Chameleon Youth step up at U.Dance

15 January 2017

We’re very proud to announce that Chameleon Youth Seniors have been selected to perform at regional dance event, U.Dance North West, at The Lowry in March. We catch up with Natalie Davies, our Learning & Participation Officer, to find out all about it. 

How were Chameleon Youth selected for U.Dance NW?
Chameleon Youth Seniors began creating their first performance piece during an intensive weekend in October, where they worked with Anthony, our Co-Artistic Director, and dance artist, Gemma Nixon.  This piece was developed and refined further during weekly rehearsals in October and November, at Manchester Central Library.  One was performed as a curtain raiser for Witness at The Lowry, at the end of November.  We were incredibly proud of our first piece together, and entered it for U.Dance NW hoping it would be strong enough to be selected.

What’s U.Dance North West all about?
U.Dance NW takes place at The Lowry on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March.  There are 22 youth dance groups involved from right across the region, ranging from secondary school groups, to private dance schools, colleges and youth dance companies.  As North West Dance have this year received the highest number of applications ever, I expect the standard will be incredibly high!

What kind of opportunities will the event give our young dancers?
Chameleon Youth Seniors will be invited to take part in U.Dance NW on one of the two days.  From arriving at The Lowry first thing in the morning the day will be action packed, with talks, workshops in a range of dance styles, and time on the Quays stage to rehearse the piece, and discuss technical requirements with The Lowry team.

Hopefully we’ll get a bit of time to relax and take in the atmosphere, before showtime at 7.45pm.  This acts as a selection event for U.Dance 2017, the National Youth Dance Festival, which this year takes place at Birmingham Hippodrome from 13 – 16 July.  Two lucky groups will be selected to represent the North West region at the national event, where they’ll get to participate in classes, workshops, careers sessions and social activities during the three and a half day residential.

Launched in 2016, Chameleon Youth is still new, what has the youth company achieved so far?
Still in our first year, Chameleon Youth are just finding their feet!  We’ve worked hard so far to develop technique and creativity in the dancers, and have created a second performance piece, which will be showcased at 017 Dance: Around the World! in Stoke on Saturday 4 March.  We’ve also successfully raised £3,000 via a crowdfunding campaign, which will support the group to create and perform an outdoor work in Manchester City Centre in the summer.

What will Chameleon Youth Seniors be performing at U.Dance North West and can the public see it?
One uses Company Chameleon’s current touring work Words Unspoken as a starting point.  The piece began with a process of development and exploration of the dancer’s untold secrets.  Using a range of choreographic ideas and devices to explore the theme, the finished product is a refinement of the movement material created, which captures the unique individual styles of the group.  U.Dance NW is open to anyone to come and watch, with tickets available on The Lowry website.

Read more about U.Dance North West on the North West Dance web-site | Book tickets for the event online at The Lowry

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"10 was such a wonderful experience - I cant wait to see more of your incredible work!" "Effortless grace, strength, humour and athleticism - a visual treat!" "We brought 65 young people to your performance tonight - every single one loved it! What an amazing show!" "This show reminded me why I dance and what I’m constantly working towards! Thank you for this experience!" "Such beauty in the small moments of this show - please don't stop doing what you’re doing"

Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!