Welcome to the YAAG blog!

Hello! I’m Claudia, a member of the Young Artists’ Advisory Group and a placement student at Siobhan Davies Dance from the University of Surrey. I have worked with Siobhan Davies Dance since September, and I will be for a few more months, to then go back to university for my final year.

My very first encounter with the Young Artists Advisory Group involved minuting the first YAAG meeting of the year. My fingers never moved that fast since I last played the piano years ago – so much the Young Artists had to say!

The Young Artists Advisory Group has been created as a continuation of the Next Choreography course, and it is now formed of two generations of ‘graduates’ from Next Choreography plus a couple of Young Artists who approached Siobhan Davies Dance through other projects.

If I had to describe what the group is in one word, I would say EXCHANGE, be it between the members or between the group and the organization. Siobhan Davies Dance provides the Young Artists with a space for sharing ideas, offers them opportunities and supports them in their professional development, while the group offers an insight into the needs, ideas and expectations of Young People who aspire to develop a career within the arts.

As a Dance student myself who is hoping to find a place in the dance industry, and who is also working with Siobhan Davies Dance for a few months (work placement), I can say that I sit on both sides of the group at the same time. From this unique position I have the opportunity to witness how much the two parts benefit from each other. And this is, I would say, the main reason why I have decided to work with this group for my main placement project and look at how YAAG can develop in the future – and the SDD’s Youth programme, reflecting on that.

YAAG is now doing a big step: organize the first Young Artists Feedback Forum! The event, curated by the group members with the support of Siobhan Davies Dance, will take place on Sunday 5th March. First tested at last year’s Next Choreography Festival, the Feedback Forum will see Young Choreographers present their work in-progress and get feedback from the audience in a supportive environment, using the Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process.

I am really excited about putting up our first YAAG event, as I am sure all the other members are! At the moment, young choreographers are applying to share their works in-progress; applications are open until the 25th January. Follow this space for updates on how the event planning proceeds, and to find out more about the Young Artists Advisory Group and its members!