Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 16.39.21ASPIRING dance students from Middlesbrough this week have a unique opportunity to work with one of the UK’s leading dance companies.

The young dancers from Macmillan Academy will enjoy an intensive dance residency with Gayatri Ganapathy and Rhiannon Davison from the Leeds-based, Balbir Singh Dance Company (BSDC).

The dance masterclass on Thursday (June 4) is being delivered by DanceMiddlesbrough in association with the Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance.

During the company’s creative residency, the 11-strong group will learn new dance forms combining elements of Kathak dance, a form of Indian classical dance, fused with contemporary dance styles.

They will also experience specialist dance techniques, performance skills and create a community performance piece.

The Macmillan dancers’ piece will receive its premier at the 25th Middlesbrough Mela on Saturday, June 6 on the Mela Main Stage in Centre Square.

Gayatri Ganapathy will also share a solo dance piece on this day, ahead of the company’s stunning Dhe Ki Ta triple bill to be performed at Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt on Wednesday, August 12, as part of the Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance.

As well as working closely with Macmillan Academy, BSDC will also be delivering workshops with other schools and groups across Tees Valley including Bellamy School of Ballet, Corpus Christi Primary School, Abingdon Primary School, Overfields Primary School and Chandlers Ridge Academy.

The dance residencies and workshops have been organised by DanceMiddlesbrough, a programme developed by Middlesbrough Council Cultural Services to deliver a series of professional and community dance performances and events.

Middlesbrough Council Arts, Events & Festivals Development Officer Phil Douglas said: “We are exceptionally pleased to be working alongside the Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance to bring such a unique opportunity to all of the young people involved in the dance residency.

“We’re also delighted that young people from Macmillan Academy will be performing as part of our 25th Middlesbrough Mela.”