Shawbrook Youth Company

HOME, takes you on a journey into a very divided world.... On one side a fragile, lonely, existence. Detached. An endless road to nowhere. On the other... Shelter, warmth, comfort, watching TV from the your sofa enveloped by plumped up cushions....
A physical theatre piece incorporating movement, dance, singing, live-music, and design HOME is a new, devised work created by a cast of twenty one, together with SYC Director Anica Louw. The performers age in range from 10 to 18 years old and have collaborated across all art-forms over eight weeks for this project. Shawbrook Youth Company is led by Anica Louw. For the HOME project she was assisted by Maryann Lynch, Libby Kyle and Kate Breslin. Design and set-build is by Berlin based artist / designer Kelly Elizabeth Tivnan and Clodagh McCann on sound. Project coordinator Michelle Cahill.  


Company History

Shawbrook Youth Dance Company was set up in 2002 by Artistic Director Anica Louw, with the support from The Arts Council of Ireland. Her vision was to create a professional working environment for young dancers and give them experience in performance, choreography and dance technique across a wide range of genres. Over the years she has invited choreographers and practitioners from Ireland and abroad to work with the company including Liz Roche, Chantal McCormick (Fidget Feet), Catherine Young and Ella Clarke among others. They have made numerous trips, and have attended "Move it" in London for 3 years, saw performances at The Royal Opera House, Peacock Theatre, and Sadlers Wells Theatre. In 2015, as the company grew and expanded, incorporating 3 strands: Shawbrook Youth Dance Touring (SYDT), the elite, senior company; the Shawbrook Youth Dance, for children over 13 years of age, and the Junior Shawbrook Company, for dancers aged 12 and under. SYD have performed in theatres, street-theatre, Glastonbury Festival, Burning Man, Nevada and Electric Picnic, International Youth Arts Festival, Prague, and site-specific work including the Forest Safari at Shawbrook which attracted audiences of up to 300 people in May 2016. In 2017, the company expanded to collaborate with young creatives from across the creative arts, including music, film, spoken-word, theatre, visual arts and dance. 

SYD Company Highlights

2016 Forest Safari, part of the Shawbrook Forest Festival in May. SYD worked with dancer in residence Anamari (Viivi) Keskinen and her company of professional dancers on an original site-specific work in the forest. Shawbrook Youth Dance Company devised and performed in both Sunrise & Sunset Safari - an outdoor performance trail through the forest. 

2015 SYDT travelled to Austria to perform, compete, and partake in masterclasses and workshops as part of the Austrian Dance Cup. This tour is part of European Dance Tours.

2014 SYDT went to Birmingham, and Leeds Summer schools and performed in Monica Loughman's Nutcracker. SYD performed for the opening of the GeoPark, Cavan, Hallow'een Festival, Nenagh Co. Tipperary, BrookDance '14. 

2013 SYDT represent Ireland at the International Youth Arts Festival Pargue

2012 SYDT represent Ireland at the International Youth Arts Festival in Aberdeen