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Company Blog : John

We asked returning company member John to write a short piece about his experience of the first residency with Michael Keegan-Dolan

My first day of the residency I wasn’t sure how I felt, it felt different from last year, the people were different, the energy was different and obviously the choreographic team we were on the coach to go meet were different. However just because something is different and a big change from something I was used to doesn’t necessarily mean it was going to be a bad thing; I was right.

We arrived at Tring Park, an idyllic secluded place in the countryside where it’s just you, the rest of the company and miles and miles of trees, in my opinion there is no better place to begin bonding as a company; it was just so peaceful. We got straight into company class with the creative team and Michael, Rachel and James were as full of energy and anticipation as we were; there was a tangible eagerness to get moving and see how we all dance.

I found it difficult at first to fully expel my experiences and view on how last year felt and worked, however with all of the good vibes and new energy that the 30 new dancers brought it didn’t take me long to settle into the new company.

My highlights throughout the week were our afternoon sessions, we all improvised as a collective to either folk music or Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Recomposed by Max Richter) and, this music being dear to my heart, I found these sessions beautiful. Not only that I connected with the music but seeing everyone dance together as what was beginning to look like a company was an incredible moment. I believe these improvisations were how we, day by day, grew together as a company and began to bond as both people, friends and dancers.

National Youth Dance Company 2015-16At the end of the week we had achieved a real sense of unity, it was lovely, going from being complete strangers not even knowing if the person next to you at dinner had any siblings to knowing everyone’s personalities inside out, how they move, what makes them laugh and what inspires them. That’s one of the incredible things about NYDC that I’ve experienced in both years, how it brings people together, creates friendships where normally none would lie.


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