Preview: Excellent!, Sadler's Wells, London
An excellent adventure for young talent
Monday 14 July 2008
Through means-tested funding, the Music and Dance Scheme (MDS) offers crucial access to high-level training for exceptionally gifted young people; its current crop of 1,600 11- to 18-year-olds will one day enter a list of alumni which includes the violinist Nigel Kennedy, the dancer Darcey Bussell and the composer Debbie Wiseman.
In celebration of the MDS, and for one night only, Sadler's Wells is set to sparkle with the treasures of the programme. Excellent! offers a cavalcade of compositions, choreography and enticing collaborations which link MDS trainees with some of the best professionals.
"The MDS truly stands for a fantastic opportunity for young people, who couldn't perhaps have afforded individual tuition, to afford it at world-class level," says Nicolas Chisholm, headmaster of the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, one of the many MDS centres nationwide that are participating.
"It's about access and opportunity; I know they're buzzwords, but it's absolutely true. We get applications from people from all walks of life. And from the school's point of view, it ensures our existence. Without it, we wouldn't be able to operate."
Among the array of performances, Chisholm's charges will provide an original live score for a new piece of choreography from the Royal Ballet School, the Place Centre team up with the Royal College of Music for a scintillating site-specific marriage of music and dance, and Dance City Academy partner the Sage Gateshead Weekend School in an enticing collaboration. There are big bands, fanfares, choristers, a "cutlery concerto"; and, the following day, also at Sadler's Wells, a chance to discuss the issues that the MDS throws up.
"I'm looking forward to the variety of it all," says Chisholm, "because it isn't just classical music and classical ballet. We've got south Asian dance, we've got contemporary music and contemporary dance.
"I'm looking forward to seeing a celebration of a scheme that has been a hugely well-kept secret. Potentially, it's going to be absolutely extraordinary."
15-16 July, Sadler's Wells, London EC1, (0844 412 4300), www.excellent.uk.com
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 3 Jewish community urged to boycott Cornwall village after residents vote for 'Hitlers Walk' sign to be reinstated
- 4 Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing gay-rights campaign snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton
- 5 Kim Sears responds to swearing controversy with 'parental advisory' T-shirt at Andy Murray's Australian Open final
Daniel Radcliffe deemed 'not marketable' without his English accent
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign