A Derby-based youth dance company has won a coveted place in the national finals of a prestigious competition for the first time.
Javvani, which has 12 members aged 13 and above, specialise in traditional and contemporary South Asian dance and is a partnership between two city-based arts organisations - Déda and Surtal Arts.
The group premiered their work ‘Daybreak’ at the county youth dance platform for Derby and Derbyshire, held at Buxton Opera House last month, where a recording of the piece was made.
Following the submission of video footage of work, Javvani was shortlisted and then selected by a panel of national level experts as part of the first South Asian strand of the national U.Dance 2014 festival – the performance framework for young people’s dance led by Youth Dance England - which will be held in Nottingham in June.
Two other Déda youth academy groups are also hoping to join Javvani at the national festival.
Derbyshire Youth Dance Company, based at Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel Theatre, was set up two years ago by Déda, Chesterfield Borough Council and Dance4’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) to develop aspiring young dancers in the north of the county.
The company has won a place through their stunning performance at Buxton Opera House to perform at the Midlands U.Dance festival to be held at The Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, Birmingham on April 26 and, if successful, will represent the region in the national finals in Nottingham in June.
Success has also come to Déda Youth Performance Company, Liquid who, after giving a superb performance at the county event at Buxton Opera House, has been given a guest pass straight to the National Youth Dance Festival - U.Dance 2014 and will perform as part of the festival’s fringe programme.
Javvani Lead Artist, Choreographer Nisha Nath explained that the group was unique in the city and county for specialising in South Asian classical, folk and contemporary dance styles from Bollywood to Kathak.
She formed Javvani in 2007 under Surtal Arts and joined forces with Déda last year where they now rehearse every Monday evening.
“We are the only East Midlands dance group to reach the finals of the first national competition for South Asian dance and it will be fascinating to benchmark our skills compared with some of the more established groups from around the UK.
“I am so proud of the group who have worked incredibly hard and fully deserve this recognition. We will be rehearsing hard over the coming weeks to hone the choreography and will be hoping for further success at the finals.”
Javvani performed a specially choreographed piece entitled ‘Daybreak’ which depicts waking up in the morning – excited to see what adventures the day holds.
The first half of the five-minute piece is in semi-darkness with the group dancing in traditional Raas-Garba Indian folk dance style using Dandiya sticks to make illuminated shapes.
This then moves to daybreak with the lighting and dance style reflecting more contemporary themes, inspired by the music in a recent Bollywood blockbuster ‘Ramleela’.
Déda’s Head of Dance Development and Learning Clare Limb concluded: “We are delighted with Javvani’s success in the national competition framework and hope that both Liquid and the Derbyshire Youth Dance Company will join them in Nottingham.
“All three groups have very different styles and membership. Derbyshire Youth Dance Company is an auditioned group for young people looking for a platform to progress their careers as professional dancers and Liquid is our all male group who take their inspiration from a range of contemporary dance styles from breaking to urban.
“It will therefore be particularly exciting for all three groups to get through to the national finals - showcasing the wide range of dance opportunities that are available for young people in Derby and Derbyshire through Déda and our partners.”
Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors
Déda (formerly known as Derby Dance) is a unique venue located in Derby city centre offering a dance-focussed arts programme. The building houses two performance spaces, two professionally equipped dance studios, conferencing facilities and the CUBE café|bar.
With a class curriculum of almost 50 classes a week and an extensive community development programme Déda is one of the key cultural organisations in the city.
Déda receives funding from Arts Council England and Derby City Council.
About Arts Council England
The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk