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The BBC turns the spotlight on the UK's best young dancers with a nationwide talent search to find the first BBC Young Dancer. Dancers aged 16-20 were invited to enter one of four categories - ballet, contemporary, hip hop and south Asian dance
The BBC turns the spotlight on the UK's best young dancers with a nationwide talent search to find the first BBC Young Dancer. Dancers aged 16-20 were invited to enter one of four categories - ballet, contemporary, hip hop and south Asian dance. In the first of these finals, five dancers compete for the contemporary category title and a place in the grand final at Sadler's Wells.
With behind-the-scenes access to workshops with mentors, rehearsals and an introduction to the world of contemporary dance, we follow the finalists as they prepare two solos and a duet for performance at the Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport. They must impress an expert judging panel - Kenneth Tharp, chief executive of The Place, a leading UK centre for contemporary dance, Jasmin Vardimon, artistic director of the Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company and Mark Baldwin, artistic director of Rambert Dance Company.
Finalists: Kai Tomioka, Kasichana Okene-Jameson, Jacob O'Connell, Diana Patience and Connor Scott.
In the second category final, it's the turn of the hip hop dancers to impress a panel of judges and win a place in the Grand Final at Sadler's Wells.
We follow them popping, locking, krumping and freestyling their way through mentoring workshops and rehearsals, on their way to present two solos and a hip hop battle on stage at the Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport. The task of choosing the winner goes to DJ Renegade, choreographer and artistic director of Indahouse Clara Bajado and, judging across all four categories, Kenneth Tharp, chief executive of The Place, a leading centre for contemporary dance.
Finalists: Harry Barnes, Jonadette Carpio, Jodelle Douglas, Sharifa Tonkmor and Kieran Lai.
The third category final sees five South Asian dancers perform two solos and a duet for a place in the Grand Final at Sadler's Wells on 9th May.
With an introduction to the two forms of South Asian dance represented in the final (Kathak and Bharatanatyam), and behind-the-scenes access to mentors' workshops and rehearsals, we see the dancers prepare for their performances at the Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport.
They face a panel of distinguished judges - Padmashri Pratap Pawar, a leading exponent of Kathak dance, and teacher of many students, including Akram Khan; Mira Balchandran Gokul, teacher, performer and co-artistic director of SANKALPAM, a national touring dance company; and, judging across all four categories, Kenneth Tharp, chief executive of The Place, a leading centre for contemporary dance.
Finalists are: Lakshmi Ranjan, Jaina Modasia, Sivani Balachandran, Vidya Patel, Anaya Bolar.
Five talented ballet dancers compete in the last of the category finals, hoping to win a place on the main stage in the grand final at Sadler's Wells.
Mentors are enlisted to help the finalists prepare two contrasting solos and a pas de deux, and there's behind-the-scenes to their preparations in workshops and rehearsals in the run up to the performance at the Riverfront Arts Centre, Newport.
They face a panel of distinguished judges - Dominic Antonucci, ballet master at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Christopher Hampson, artistic director of Scottish Ballet, and judging across all four categories, Kenneth Tharp, chief executive of The Place, a leading centre for contemporary dance.
The ballet category finalists are: Paris Fitzpatrick, Jenny Hackwell, Sayaka Ishibashi, Hamish Scott and Archie Sullivan.
Dance is in the spotlight as Zoe Ball and Darcey Bussell host the first ever grand final of BBC Young Dancer.
A nationwide search was launched last year when dedicated dancers aged 16-20 were invited to enter in one of four categories - the grand finalists will represent ballet, contemporary, hip hop and South Asian dance. Following two preliminary rounds and the four category finals, six dancers have been selected to perform on the main stage at Sadler's Wells in London.
As part of their performance in the grand final, each dancer will premiere a brand new solo created for them by some of the UK's leading choreographers, alongside a solo from their repertoire and a pas de deux, or in the case of hip hop a battle. At the end of the grand final, one will be named BBC Young Dancer 2015.
The series has already featured some of the leading names in UK dance both as contributors and judges. The grand final will be judged by a formidable panel of dance experts: artistic director of New Adventures, choreographer and director Matthew Bourne; artistic director of ZFin Malta dance ensemble Mavin Khoo; choreographer and director Wayne McGregor; English National Ballet artistic director Tamara Rojo; dancer and choreographer Kenrick Sandy; and Alistair Spalding, chief executive and artistic director of Sadler's Wells.
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