Whilst audiences are busy coming to see the artistic work of Jasmin Vardimon Company – the grand spectacles of choreographic artistry, physical talent and multidisciplinary collaborations in theatres such as Sadlers Wells, the company also back home in its production and training studio; provides education programmes from the beginner to the experienced, skills development to wellbeing agendas, and training programmes for the next generation of performers, choreographers and dance educators, with a proven track record for pathways to employment alongside and delivered by one of the leading dance theatre companies of today.
Developing, encouraging and cultivating young talent is a key feature of JV2, the Professional Development Diploma training programme established by Jasmin Vardimon Company in 2012. With its core focus to develop versatile and multidisciplinary performers, students on the programme work collectively as a company training alongside Jasmin Vardimon Company and its professional repertoire and creative methodology. The programme culminates annually in a national tour which features work by young choreographers and or associates of the company, as well as offers Creative Internships for young lighting design technicians and costumes designers to add production values to the touring work.
Over the last four years, 51 students have successfully completed the programme with 100% achieving Merit or Distinction. The support for these graduates continues beyond the programme with access to professional class, industry advice and often employment directly with Jasmin Vardimon Company as performers or dance educators. 83% of all graduates to date are currently employed in the sector with 44% as professional performers, 25% education facilitators, and 14% choreographers. 17% are either working in other professions or have not yet returned communication with the company.
Read the full Case study here: Pathways to Employment
With our continued ambition to engage a diverse range of participants and audiences, and in particular our involvement and support of youth-led initiatives in Kent, we have developed our brand new Youth Consultation Board.
Jasmin’s vision to nurture talent and potential is at the heart of our offer to the community we live in and for those who share our passion for dance. Providing an insight into Vardimon’s choreographic, theatrical and artistic process, we nurture and support the training of versatile performers through to the development of dance and theatrical skills, both through our education programmes as well as the professional touring and performance work of the company. At a key milestone for the company, having been resident in Kent since 2012, we feel committed to provide opportunities for young people and be reflective and responsive to their needs, as well as often bridge the gap for young people to the professional world through opportunities, experiences and employment.
In its early stages of development, we held an introductory meeting for our new Youth Consultation Board in July 2016 to gauge interest and the potential for the group, as well as listen to young people and their initial ideas and need for a group such as this. It was important that the young people had previously engaged with Jasmin Vardimon Company in some capacity, however through word of mouth, some young people attended just for some local activity to them with a professional dance company that they felt “was an opportunity not to be missed”, even though they were new to the company itself.
With a diverse range of 16 young people aged from 9-19, the session was intended to seek out young people to become ambassadors for Jasmin Vardimon Company and the arts, especially in Kent.
Led by the Education Manager and Education Administrator, with guest facilitator Tom Andrews (Director of Advocacy and Support from People United), through discussion-based activities the session explored the work of Jasmin Vardimon Company and the potential offer by and for the Youth Consultation Board.
Through contacts the company already has with local people interested in dance, and through the ART31 website and Facebook group, a targeted call out for recruitment of young people was made, with a sign up of 16 young people for the first session and more interest still being registered. Decisions on the capacity of the group continue to be considered, with the desire to have more meaningful relationships and a greater quality of understanding of and with the young people, rather than about quantity of people.
The first session ended with selecting at random 5 young people to be invited to the private sharing of the brand new work Pinocchio, before it premieres in August 2016.
With the intention of the group to become an evolving model, versatile in its meetings, experiences and impact, the vision for the group at this initial stage will be that:
The Youth Consultation Board will become a committed group of young people (aged 7-25) who through regular meetings, facilitated by Jasmin Vardimon Company, together in partnership; will develop, offer and be involved in:
• Practical Jasmin Vardimon Company workshops
• See performances at venues such as the Gulbenkian
• Behind the scenes opportunities
• Meeting the Company dancers
• Gain an insight into the different roles within the dance company and what it is like to work in the arts
• See sneak peaks of our brand new work before anyone else
• Influence marketing, our education programme, and other elements of the company
• Visiting other local arts organisations/ Q&A sessions with partnered organisations
• Gaining an array of skills as a Company ambassador at multiple events and opportunities
• Potential employment of young people by Jasmin Vardimon Educational Company
• Represent/become an ART31 group in Ashford
“Thank you so so much for the tickets, the performance was incredible, i enjoyed every minute of it, such an exciting perfomace and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time! Well done to the dancers they did amazing on their premiere of Pinocchio!” – Megan Heddershaw, Youth Consultation Board member
“Unlike anything I have ever witnessed, truly talented and amazing performers, I had a free ticket and it was so great I payed to see it again the next day” – Jake Wood, Youth Consultation Board member
“Thank you so much for the invite to watch Pinocchio last weekend! I really enjoyed the performance and there was so many interesting elements within the piece. I loved how aerial work was used in order to enhance the story line and make actions more interesting just with the level change which must also take so much skill and practice! I fell in love with the fact that some of the set was actually hung around and then brought down for the dancers to use – it added a whole new range of dimension as well as adding to the mood and atmosphere in a way that’s too clever for me to explain how. Everything was so incredible but I have to comment on how cleverly it was all choreographed (which is nothing new for Jasmin, obviously!). But from the way the signature fourth position was adapted once again, to the body language incorporated into the movements to put across the characters (for example during the middle sections when the character of Pinocchio was very vulnerable) was just phenomenal! A very clever and original piece of work which was full of surprises! Well done and thank you again!” – Jazmin Gramson, Youth Consultation Board member
“I have enjoyed pushing myself to the limit and discovering lots about technique and precision” – Elizabeth Brown, Participant, August 2016
“I have enjoyed learning new movements and I have gained a lot of knowledge of how to move my body in the way that looks best. I have also enjoyed learning the floor routines as I now feel a lot more confident moving on the floor” – Celeste Thesiger-Meacham, Participant, August 2016
“I have enjoyed the choreographic process and working with others! I have gained more knowledge of technical performance and my stamina and strength has improved.” – Vienna Gasson, Participant, August 2016
“An excellent insight into the Company. I learnt lots about the techniques used for devising – Vinicius is good at composition. I’ve gained a lot of bruises but that’s not really a bad thing” – Elliot Minogue-Stone, Participant, August 2016
“Well done to @JVCompany @animate_arts and Pembury Primary for a great Rio INSPIRED Carnival #kentschoolsinspired” – Jon Rye (from Twitter), Inpsire Ways to Rio Programme Manager, July 2016
“It raised the profile of dance in the school. It was valuable for children to meet and work with a professional dancer. All children enjoyed having an hour long dance session. Our arts leaders had a fantastic question and answer session with Andre, which they found very inspiring” – Cindy Cole, Pembury Primary School, June 2016
“It was a good chance to see the year outside of the classroom immersed in a different environment and culture. It was fast paced and kept the attention of the children the whole way through” – Paul Norris, Rusthall St Paul’s Primary School, May 2016
“Core dancers and I thought the workshop was incredibly valuable. Andre had a fantastic energy and a mouldable skill set that was great with working with our array of dancers in our company who had years, months or weeks’ worth of dance experience collectively, he encouraged dancers to move in a way that adds characterisation and story behind their movement in a way that the dancers felt at ease and comfortable doing” – Leah Waterfield, Dance Practitioner & Leader of The Core Dancers, June 2016