Ahead of tomorrow’s performances of Madhead by National Youth Dance Company, we spoke to Guest Artistic Director, Award Winning Choreographer Botis Seva of Far From the Norm to find out a bit more about his relationship with dance and his experience working with the company…
How did you begin dancing?
I started dancing at the age of 15. At secondary school, I was lucky enough to have an active dance department and we regularly had guest choreographers teaching, such as Tony Adigun from Avant Garde Dance. This inspired me to enter the annual school talent shows and from here, I presented small works through a variety of community dance platforms.
My reason for starting to dance was music. Before I was dancing, I was rapping in my local youth club and I was immersed in grime music. The school was tough and with the restrictions and conflict from many of my secondary school teachers, music gave me freedom but dance gave me the opportunity to unleash my frustrations.
What does working with NYDC mean to you?
National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) is a big responsibility, for me, it’s not about making the show. First and foremost, it is about connecting with young aspiring artists, giving back to young people. Many of them may have had positive experience and support whilst training, whereas some won’t, and it’s my job to offer them guidance and professional insight into my practice. Ultimately, I want to inspire them to be humble and soulful performers and practitioners. It will be down to them to spread positivity through their craft.
What is your piece for NYDC, MADHEAD, about?
MADHEAD is a feeling, a state of mind and an analogy of how some young people feel about the structure of the education system. Inspired by the dancers stories, it deals with thoughts and pressures that enter a young mind. MADHEAD is multi layered work and has various subliminal messages, some are hidden in the cracks and some you can see right in front of you. Ultimately, it is about empowering adults to listen to the youth; the future.
You are also Artistic Director of the hip hop theatre collective Far From The Norm. What would your advice be to other aspiring dancers out there?
To all dancers out there, I would say fear is something that gets in the way of creativity. You don’t need to always be the best – you have nothing to prove to anyone. Take your time, there is no need to rush. Spend less time on social media and be humble with your talent and respect the people around you. Spread peace through your creativity.
National Youth Dance Company will be performing Madhead at Dance City tomorrow 29 June at 2pm and 7.30pm. The evening performance will include a post show discussion of the work with Botis Seva himself. Find out more and book your tickets here.