UK's Shoreditch Youth Dance Company & Guests in collaboration with The Wells (Japan) have just held the first 'SYD SPIRIT' Contemporary Dance Summer School in Tokyo.
Back in August 2015, SYD Founder & Artistic Director, Lee Smikle and two senior SYD members, Eimi Leggett and Joey Barton travelled to Tokyo to deliver a variety of contemporary dance workshops to children, young people and professionals. Tokyo dancers of all ages and abilities enjoyed and responded well to the workshops and plans were set in motion to return the following year.
SYD ran some successful SYD Spirit workshops in London earlier this year to share their open and fun approach to creative learning. So after careful planning and thought into this years Tokyo course between Lee and The Wells Director, Nahoko Leggett a SYD Spirit summer school approach was decided up on.
Lee believes in involving and allowing SYD dancers and young people to experience all aspects of a projects process from planning to delivery. SYD dancers have taken part in many creative leadership opportunities as well as performances both in the UK and also abroad in US, Sweden and of course Japan.
"Its a practical and real way for young artists to understand the full process and work involved by many people/or person to make a project successful and worth while. It also supports the development of different creative skills and professional confidence and keeps talented young dancers grounded, generous and entrepreneurial". Lee Smikle
Once again, SYD 'Dynamic Duo' Eimi and Joey came along to assist and teach during the Summer School.
Joey Barton (from Peckham, London) got to return to Tokyo to build on what he learnt last year and to assist Lee delivering SYD Repertoire and Composition classes. Already a dedicated and passionate young dancer he his now developing into a professional young artist and teacher in his own right.
Having just completed a brilliant year at the London School of Contemporary Dance, Joey will be transferring to The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance from September.
" This lad, Joey is an absolute delight. Professional beyond his years and a unique creative talent and amazingly generous personality. Chuffed he's following in my footsteps and going to Rambert and in good hands". Lee
Returning to her home country to assist and translate once again alongside Joey, was Eimi Leggett. Also a senior SYD dancer, Eimi is an extraordinary talent and young dancer.
Lee said about Eimi:
" I met Eimi whilst I was working on the CAT Laban a few years back. She was always a special dancer but now she is remarkable. Consistently reliable and passionately creative this is one powerful strong dancer. I love working with this girl! She is a choreographers dream both generous in her dancing and personality. Having defiantly worked through a year long injury Eimi now leaves LCDS after three years to go to P.A.R.T.S in Brussels from September.
This is a great move for Eimi and I'm super happy for her but selfishly sad she won't be with us at SYD every Sunday! Lucky Brussels!"
Joining the team this year teaching Ballet was the charismatic and charming, Damien Lee Stirk. A hit with the Summer school participants Damien has danced and taught international and first worked with Lee back in 1999 when they both joined Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in the then named 'Adventures in Motion Pictures'.
Also joining the SYD Spirit team this year was the extraordinary musical talent - Sabio Janiak. A popular and well known name within the London contemporary dance circuit, Sabio is a brilliant creative composer and leader. His musical energy was a great addition to this years Summer School.
Lee Smikle having some creative fun with SYD Spirit Summer School participants, Tokyo 2016.