Our Thoughts on British Dance Training

16 April 2015

Over the past three years Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures has employed over 100 dancers. 97% of whom were trained in the UK. In our 28 year history the vast majority of our dancers have been British trained. This remains fairly unique on the current British dance scene.

As a company we are regarded - around the world - for the calibre, technique and dramatic qualities of our dancers. We hold annual auditions receiving more than 600 applications each year, with representatives from the full range of training institutions in the UK and, to a much lesser degree, abroad.

The diversity of our dancers, and their personal journeys in discovering dance, feed into our work and help us to create rich, multi-layered dance theatre that speaks to and resonates with British audiences. We also proudly export our work around the world and fly-the-flag for British dance and British dancers on all our international tours.

Crucially our artist development never stops. Through daily class and continued rehearsal and coaching we develop our company members, many of whom go onto long careers with New Adventures. We also encourage our mid-career artists to explore management and artistic leadership roles as well as personal development as teachers and other creative skills, through our charity, Re:Bourne. We are very proud of all the dancers from New Adventures who have gone on to be recognised as some of the UK’s most successful and popular dancers and choreographers.

We welcome the current debate on dance training and would enjoy a dialogue with schools and colleges about the particular needs of a large company such as ours. Over the last few days we have collated all the institutions where our dancers have trained and analysed that data. Interestingly, whilst we identify ourselves as a contemporary dance theatre company, the overwhelming majority of our dancers have trained at the leading ballet schools and music theatre conservatoires.

Whilst the debate continues we feel passionately that it must not detract, or undermine, the exceptional, world-class British trained talent on our stages. We are very proud of each and every one of our dancers who have fought hard for their place in the company.

Tonight we open our UK tour of The Car Man at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley. A company full of exceptional, diverse British and British-trained talent. Come along and see for yourselves.

Matthew Bourne, Artistic Director & Etta Murfitt, Associate Artistic Director

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