Spotlight on the U.Dance Regional Shortlist

Find out more about the three youth dance groups that made the shortlist to represent the South East in the U.Dance National Festival. The National Festival is not able to take place in its physical form this year, so here is an opportunity to watch the selected companies perform their dances at our regional showcase back in March. 

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Brooks Dance Company

Brooks Dance Company is a group of advanced senior dancers, that trains at Shoreham-based dance school Brooks Dance Academy. Dancers are trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Street, Jazz, and meet weekly with choreographer Lucy Brooks to work on their company pieces.

Brooks Dance Company’s piece for U Dance 2020, Young Folks was inspired by fond and confusing memories of teenage years, both the freedom, adolescent expression and wild abandon, but also the fear and loneliness of being a teenager. It aims to conjure up memories such as the feeling of becoming part of a mosh pit; early experiences of dancing all night long; emulating the awkward dance-moves from music videos; the bizarre and beautiful shapes we make when it's dark and we feel free to move; and of trying to appear cool, casual and aloof like our favourite charismatic lead singers. Then also, the more confusing and painful underlying feelings of being left out, not fitting in, trying to find love, growing apart from childhood friends, and the loneliness of growing up.

Natraj Dance Academy

Natraj Dance Academy, founded by Dr Piyali Basu, has been performing for around seven years. Teaching focuses on Indian Folk Dance and the Indian classical dance form Kathak and all students are required to take Kathak exams to help give them a deeper understanding and greater knowledge of this traditional dance form.

The Academy’s specially-choreographed dance piece for the U Dance platform is inspired and influenced by music composed and presented by Anoushka Shankar. Anoushka Shankar’s project, which she calls Raga Flamenco Journey, originated from a specific idea: the desire to retrace the 1000-year-old bond between Indian and Spanish musical traditions.

Nuclear Dance Company

Nuclear Dance Company is an audition only upper school dance company based at Trinity Newbury. The company has run for eight years with a variety of talented male dancers taking part. The company meet weekly for class and choreography, and take part in a variety of local and more national performances.

Rightside Up, choreographed by Amy Gale (and the dancers), explores the concepts of being helped over, under, around and through a problem alongside the physical 'upside down' aspect of the idea of your world being turned upside down. It examines what would happen if you could no longer walk, or sleep, or be caught when you fell.