Falmouth dancers join Sadler's Wells National Youth Dance company
28 April 2023
Two dancers from AMATA’s youth dance programme, Propeller, recently took to the stage as new members of the National Youth Dance Company.
Propeller is AMATA’s invitation-only dance training programme for young people in secondary and further education across Cornwall. The programme aims to support the development of emerging dance talent in the county. Members attend weekly sessions to progress choreographic, performance and movement skills, working towards unique performance and development opportunities.
Previous opportunities have included performing at the Eden Project, The Minack Theatre and National Trust Gwithian, as well as working with internationally renowned choreographers such as Wayne McGregor CBE, Botis Seva, Russell Maliphant and Allesandra Seutin.
Members have also benefitted from Falmouth University’s strong strategic partnership with Sadler’s Wells, which runs the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC). Through this partnership, two Propeller dancers have recently joined the 35-strong 10-year anniversary company.
Maddy Westhead and Lila Sefi auditioned against young dancers from across England to join the highly competitive 35-strong company of dancers. Both attended residencies run by Sadler’s Wells, NYDC and the Guest Artist Director Wayne McGregor CBE, all culminating in the 2023 premier of Novacene. The show now goes on tour to selected venues across England throughout late spring and summer.
This long-term partnership really does put Cornwall on the national stage for youth dance and ensures our young people have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top names in dance.
A team from Falmouth’s Academy of Music & Theatre Arts (AMATA) travelled to Manchester to see Maddy and Lila’s debut performance at The Lowry. Speaking on behalf of AMATA, Front of House Manager James Randell said: “We are incredibly proud of Maddy and Lila for making the cut for the NYDC. Both have been dancing at AMATA and under the tutorship of Grace Murdoch for nearly 10 years, so this is a culmination of a lot of hard work.
“Alongside Propeller partners Hall for Cornwall and Dance Republic 2, Falmouth University has been working very closing with Sadlers Wells/NYDC for many years to ensure that young people in Cornwall have access to this fantastic opportunity. We couldn’t have done this over the years without working with Hall for Cornwall, Dance Republic 2 and other dance tutors in the county. This long-term partnership really does put Cornwall on the national stage for youth dance and ensures our young people have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top names in dance.”
AMATA has also been awarded one of five national NYDC 10-year anniversary commissions from Sadler’s Wells. Propeller Dance will work with Alesandra Seutin and her team in June 2023 to make a performance output inspired by Alesandra’s choreography and work. AMATA has hosted both performances of Alesandra’s tenure as NYDC Guest Artistic Director, including one of only four socially distanced national performances during 2021.