Leeds-based Jamaal Burkmar wins New Adventures Choreographer Award

21 Sep 2015

Leeds-based dance artist wins prestigious national choreography award

Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) and Yorkshire Dance are pleased to announce that NSCD graduate and Leeds-based dance artist, Jamaal Burkmar has been awarded the highly prestigious New Adventures Choreographer Award. This is the first time an emerging choreographer in Yorkshire has won the award.

Burkmar received the news last week after applying alongside nearly 100 other dance artists and was chosen after a weekend of deliberation chaired by Matthew Bourne, Artistic Director of international dance company New Adventures, and his team of distinguished judges.

Jamaal will now receive 12 months of mentoring and support to develop new work to be presented in London by New Adventures, in the Autumn of 2016.

Sharon Watson, Phoenix Artistic Director and a judge on the panel said today “Jamaal exemplifies the talent within our city and this is a great opportunity to celebrate Leeds as a destination for dance.”

Sharon will mentor Jamaal in the coming year. Through the biennial £40,000 award, Jamaal will have access to support on budgeting, publicity, contracting, fundraising and tour booking through the charitable arm of New Adventures, Re:Bourne, who support the award.

Jamaal is a graduate from NSCD in Chapeltown, and enjoyed great success with his first piece of work, Ocean, which he created as a second year student. Jamaal was commissioned to choreograph the piece for VERVE, the postgraduate performance company of NSCD, marking the first time an undergraduate had been given the opportunity to tour work internationally alongside professional choreographers and the company.
Janet Smith MBE, Principal of NSCD said today “Jamaal represents the diverse and confident creative talent emerging from our School that in collaboration with partners in the city, we can retain in Leeds’.

Paul Burns, Interim Artistic Director at Yorkshire Dance said of the news “The team at Yorkshire Dance were thrilled to hear Jamaal had won this prestigious award as he has a long-standing relationship with us. We first presented Ocean as part of our graduate showcase ‘Burst’ and since then Jamaal has been part of our dramaturgy project ‘Sketch’, a lead artist on ‘The Dance Leeds Made’ and has been supported by Yorkshire Dance to develop his most recent work, Sonder. We would like to congratulate Jamaal on this award, and look forward to continuing to work with him on what I am sure will be a long and successful choreographic career.”
Burkmar’s success coincides with a city-wide initiative to recognise Leeds as a City of Dance and Leeds’ bid to be the European Capital of Culture 2023.