Dance goes digital this weekend in an online festival that brings together some of the biggest names in the industry … and features a special performance from dancers of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire.
The JC Contemporary Dance Group will take to the virtual stage as part of U.Dance Digital, a three-day celebration of UK youth dance from July 17 to 19.
Destinations, which took place at the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling in March, saw the RCS dancers unveil a new work, Jungle Irene, choreographed by Giulia Montalbano and Bridie Gane.
The U.Dance panel attended Destinations in March to select four Scottish groups for the festival, which would have taken place at Glasgow’s Tramway this weekend.
The digital festival, from One Dance UK – the sector support organisation for dance – opens with an introduction and warm-up from Dame Darcey Bussell, one of the most famous British ballet dancers of all time. The former Royal Ballet principal and judge on TV’s Strictly Come Dancing received an honorary degree for services to dance from RCS in 2017.
The festival programme includes choreography challenges, career sessions, industry spotlights, and masterclasses from Six the Musical, Mary Poppins the Musical, ZooNation and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, with repertoire from Romeo and Juliet.
Three RCS graduates made the leap to professional life with New Adventures. Rose Goddard, of the class of 2019, made her debut as Nadia in The Red Shoes, following in the footsteps of classmate Louis Fukuhara, who was an original cast member in Bourne’s world premiere of Romeo and Juliet. Keenan Fletcher, who graduated in 2018, toured the world in the iconic Swan Lake.
The festival line-up also includes Steven McRae, principal with The Royal Ballet, who will host a discussion on the skills and resilience needed to lead one of the world’s top ballet companies.
Ballet star Carlos Acosta, Patron of Children and Young People’s Dance at One Dance UK, and Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, said: “I have always been an advocate of increasing dance opportunities for young people. U.Dance Digital 2020 is a chance for aspiring dancers from across the country to take part in a national event, learn from the best, and get inspired about the amazing careers in dance that await them.”
Image © Paul Watt Photography
Visit the Junior Conservatoire to find out more about studying contemporary dance at the and how to apply.