Sadler’s Wells associate artist Jasmin Vardimon has been named the first guest artistic director of the new National Youth Dance Company.
Vardimon, who has worked with the London-based venue since 2006 and is known for her physical theatre choreography staged by her own touring company, has begun work in her new role this month to form the group of dancers by February.
She will lead the first 30-strong troupe of 16 to 19 year-olds for the inaugural year of the programme, and will direct the company’s debut performance on Sadler’s Wells’ main stage next summer.
To create the company, a series of workshops and selection days will be held in England over the next three months.
Once chosen, the participants will attend four weeks of intensive training, in which they will learn performance skills such as dance techniques combined with theatrical and voice coaching from the artistic director and the Jasmin Vardimon Company performers.
Arts Council England and the Department for Education are joint funding the three-year initiative, which was launched after the Henley Review of Cultural Education recommended that a new permanent national youth dance company be created and funded.
Sadler’s Wells, which was chosen to run the NYDC, will receive up to £400,000 per year from 2012 to 2015, during which time there will be three yearly intakes of 30 teenagers, who will have the opportunity to stay for the duration of the programme.
A new artistic director will be selected annually from Sadler’s Wells’ associate artists and visiting companies.
Vardimon said: “I am delighted to have been invited by Sadler’s Wells to be the first artistic director of the NYDC, and am looking forward to developing and nurturing the next generation of talented dancers in the UK. This is an exciting time for the dance world, and I hope NYDC will provide a real opportunity for young dancers to develop into world-class performers.”