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Young Associates

An image of each of the current Young Associates, side by side in black and white.

Olive Hardy

London born and Bristol raised, Olive Hardy started dancing for Rise Youth Dance and performed with the company for most of her youth, under the direction of Helen Wilson. Her training began at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and she graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2019. She has worked and performed with choreographers and artists such as Samir Kennedy, Leila McMillan, Will Pegna, Seke Chimutengwende and Wilkie Branson. Her approach focuses on a collective agency between the meetings of the people she works with. Through improvisation they find a movement language innate to the individuals performing the work. They form together and gain clarity together, allowing for an exchange of generous ideas. There is a sensitive balance of authorship and chance in order for her work to grow evidently.

Vidya Patel

Vidya Patel is a Birmingham based Dance Artist with training background in Kathak learning from Guru Sujata Banerjee. After graduating from the South Asian Strand at Centre of Advanced Training Dance programme, Vidya represented the South Asian Category in the Grand Finals of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015 at Sadler’s Wells. She has since performed in international touring works created by critically acclaimed artists Sir Richard Alston, Gary Clarke, Thick & Tight and Akademi, as well as collaborating with artists including Shammi Pithia and Connor Scott, with commissions by Sampad Arts. She is currently an Associate Artist at Derby Derby and a member of Aakash Odedra 2.. Whilst continuing her Indian classical dance training she hopes to continue to collaborate with the wider dance industry and continue to develop her own choreographic and individual practice.

John-William Watson

Born in Leeds, John-William Watson began his training at Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Youth Academy and CAPA College. During this time he was also a member of the National Youth Dance Company for two years; under the artistic direction of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Michael Keegan-Dolan. He then moved Belgium to study at The Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, where he was the Wild Card contemporary finalist in the BBC Young Dancer 2017 competition. Since graduating in 2019, John-William has been working as a freelance dancer and maker in Belgium. Now, back in the UK, he is following his own creative path within the world of absurd and often comedic dance theatre.

Magnus Westwell

Scottish-born interdisciplinary artist, Magnus Westwell, is a graduate from The Dance School of Scotland and Rambert School. They are interested in placing contemporary performance art in a variety of different settings. Their work has been shown at electronic music festivals, theatres, galleries, clubs, churches and on BBC4.  Magnus is currently the resident choreographer with multi-media collective, ‘SYNTREX’, working at the intersection between music, movement, and visual art. They also create and mix their own music, drawing inspiration from their background in traditional Scottish fiddle, and their interest in left-field electronic music.