Celebrating the life of Jill Tookey – the NYB 2016 Memorial Gala
For its 2016 Season, the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain presented a special programme of performances celebrating its inspirational Founder and Artistic Director Jill Tookey, who passed away in March this year. NYB performed at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley on 26th and 27th August, with a special Memorial Gala performance at Sadler’s Wells on Sunday 4th September, hosted by the wonderful Joanna Lumley, a long-standing patron of the NYB.
This year’s programme of performances showcased highlights from National Youth Ballet’s 29-year history through some of Jill’s favourite commissions. These included The Old Man of Lochnagar, a ballet based on the children’s book by HRH The Prince of Wales, choreographed by Olivier Award winner and NYB alumnus Drew McOnie. NYB’s innovative Beyond Ballet platform returned to showcase some incredible young choreographic talents premiering their own works at Sadler’s Wells. The Memorial Gala also included new commissions and performances from returning alumni including choreographer Andrew McNicol, West End performer Lucinda Lawrence and Birmingham Royal Ballet first artist Ruth Brill.
As ever, NYB would like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to the 2016 cast and crew – without their hard work and dedication, the NYB family would not be as strong a company as it is today. Jill would have been exceptionally proud of the entire company, dancing with such vitality. Jill’s legacy lives on.
THE NATIONAL YOUTH BALLET:
NYB offers talented young dancers, aged 8 to 18 years, an opportunity to participate in the creation, production and performance of ballet at a professional level. Dancers work with eminent composers, choreographers and teachers, gaining experience, confidence, and team spirit. NYB continues to inspire creativity, and nurture invaluable performance and life skills through its summer rehearsal school, its annual choreographic competition and performances at major theatres. NYB is proud to have alumni contracted to major ballet and musical theatre companies in UK and throughout the world.
Artistic Director in Residence for 2016 Season:
We are thrilled to announce that Mikah Smillie will be the Artistic Director in Residence for the NYB 2016 Season.
Mikah Smillie has had an illustrious career performing with both classical and contemporary companies throughout Europe and the UK. A graduate of the Royal Ballet School’s Teachers Training Course, Mikah is currently an Associate Artist for Re:Bourne, a mentor for NYB’s innovative Beyond Ballet choreographic platform and also teaches at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Mikah works extensively as a rehearsal director in a wide variety of genres including national and international dance companies, major arena events, film and television. Mikah is passionate in nurturing and supporting young people to fulfil their potential.
Each year, NYB holds multiple audition dates. Each audition class is 1 hour and candidates are streamed into classes according to age and/or grade. Auditions were held in London and Leeds this year and are now over for the 2016 Season.
For 2016 cast members, please see documents below for full details on the 2016 season including fee, bursary and performance information.
The 2015 Company season ended with a fantastic Gala Evening at Sadler’s Wells on September 13th 2015. A huge congratulations to the cast, crew, staff and audience for coming along to watch and for making it such a memorable evening. We were thrilled to welcome our loyal patrons including Wayne Sleep, Joanna Lumley, Matthew Bourne, Anna Meadmore and Sir Peter Wright to the performance.
The 2015 company spent 10 days at Tring Park School for Performing Arts for NYB’s Summer School, working with eminent choreographers, teachers and practitioners to create a professional and varied seasonal programme.
The Beyond Ballet Emerging Choreographers Platform showcased no less than 5 brand new pieces by young choreographers including Arielle Smith’s stunning piece Athena and Eleanor Marsh’s striking Venn.
You can now donate to our ‘Raising The Barre‘ appeal to support NYB’s Beyond Ballet Emerging Choreographers platform. We are on our way to reaching a target of £20,000 and welcome any donation, however big or small, to help us achieve this goal. Your donation will help us develop and continue to support the talents of young choreographers across the country.
NYB continues to run various workshops during the year. Make sure to check our WORKSHOPS pages for our upcoming workshops and courses!