The winner of the 2015/16 New Adventures Choreographer Award (NACA) was Jamaal Burkmar. Nearly 100 applied for the award. Burkmar was shortlisted with six other emerging choreographers: Corey Baker, Tara D’Arquian, Alexandra Green, Eleesha Drennan, Andrew McNicol and Matt Nicholson. Burkmar was chosen after a weekend of interviews, debate and deliberation chaired by Bourne and his team of distinguished judges.
Jamaal received 12 months of mentoring and support to develop new work to be presented by New Adventures, at his own showcase performance, at The Platform Theatre, Central Saint Martins London in September 2016.
Matthew Bourne said "After an insightful weekend of deliberation and debate Jamaal was a clear favorite of our judges from this year's short-listed applicants. We were all impressed by Jamaal’s potential to be a leading choreographer. His exploration of movement through eclectic music choices coupled with his desire to share his personal journey through his choreography make him an exciting and deserving winner.”
Jamaal Burkmar said "I’m thrilled and delighted to have won this year’s award and to be following in the footsteps of such brilliant previous winners.”
Jamaal is a graduate from the Northern School for Contemporary Dance and an alumnus of the ACE Dance and Music in Birmingham, where he began his journey back in 2005. During his time as an undergraduate, Jamaal flourished as an artist and enjoyed great success particularly with his first piece of work, Ocean, which he made in his second year. Ocean was reworked on Verve, th e postgraduate company of NSCD. This commission marked the first time an undergraduate had been given the opportunity to work with the company and led to Ocean touring across the UK and Europe alongside three other works by Lea Anderson, Ben Duke and Goddard/Nixon. Since graduating from NSCD Jamaal has created works on youth and graduate companies and has had opportunities to work with students at both NSCD and LCDS.