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2023/24 Young Associates

Young Associates 2023/2024


BLUE MAKWANA is a London based choreographer and performer whose work ranges from focusing on a specific stimulus, to being abstract, with a movement for the appreciation of movement expression and tone. Having trained in Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Jazz, Commercial and Musical Theatre, BLUE aims to utilise her versatile skill set and incorporate elements of fusion in her work.

Often using the skull and hair as a focal point in her personal work, BLUE aims to show appreciation and acknowledgement of a range in coiffure choices and experiences, some which may otherwise not be so quickly praised in the media. BLUE’s choreographic goal is to highlight her dancers, exhibit their strength, display exertion and make work that is entertaining and continuously evolving

Elisabeth Mulenga

Elisabeth Mulenga is a dance artist based in London. Elisabeth was born in Birmingham and is of German and Zambian heritage. Elisabeth’s choreography comes from a practice of sensitivity and awareness, aiming to notice and give justice to the extremities and fullness of lived emotional experiences. Her work can be unflinching and disturbing as well as tender and intimate.

Elisabeth finds a lot of inspiration in writers and film directors who notice and articulate such specific details and nuances in the human psyche. Her choreographic choices are also influenced by her spirituality and cultural identities.

Elisabeth began experimenting with screen dance during the pandemic, creating and performing in films, before starting to explore choreography for live performances. Elisabeth was part of NYDC’s eighth cohort, before training at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Elisabeth has performed in works by Thick & Tight, Jessica Nupen, Magnus Westwell, Kennedy Junior Muntanga, Ivan Michael Blackstock, Gianna Gi and Russell Maliphant. In April 2022, Elisabeth competed in the Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer 2022, winning the Choreographic Innovation Award for her solo ‘Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?’.

Maiya Leeke

Maiya Leeke is a London based choreographer, performer, and teacher whose work reflects her background as a jazz saxophonist and through being a contemporary dancer.

She was a finalist in BBC Young Dancer 2022, is an alumnus of National Youth Dance Company working with Alesandra Seutin and has an MA from Northern School of Contemporary Dance where she danced with Candoco Dance Company. Her artistic practice continues to be influenced by her research with Hawk Dance Theatre, Mimbre, and Alleyne Dance.

Her choreographic practice is rooted in exploring the physical language of hope and freedom of her voice, uniquely questioning how a voice is more than spoken words.

Roseann & Sula

Roseann & Sula are choreographers based in London. Both originally from Scotland’s central belt, they come together to create work that lives in a leaded yet tender landscape. They are founding members of Tough Boys Dance Collective, and have presented work across black box theatres, night clubs, and site-specific spaces.

Roseann Dendy is an artist from the outskirts of Glasgow. They are working in contemporary and hip hop to find a vocabulary that feels visceral and honest to their body. They make work motivated by their upbringing, looking at their working class experience and their relationship with gender coding and toxic masculinity.

Sula Castle is a movement artist from Edinburgh. Working across contemporary dance and visual art, their work aims to obscure traditional form and platform bold aesthetics to challenge high-art expectations. Understanding notions of ‘community’ – both in relation to the social structures we are born into and the ones once we choose to inhabit – are crucial to the way that Sula engages with the art world.

Pulling from phenomenological research, Roseann & Sula’s work is fundamentally about the human experience and its intersections with gender politics, Scottish identity, religion, and class.

Header image © Jack Thomson