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National Dance Company Wales' annual talent development scheme inspires next generation of artists

- ICONIC IMAGES RELEASED EACH WEEK TO MARK THE PROGRESSION OF 'ALTERNATIVE ROUTES'
- PREVIOUS ALUMNI INCLUDE SKY SCHOLARSHIP WINNER ELEESHA DRENNAN AND REHEARSAL DIRECTOR & HOUSE CHOREOGRAPHER LEE JOHNSTON

National Dance Company Wales is inspiring the next generation of new dance talent this month with Alternative Routes, their annual artist development programme, now underway at the Dance House at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

A six week long development process working with the newest talent in the industry, Alternative Routes culminates in three days of performances from 19 – 21 June.

Four up and coming choreographers will benefit from receiving a platform to develop and perform their work. Àngela Boix Duran (Spain), Chris Scott (UK), Matteo Marfoglia (Italy) and Mathieu Geffré (France) will each develop choreographic skills exploring a variety of themes, ranging from the role of women in the Southern Italian Mafia, to the popular board game, Cluedo.

The four, who are all currently professional dancers with the Company, will collaborate with industry partners including set, costume and lighting design students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Sinfonia Newydd, a new commissioning, training, performance, and promotion platform for Wales' emerging music creators.

To mark the progression of Alternative Routes, the Company is creating a set of iconic portrait images, releasing one each week until the programme's culmination, which convey a unique take on the idea of 'the dancer'. These images can be viewed at facebook.com/ndcwales or by following #AltRoutes14 on Twitter.

Project leader and member of the Company's Interim Artistic Team Joe Fletcher says: "We're delighted to be underway with the 27th edition of Alternative Routes, a programme which has helped shaped the careers of many dancers and choreographers over the years. This year's selection shows the talent that we have in house at the Company and provides the dancers with a rare opportunity to create work on a professional company while receiving support and mentoring to develop their skills. It's all about collaborating with as broad a range of the industry as possible – really nurturing the next generation of creators and what Wales can offer to the rest of the dance industry."

The Alternative Routes programme is now in its 27th year, and represents the Company's deep set commitment to nurturing the next generation of dance talent in Wales. Previous contributors include Eleesha Drennan, recently awarded the prestigious Sky Academy Arts Scholarship. Dancing with the Company for nine years, Eleesha was nurtured by artist development programme, choreographing commissioned works which toured throughout the UK and Ireland, before receiving the Scholarship of £30,000 and mentoring from relevant business and industry figures from Sky and the arts world, leading her to embarking on a focused choreographic career.

Lee Johnston, Company Rehearsal Director and Interim Artistic Team member is another artist for whose career development the Company has been instrumental. A previous Alternative Routes contributor herself, Lee has gone on to create two unique works (Purlieus and They Seek To Find The Happiness they Seem) performed by National Dance Company Wales as part of their professional programme toured to venues across the UK and internationally.

Alternative Routes continues at the Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre, with performances from 19-21 June.  Tickets are available at wmc.org.uk