at DanceEast in Ipswich on 20 April. MADHEAD tours to the remaining six venues across England this summer, closing at Sadler’s Wells on Friday 19 July.

Russell Maliphant established his own dance company in 1996 as the framework to create productions and work with his own ensemble of dancers. Since then, he has received two Olivier awards, three South Bank Show awards and four Critics’ Circle National Dance awards, amongst many other national and international awards and nominations. The Russell Maliphant Dance Company became one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations in April 2018.

Maliphant’s work has also been performed by renowned dance artists including Sylvie Guillem, BalletBoyz, Munich Ballet and English National Ballet, for whom his piece Second Breath was part of the critically celebrated programme Lest We Forget. Maliphant became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011. Two graduates of NYDC, Edd Arnold and Folu Odimayo, make up part of the Russell Maliphant Dance Company and can be seen performing in Silent Lines at Sadler’s Wells, on 18 & 19 October.

International performer, choreographer and teacher Alesandra Seutin grew up in Brussels and lives in London. She studied dance internationally and continued her training at the École des Sables (Senegal) where she became a student of Germaine Acogny, training directly under Acogny. Seutin is a worldwide ambassador of the Acogny technique and teaches at École des Sables and globally. Working in a variety of fields, Seutin is also a movement director, dramaturge, teacher and performer, performing for several noted artists including, Johnathan Burrows, Tanusree Shankar, Germaine Acogny and Rafael Bonachela. Seutin founded Vocab Dance in 2007 and has progressively built an international reputation for creating thought provoking and visually striking performances. Her creativity is triggered by issues that address and reflect socio-political issues, and with movement, voice and music, she shares stories to encourage further conversation.

Seutin presented Boy Breaking Glass as part of Sadler’s Wells’ 20th anniversary commission, Reckonings, in October 2018 alongside works from Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Julie Cunningham and Botis Seva. Seutin’s work created for Sadler’s Wells’ resident over-60s performance company, Company of Elders, premieres as part of Elixir Festival on 14 June at the Lilian Baylis Studio.

“NYDC provides great opportunities for young dancers to develop in to world class performers”

Russell Maliphant, NYDC Guest Artistic Director 2019/20, said: “I am very happy to be working as the next Guest Artistic Director for National Youth Dance Company. NYDC provides great opportunities for young dancers to develop in to world class performers – I have seen this in action over the years and have personally worked with some of that talent in my own company.  I’m looking forward to starting this season with another new generation of dancers here in the UK.”

Alesandra Seutin, NYDC Guest Artistic Director 2020/21, said: “I am very excited and honoured to work with National Youth Dance Company as Guest Artistic Director in 2020/21. I look forward to breaking boundaries with the dancers of the future, and having the opportunity to be part of this beautiful process is amazing. With the support of Sadler’s Wells, I hope to continue growing as a leader and a maker collaborating with NYDC to keep its reputation for innovative, challenging and influential work, producing open-minded and curious dancers.”


Plymouth, The House, 23 June

Newcastle,  Dance City, 29 June

Essex, Saffron Hall, 13 July

Brighton, Brighton Dome, 15 July

Birmingham, Patrick Centre, 17 July

London, Sadler’s Wells, 19 July