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NYB 2019 season: Wonderlands

Published: 15 June 2019
Reporter: Vera Liber

For its 2019 season, National Youth Ballet will present Wonderlands, a mixed programme of new works performed by a company of dancers aged 9 to 18 years from across the UK, with performances at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 August and at Sadler’s Wells on Sunday 1 September.

The programme features seven new works: Masquerade by Stephanie Rosenheim, bringing the romance of a ball to life with the music of Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite; Day to Night by Sophia Hurdley, a magical journey from day into night; Utopia by Charlie Brittain, questioning whether a Utopia can exist between humans; Carnival by Stuart Winter, celebrating the spirit of a travelling fair in the 1960s set to Antonin Dvořák’s Carnival Overture; Pulse by Ruth Brill, exploring the feelings caused by something beautiful, remarkable or unfamiliar; Flora by Louise Bennett, moving through a magical garden; and Heartless by Matthew Nicholson, the story of a young Queen of Hearts danced to Alice in Wonderland by Carl Davis.

The season is led by interim artistic directors Drew McOnie and Ruth Brill, who said, “as proud alumni of the National Youth Ballet, we are thrilled to be part of a team leading a season in which seven world première ballets will be presented. The company delivers its young artists an unparalleled level of professional involvement across all departments, and seeing them excel in uncharted territories is so thrilling. It was the belief in our early creative aspirations from The National Youth Ballet that undoubtedly lead us to where we are today, and we are so excited to now watch the rise of these incredible young artists, both those on stage and off.

At the heart of each NYB season is a two-week residential programme bringing together the young company and professional dancers, choreographers and teachers. This year, 105 dancers aged between 9 and 18 will perform in the 2019 season.

The 2019 season also sees the return of the annual Choreographic Competition, with the winning piece being showcased within the Wonderlands programme on 22 August judged by National Youth Ballet alumnus Tyrone Singleton (Principal, Birmingham Royal Ballet) and Arielle Smith (New Adventures Young Associate Choreographer).