Dance organisations and companies from across the UK are coming together for a major celebration of dance on 5th April. Organised by BBC Arts in collaboration with One Dance UK, #DancePassion LIVE will feature 11 hours of live-streamed performances and behind-the-scenes insights. Northern School of Contemporary Dance is the hub for Leeds, the only northern city, alongside hubs in Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Swansea. Watch on the day at bbc.co.uk/dance
We're proud to say that over 25 of our alumni are involved, both at our venue in Leeds and further afield. Details of both our own and our graduates' involvement are below and you can view the full running order on the BBC website.
10.00: Candoco Dance Company - London
Live from London's Studio Wayne McGregor, Candoco Dance Company will present a company class with their disabled and non-disabled professional dancers and invited guests. Company dancers include NSCD alumni Toke Strandby and Fabian Jackson.
11.30: DAZL Boys - Leeds
NSCD hosts local all-boys troupe DAZL Boys, the UK's only all-male cheerleading squad. 12 young dancers aged 10-18 from inner city Leeds storm the stage with an energetic dance combining hip hop and urban influences.
12.15: Company Wayne McGregor - London
NSCD Honorary Fellow Wayne McGregor's professional company will rehearse Autobiography at his London studio. The piece is choreographed by McGregor and is based on his own DNA: 23 dance pieces are assembled into a unique order by a bespoke computer algorithm before every performance.
13.15: RJC Dance - Leeds
Youth troupe Shahck Out Juniors from Chapeltown's award-winning RJC dance perform a piece to honour the company's 25-year anniversary. Led by NSCD alumna Kathy Williams, RJC make work from a Black British perspective. Shahck Out Juniors (featuring young people aged 9-12 years) consistently do well at Europe's oldest carnival, the Leeds West Indian Carnival.
13.15: Möbius Dance - Leeds
Möbius Dance perform Time Moves Slow, a new commission by NSCD alumnus Jamaal Burkmar. The work follows four different heroes tasked with climbing the same mountain. The company comprises current NSCD students Iolanda Portogallo and Charlie Hogan and NSCD alumni Stefania Pinato and Ana Fernández Melero.
13.15: Akeim Toussaint Buck - Leeds
Alumnus Akeim Toussaint Buck performs an excerpt from his solo dance theatre piece Windows of Displacement. Using his own journey of migration from Jamaica to the UK as a catalyst, Akeim brings together dance, spoken word and song to look at threads of oppression throughout history, from the Transatlantic slave trade to the current mining and exploitation of the Congo.
13.30: Akram Khan Company - London
At Sadler’s Wells in London, Akram Khan Company invite you inside rehearsals for their new production, Outwitting the Devil, a piece exploring ancient rituals and knowledge lost and forgotten over time. Acclaimed choreographer and NSCD alumnus Akram Khan recently won a record eighth National Dance Award.
13.45: Motionhouse - Birmingham
Motionhouse Rehearsal Director and NSCD alumnus Junior Cunningham explains the science of lifting, and the strength and teamwork needed to execute a lift, before the company rehearse excerpts from their current touring production Charge. Company dancers include alumni Beth Pattison, Chris Knight, Daniel Massarella, Berta Contijoch and Rebecca Knight, current Motionhouse apprentice.
14.45: ACE Youth - Birmingham
Internationally-recognised leaders in the field of Contemporary African and Caribbean Dance, ACE Dance and Music was founded by NSCD graduate Gail Parmel. Their youth dance company, ACE Youth, perform State of Mind, a piece centred around schizophrenia exploring how intuition and the outside world can affect our actions. Graduate Chanelle Harris is currently working with the company.
15.45: Phoenix Dance Theatre - Leeds
Gain an insight into studio life as Phoenix Dance Theatre rehearse their forthcoming production Left Unseen, originally commissioned by NSCD. Hear from Artistic Director and NSCD alumna Sharon Watson and see the dancers in action, including graduates Carmen Vazquez Marfil, Natalie Alleston, Jasmine Gordon, Frances Shepherdson and Elliott Augustine.
17.15: Kenneth Tindall and Northern Ballet - Leeds
Kenneth Tindall creates a contemporary ballet duet for Northern Ballet's Ayça Anil and Harris Beattie. Wanting to change the dance's elitist and old-fashioned connotations, Tindall uses Ella Eyre's 'We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off' as a soundtrack.
17.15: Gracefool Collective - Leeds
Gracefool Collective, a wildly entertaining dance theatre group made up of four NSCD alumni, present an excerpt from This Is Not A Wedding, a feminist and fiercely funny work first performed at Riley Theatre in November 2018.
17.15: DeNada Dance Theatre - Leeds
DeNada Dance Theatre is a UK-based dance company that exports, explores and subverts Hispanic and Latin culture in Britain and beyond. In this session they present an in rehearsal excerpt from their new show Mariposa, a transgender tragedy inspired by Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. It is choreographed by the company’s director and NSCD alumnus Carlos Pons Guerra. Company dancers include NSCD graduate Marivi Da Silva.
Beyond the day of live streaming, Akademi marks its 40th anniversary by making wartime story The Troth available via YouTube until 1 May, a production choreographed by NSCD alumnus and Honorary Fellow Gary Clarke.
Organised by BBC Arts in collaboration with One Dance UK, #DancePassion celebrates the UK’s flourishing dance scene. Performances and exclusive rehearsals are being broadcast across television, radio and BBC iPlayer from Sunday 31 March until Saturday 6 April.
BBC Arts director Jonty Claypole said, “Whether it’s ballet, bhangra or ballroom - at one of our ‘hubs’ or at home - this week aims to get the whole nation moving in a celebration of dance.”