The prestigious Lowry stage was home to 10 groups of talented & dedicated young dancers for the one night Youth Dance Showcase, Signatures 2015. With the help of Boy Blue Entertainment’s stunning motif, Dance Manchester & the Lowry presented this unique event to a sold out Quays Theatre on Saturday 7th February, 2015.
Each year, Signatures begins with an application process; out of the groups that apply, only one is selected out of each district of Greater Manchester. The leaders of each selected group then attend a choreographic workshop – in which Kenrick Sandy (Boy Blue Ent. co-artistic director) delivered this year’s unique motif. The leaders then teach the motif to their group, adding their own style of choreography & interpretation. Signatures isn’t a competition, it is a showcase of young talent.
The months of preparation were put into practise during the lead up to the performance, as technical rehearsals consumed the early hours of the day. With The Lowry backstage team working hard to finalise lighting & sound for each group, the groups could concentrate solely on polishing their performance. For some of these groups it was their first time on stage, especially such a stage as The Lowry. The uniqueness of Signatures is down to the range of dance styles and groups from different backgrounds and cultures, young people from schools to community groups & youth dance groups, both boys and girls with ages ranging from 10-22 & this year including a group of disabled dancers. Signatures is often referred to as a melting pot of talent. It is not a showcase for professional groups, but rather a platform for young, dedicated & enthusiastic dancers in our city, with participants not being paid to take part, but dedicating their time and effort into working together. All the young people involved were thrilled to be performing on stage at The Lowry theatre.
— (@eirinnfentonx) February 7, 2015
With the rehearsals going so well, there was nothing more to do than grow in anticipation of 7pm, stage time. A mixture of nerves and excitement flooded through the dressing rooms as final preparations took place. These groups were ready to step out under the lights, in front of 440 audience members in the sold out theatre. Each group performed fantastically, thrilling the expectant audience. With every roar of applause after each performance, confidence grew and Signatures was a complete success.
The Signature participants:
• Raptures – Tameside Youth Dance (Tameside)
• Konnect 2 (Wigan)
• Boys In Motion (Stockport)
• Flixton Girls School (Trafford)
• Commotions Youth Dance (Greater Manchester)
• Bury Youth Dance (Bury)
• Rivington & Blackrod High School (Bolton)
• STRIDE & LOTF (regional)
• Pendleton Dance Company (Salford)
• Company Class (Rochdale)
• Young Oldham Dance Company (Oldham)
Boy Blue Entertainment
Critically acclaimed Boy Blue Entertainment really arrived on the dance scene after winning an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre for their full-length hip hop dance theatre work, ‘Pied Piper’. Two years later, BBE became Associate Artists at the Barbican, London – Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue presenting a diverse range of art, music, theatre, dance, film; and in 2012 Kenrick Sandy, Artistic Director of Boy Blue Entertainment, was picked as a leading choreographer for the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Since then, Sandy has been a judge on Alesha Dixon’s ‘Streetdance Stars’ on BBC television and has been a regular choreographer on BBC’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.