Northampton School for Boys


INTERFACE Dance Event 2017

INTERFACE 2017 thbs
National Youth Dance Festival - Stage 2

Following on from the success of 80 plus NSB students performing at Junction Dance Show, seven of our GCSE Year 10 students travelled to Chesterfield to perform at Stage 2 of UDance.

The seven boys were selected to create and perform this dance because they have shown great commitment to dance both in the curriculum and in the extra-curricular programme. They attended school on a Saturday for a number of weeks to explore, create and rehearse the dance idea.

Based on the play ‘Hymns’ by Chris O’Connell, the dance, entitled ‘To Jimmy’, explores the friendship of six boys as they mourn the loss of their friend Jimmy. Mapping out the stages of grief, they go through transitional phases of ignoring their grief, struggling to talk to each other, blaming each other for Jimmy’s death, then finally, acceptance. Jimmy is with them, in their hearts, throughout the process.

After three hours on a mini-bus, stuck in traffic, the boys arrived at The Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield having missed their technical run. They were fabulous in their conduct, accepting gracefully the opportunity that Deda kindly offered to have one quick run through on the unfamiliar stage space. The challenges of dancing on a ‘raked stage’ was a new one to them, having to process how to execute movements on an uphill slope very quickly in order to perform to the best of their ability later in the show. I was very proud of their approach and positive attitude.

The performance was fantastic, seeing them perform an emotive piece in such a mature and professional manner was amazing. The boys really enjoyed the experience and bonded well as a group.

As a Stage 2 platform, a panel of professional artists from the dance industry were there to select groups from Derbyshire who will move on to the final stage at the National Youth Dance Festival 2017. Our group was an exception to this particular rule as the panel were considering NSB against performances from our own area platform NDance. This took place on the same night as Junction Dance Show, so we were lucky enough that Deda kindly welcomed us to perform at Chesterfield to allow the boys the opportunity to be considered for the next stage in the process.

The feedback from Deda (who hosted the Interface event) was:

"Hi There Alison and the very talented NSB Dancers! Good afternoon I hope your well and your team made it home safely last night.

On behalf of the Déda Dance Development and Learning Team I would like to thank you and the boys for attending yesterday’s event. We feel extremely privileged to be able to showcase such a talented bunch in our regions selection performance.

Myself and the team were overwhelmed with your group and the high standard of choreography, technique, performance and professionalism throughout. The boys are an absolute credit to you and NSB and the school should be extremely proud of you and your group.

I hope that you and your group enjoyed the day and all performers found the experience both exciting and valuable. I understand it was a particularly long day for you and your group so again thank you!  

The panel will be getting in touch with their decision directly.

Obviously as you are being selected for a different platform (NDance) we won’t find out the outcome of the boys fantastic performance- but if you could let us know the outcome I would be extremely appreciative (we’re all rooting for them over here)!

Many thanks again for attending and sharing your work with us, you have most definitely left your mark!"

After a nail biting afternoon waiting to hear news, I am so pleased and excited to say that NSB was the group selected from N.Dance and the boys have made it through to the next stage, which is elEMents Choreo Lab. This is a regional opportunity, exclusive to the East Midlands being led by Theo Clinkard. Theo will work with one selected group from each U.Dance county platform and one from Xzibit at iC4C for a day of exploration with choreographic skills, ideas and practices. This will be an amazing journey for the boys, helping them to learn new skills and discover new routes in to dance practice.

As for making it to the Nationals, the panel can only select two groups to progress through to U.Dance 2017 National Festival this year and will make the decision from the groups selected for elEMents after all the county platforms have happened (towards the end of March).

Wish the boys luck if you see them, they have worked so hard for this opportunity and I am very proud of them, no matter the outcome, for getting so far in the process. The standard of dance at every county event is immense.

Dancers in the group are:

Andreas Giglio, Lewis Simpson, Will Thorneycroft, Gio Bordone, Damian Frakulli, Silvio Dzapasi and Charlie Goddard.
A. Clinton

March 2017