Choreographers and Emerging Professionals
NYB’s Beyond Ballet® is an unparalleled initiative that supports emerging creative artists from all areas of the theatre industry in the early stages of their professional careers. Each year we select a number of emerging choreographers and young professionals aged 18-25. In 2021 Bianca Mikahil and Alice O’Brien will work as choreographic assistants at the Dancers Development Experience. They will then be joined in the autumn by Tierney Lawlor for online mentoring sessions with industry professionals. The experience will culminate in an opportunity to create a short piece of choreography for the National Youth Ballet company next year.
There has never been a more crucial time to support and nurture the creative talent of the future. In addition to a creative opportunity, the Beyond Ballet® emerging artists gain invaluable practical skills through working alongside established professionals and talking to industry professionals about their practice, thus allowing them to further develop their professional network. Which in turn enhances their future prospects and chances of further employment.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here are some recent stories that we’d like to share.
Arielle Smith began her choreographic journey with us at the age of 12 when she took part in our annual Frank Freeman Choreographic Competition at our residential. After several years choreographing and performing with us she was offered work as a Beyond Ballet choreographer. Recently Arielle has created Jolly Folly for English National Ballet, and in 2021 won a National Dance Award for Emerging Talent.
Drew McOnie’s first NYB commission at the age of 19 went on to see him scooping the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer in 2016 for In The Heights. Most recently Drew was the choreographer of Jesus Christ Superstar which returned in summer 2020 in a socially-distanced concert staging at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. This year he has choreographed Merlin for Northern Ballet and Carousel for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre too.
NYB is like my family, as a child dancing with them had a huge impact on me. Now being able to come back and work alongside the artistic staff and be able to give back to NYB what they gave to me is incredibly special.
This is an exciting time for NYB. There is a great, vibrant atmosphere. I was given a great deal of freedom as a choreographer in the choice of music, casting and projection design. It is always a very satisfying experience to create an entirely new piece.