Youth Exchange 2020/21
The 2020/21 Scottish Ballet’s Youth Exchange has been meeting weekly on Zoom since the autumn. They’ve been led by Sara Kemal and have had sessions with guests dance artists Sophie Laplane, Lewis Normand, Thomas Edwards and Evan Loudon. As well, they have had two evenings with multi-disciplinary dance artist Kerry Nicolls looking at skills required for the profession in and out of the dance studio.
In March 2020, Youth Exchange took part in a short but very successful pilot project in New York City, working with four dancers from Y Ex and four from new partners, MOVE NYC. The work created was dynamic and the relationships developed were deep. The foundation for a really positive partnership was laid.
Adapting to the current situation, over two weekends in January Y Ex reached back across the Atlantic, via Zoom, to work intensively with a total of eighteen dancers, between 15 and 24 years, from SB and MOVE NYC. Each day they took part in a ballet class, led by Scottish Ballet’s Thomas Edwards or Constance Devernay, and contemporary class led by Jesse Obremski of NYC and Laja Field of Utah. For two hours each afternoon/evening the dancers then created material led by SB’s choreographer in residence, Sophie Laplane, and MOVE NYCs Chanel da Silva. These intensive weekends culminated in an inspired sharing of the work in progress, attended remotely by friends, families, colleagues and supporters from across the UK and USA.
Infused with a renewed common purpose and desire we look forward to the next stage of this partnership when we can get together, in a Scottish dance studio, to create more dance and celebrate each other’s cultures.
Until then, throughout February and March SB Y Ex dancers will create the Youth Exchange’s first-ever short film, an exciting new project led by Sophie Laplane and filmmaker Beth Chalmers.