Members of the Darlington Racecourse Youth Dance Group to participate in the 2021 U. Dance National Youth Dance Festival

Darlington Racecourse 14+ Contemporary Dance Group has been selected as one of two regional finalists to represent the Northeast at the U. Dance National Youth Dance Festival in 2021. Presented by One Dance UK, the U.Dance National Youth Dance Festival invites groups of young dancers selected from regional U.Dance platforms to experience a summer celebration of dance.

Due to the Covid pandemic, the competition took on a different format in 2021, with the entire festival taking place online and groups invited to submit a dance film of their choice. Darlington Hippodrome has engaged with Dave Allinson, a local filmmaker, to work alongside bandleader and choreographer Debbie Harbin of The D Project Dance Company to create a dance piece called Textured Reality.

The piece was inspired by discussions with the dancers about their experiences through the first lockdown. Working face-to-face when possible and online when necessary, the play has evolved over time and focuses on the different layers of reality that the group faced during times of isolation.

Lyndsey Middleton, Head of Development and Public Engagement at Darlington Racecourse, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen to represent the region at this exciting national event. access to the best dance opportunities possible, as well as the ability to come together – albeit online – and explore what going through this time has meant to them and how it impacted their mental health and performance. well-being. created and choreographed, led by their dance leader Debbie, is a heartfelt representation of their feelings and emotions expressed through dance, and we couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments. “

Councilor Andy Keir said: “This is great news not only for the talented young dancers involved, but for Darlington and the region at large. This is a great opportunity to show the talent, drive and determination of the young people of Darlington by highlighting an important issue in such a creative way. “

The national showcases will be held online from Friday July 16 to Sunday July 18. In addition to the national screening of the film, the festival will include online workshops with leading dance professionals and inspiring information about dance careers in which young people can participate.

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