The Platform has enjoyed strong loyalty from a number of local dance companies. The Hampshire Youth Dance Company and Loose Moose Theatre Arts once again joined Churcher’s College, Liss Forest School of Ballet, Petersfield Academy of Dance and the home companies from Dunhurst and Bedales. An innovation this year was the inclusion of a piece performed by students from the University of Bath, choreographed by recent Bedales student Charlie Raines.
The programme comprised sixteen separate pieces. Ranging from solo pieces to companies twenty-strong, and exhibiting a wide variety of styles, mood and content, this was a highly varied and fast moving show, given two performances in quick succession.
The young dancers relished the opportunity to see other companies, being able to watch the half of the show in which they did not feature from reserved balcony seats. Bella Watts from Bedales said that it really helped “to put our work into context”. Carrie Syckelmoore, Projects Office for Hampshire Dance, wrote to say that it had been a “fantastic platform”, that HYDC had enjoyed a “great day” and that it “was lovely to see such a variety of styles in the performance”
The dancers received well-deserved applause from two excellent houses but perhaps a special mention should go to the technical crew. An intense schedule of technical rehearsals took place on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with one opportunity to get it right with each group. There was a real buzz from the knowledge that the next appearance on stage would be in front of an audience. The technical crew comprised Bedales students, supervised by Joanne Greenwood of the theatre staff. Sound and lighting was operated by 6.1 students George Veys and Toby Matimong, while stage management was undertaken by Block 4 students Juliette Perry and Natasha Blackley. They experienced a very demanding weekend but there was little sign of the pressure of the event in two very smooth-running shows.
Bedales staff who manage and host the event commented that one of the nicest features of the day was to overhear dancers recounting happily memories of their previous appearances in the Youth Dance Platform.
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Bedales School is one of the UK's top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students' views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.