John Kendall is performing in Plan B for Utopia with Joan Clevillé Dance on Saturday 19 November. He is a dancer close to our hearts as he’s a local lad and can often be found in our studios. We caught up with him ahead of his performance to ask him a few questions…

Tell us a bit about your connection to the north east?
I was born and grew up in Newcastle so the north east is my home. I feel very lucky to have been able to stay and dance here. Newcastle is such a beautiful warm city that offers so much. Brilliant architecture, fantastic coastline right on its doorstep but most importantly it’s the people that make the city so great; warm generous passionate people with big big hearts!

How did you become involved with Joan Clevillé Dance?
I first met Joan (Clevillé), and Solene (Wenachter), when I was training in Scotland. I was dancing at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and they were both dancers with Scottish Dance Theatre. Joan first watched me dance with EDge and then with BalletLORENT after I had graduated. We kept in touch over the years and I guess when the opportunity and time came to make Plan B for Utopia he needed a male dancer and luckily for me my name came to mind

Dance city is also an education centre, what advice could you give to young aspiring dancers?
For me personally I think the most important things are to show willing, work extremely hard and then to be yourself. It’s vital that you somehow work out what you want from a career in dance and what kind of dancer you’d like to become instead of chasing the idea a dancer. That really helped me during my training anyway. Being generous in the studio and not worrying about failure or making yourself look silly also helps. As soon as you lose that self awareness or doubt it opens up a lot more options

Given the current climate, what would your Plan B For Utopia be?
Performing Plan B for Utopia feels very appropriate at the moment as we try and get our head around the direction in which the world is going. For me it also reassures that urge to keep going, make or be involved in art! My personal Utopia and what makes me happy is a fairly simple one. Being surrounded by people that I care deeply about. (Along with growing old in a small cottage in the Lake District).

Book your tickets for Plan B for Utopia here.