VERVE is the postgraduate performance company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD). NSCD is a world-class institution providing conservatoire level studies to the most talented and committed students. From its base in Leeds, professional training is offered at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level in an intimate, supportive and creative learning environment. NSCD is committed to widening access, and recruits the most talented students from across the UK and internationally, whatever their background.
VERVE dancers are enrolled on a one-year full-time programme leading to a Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Contemporary Dance. Each year the company commissions leading and emerging choreographers to produce a dynamic and eclectic mixed bill of contemporary dance works for a company of twelve dancers.Choreographers who have worked with VERVE include: Akram Khan, Ben Wright, Ben Duke, James Wilton, Lea Anderson and Frauke Requardt.
The company tours a programme of new work annually over a four-month period to a diverse range of professional venues throughout the UK and selected European cities. The experience is designed to foster a realistic appreciation of the professional working environment, encompassing creation, rehearsal and production processes, delivering education workshops, and meeting the challenges of a professional touring schedule. Students are guided throughout by two dedicated staff members, the VERVE Artistic Director and VERVE Rehearsal Director.
“NSCD is the most fulfilling and infectiously creative environment. I spend my days surrounded by people who love dance, but whose approach and reasons for doing it are excitingly diverse. Everyone’s individual talents are fostered and developed by inspiring staff who give relevant and heart-felt guidance.” Marianne Tuckman, second year degree student
“There’s a great creative atmosphere in the building and I feel I can take risks. It’s given me the confidence to push myself in ways I never thought I could.” Christian Brinklow, Verve graduate 2013
“A massive strength of the school is the staff; the teachers are outstanding and the support is second to none.” Jack Stinton, graduated 2012
“As well as benefiting from the really strong technical training on offer, I met some inspirational people during my time studying at NSCD - a precious experience, as their support motivated and encouraged me to take positive steps toward a bright future. My time spent as a dancer in NSCD postgraduate performance company, Verve, showed me that it is incredibly important to be able to work individually and collectively as part of a team of artists. This is something I’ll always keep with me in both my professional life and personal life.” Margherita Elliot, Verve graduate 2013
“Working and studying at the same time has made me a more organised, responsible and efficient person. Also, I have found it very easy to settle in Leeds. It is a big and modern city in the heart of the North of England and one of the focal points of dance in the country. There is a National Dance Agency, as well as ballet and contemporary companies, and several independent dance artists are based here. I have enjoyed every second of it, and I want to carry on exploring my artistry.” Christhian Zevallos Villavicencio, Peru, second year student
“Teaching and Academic support staff can assist and point students to support where needed and the School facilitates a “buddy scheme” for students coming for the first time from outside Europe, whereby a local student can help with crucial practical things like buses, supermarkets and accommodation services.” Keryn Ng, Singapore, second year degree student
“The creative, friendly environment at NSCD makes me feel safe and able to challenge and push myself more and more! I feel inspired and honoured to be able to develop and grow as a dancer here, beginning my journey into professional training with understanding and knowledge, passion for Contemporary Dance and excitement!” Kathryn Hewison, Foundation Course student 2013/14