Photos © Jeff Spicer/PA Wire
We are delighted to announce that second year student Max Revell has won BBC Young Dancer 2019. He currently studies on the BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) course here at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
The prestigious competition searches for the UK’s most talented dancers aged 16-21 in four categories: Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian and Street Dance. The Grand Final took place on Saturday 18 May at Birmingham Hippodrome, and was broadcast live on BBC Two.
On winning the competition, Max Revell, aged 20, said:
"I’m completely over the moon. I just really didn’t expect it. It’s been such a humbling experience and everyone involved in the competition was just amazing."
Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella and Grand Final Judge, said:
"This competition is all about performance, and I feel as though Max went on the greatest journey. For me, his final solo was the most exceptional piece of dance, and it was for that reason that he was the winner for us today."
Max advanced through two tough preliminary rounds before competing in the Street Dance Category Final. Though he didn’t win this category, the judges selected him as a ‘Wildcard’ entry from across all categories, putting him through to perform in the Grand Final alongside Thomas Carsley, 22 (Street Dance), Chloe Keneally, 18 (Ballet), Matthew Rawcliffe, 19 (Contemporary) and Shree Savani, 20 (South Asian Dance).
The finalists were each judged on technical skill, creative expression and overall performance.
Max presented three diverse works to the judges: a self-choreographed solo titled Subject Number 6, a duet choreographed and performed by Max and Tom Hughes Lloyd named Stranger, and Unstrung, a solo commissioned by the BBC and choreographed by world-renowned Hip-Hop dancer Dickson Mbi.
The judging panel comprised some of the industry’s leading artists including Wayne McGregor, founder of Studio Wayne McGregor and Resident Choreographer at the Royal Ballet; Shobana Jeyasingh, Artistic Director of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director of Dance Umbrella; Christopher Hampson, Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet; Junior Bosila Banya, member of Wanted Posse, and Chitra Sundaram, Dance and Theatre choreographer. Throughout the process, Max was mentored by Artistic Director of CRXSS PLATFXRM, Ivan Blackstock, and House of Absolute founder Julia Cheng.
Janet Smith, Principal & Artistic Director of NSCD, said:
"We’re all delighted for Max here at NSCD. He is a hardworking, dedicated student who is always open to feedback; generous, conscientious and mature in his approach to the challenge of learning. His attention to physical and musical detail within the winning performance piece indicates the kind of focus and discipline it takes to become a dancer, as well as Max’s obvious appetite for play and spontaneity.
It’s clear he is not only an excellent performer but also a choreographer in the making, who is blending his street dance skills and artistry with everything he is drawing from his current contemporary dance studies here at NSCD, part of the national Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.
Our aim is to enable aspiring dance artists to discover and develop their unique creative voices so I’m particularly proud that Max’s performance exemplified his originality and authenticity as a young artist finding his voice.
The BBC Young Dancer programme offers a rare opportunity to give national focus to young dance artists preparing for the profession – and to celebrate the art of dance."
Max Revell has been dancing since the age of nine, attending breakdance and popping classes at Street Factory in his hometown of Plymouth. As a teenager, he travelled around the country to compete in various battles, and worked with several theatre companies before auditioning for conservatoires. In 2017 he was offered a place at NSCD.
Congratulations also go to NSCD second year student Adanna Lawrence and NSCD Centre for Advanced Training alumnus Max Cookward, who both made it through to the Category Final in Contemporary Dance.
The Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer 2019 is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until Monday 17 June.