BBC Young Dancer 2019 highlights great dance talent in Leeds

On Saturday 18 May, the Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer saw Northern School of Contemporary Dance student Max Revell awarded the 2019 title. Broadcast on BBC Two from the Birmingham Hippodrome, Max competed alongside five dancers between 16-21 years old from the Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian and Street Dance categories.

A student on NSCD’s BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) course, Max was given a Wildcard entry to the Grand Final after just missing out in the Street Dance category. After performing three stunning pieces – a self-choreographed solo Subject Number 6, a duet with former winner Tom Hughes Lloyd titled Stranger, and a solo choreographed by Dickson Mbi named Unstrung – he was named BBC Young Dancer 2019.

Alongside Max two more talented NSCD students, Max Cookward and Adanna Lawrence, made the Contemporary category final. Max is a former student of both the Northern Ballet and NSCD CAT programmes, while Adanna aspires to go on to join VERVE, the postgraduate company of NSCD.

Leeds-based choreographers also shone in this year’s competition. Kenneth Tindall, Artistic Director of Digital and Choreographer in Residence for Northern Ballet, choreographed Solo for C for finalist Chloe Keneally. Kenneth was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in a new Dance Production at the Broadway World UK Awards 2017 and has been nominated for several other high-profile awards including Best Classical Choreography at the National Dance Awards. He saw his first full-length ballet, Casanova, broadcast on SkyArts and Digital Theatre. He is currently creating a new full-length work for Northern Ballet, Geisha, to be premièred in 2020. Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, choreographed Me, myself & I for finalist Max Rawcliffe, a young contemporary dancer. Sharon has previously lectured at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and as Artistic Director of Phoenix was named Yorkshire Woman of the Year in 2017. Sharon received the first English Women’s Award for Arts and Culture in 2018, was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women to Watch and has created numerous acclaimed new works for Phoenix Dance Theatre including Windrush (2018) and Melt (2011).

Photo Jane Hobson