New Adventures’ talent development pilot Cygnet School has launched this week

30 July 2021

12 young people from across England came together at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury as New Adventures held the first residential for its new talent development programme, Cygnet School.

Announced earlier this year, Cygnet School is a pre-vocational programme for young people who are passionate about dance, allowing them to develop their skills, work with a range of dance professionals and explore dance as a possible career pathway. It is fully subsidised for all the participants ensuring that there are no barriers to access this programme.

 The 12 young dancers who have embarked on the inaugural year of Cygnet School are Adrijus (15), Amina (13), Andrew (24), Armelle (15), Charlie (13), Ivy (13), Jayla (15), Nandu (19), Ruby (14), Samuel (15), Shedie (15) and Saeed (17).  New Adventures carefully recruited these promising young performers after they engaged in a range of opportunities from across our Take Part activity over the last 4 years. These projects include our William Patten primary school Dancers in Residence programme, Sadler’s Wells curtain raisers, bespoke workshops and performance response residencies including Civil Blood, a response piece to Romeo and Juliet created in partnership with Dance United Yorkshire and Studio 3 Arts in Barking. 

Over the course of the next 12 months the young people will come together for monthly residential weekends, exploring the unique aspects of New Adventures’ work, style and training, focussing on technique, storytelling and creativity in workshops themed around physicality, expression, gesture and character relationships. Each young person will have an individualised development plan, and sessions also include health and wellbeing training. The participants will also see the New Adventures professional company perform Nutcracker! on stage at Sadler’s Wells and gain insight into the inner workings of theatres and the dance industry, learning about different career pathways in the arts. At the end of the year long programme the Cygnet Company will explore putting their learning into practice in a performed sharing of a collaboratively devised dance piece.

The New Adventures team teaching and working with the young people include Associate Artistic Director Etta Murfitt, Resident Artists Kerry Biggin and Paul Smethurst, Associate Artist Glenn Graham and Support Dance Artist Grace Black, who is an alumnus of Overture, the New Adventures talent development programme aimed at dance teachers and community dance artists.

Cygnet School also marks the first programme that New Adventures is delivering in partnership with The Marlowe, Canterbury as an Associate Company. 

Cygnet School is principally funded by The Dorfman Foundation. The first year of this programme is supported by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP Ltd) as part of Catalyst For Culture, a Marlowe-led initiative to widen access to the performing arts across the South East. This initial weekend residency has been supported by The Noël Coward Foundation. 

New Adventures is a National Portfolio Organisation supported using public funds from Arts Council England.

Read more about the Cygnet School programme

And find out about our other Talent Development Programmes

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