Belfast Telegraph

Dance takes centre stage for BBC arts in 2019

The corporation aims to provide a greater platform for the art form.

Cheryl from the new BBC1 talent show, The Greatest Dancer (David Ellis/Syco/Thames/BBC)
Cheryl from the new BBC1 talent show, The Greatest Dancer (David Ellis/Syco/Thames/BBC)

Dance will be at the heart of the BBC arts programme in 2019, as the broadcaster seeks to showcase the depth of UK talent.

The corporation is aiming to turn its attention to the “powerful and transformative art form” in a series of planned programmes in the new year.

Flagship Saturday night shows, a dance festival and a platform for young UK dance talent are all at the centre of a new BBC arts schedule.

Jonty Claypole, BBC director of arts, said: “Dance truly is a powerful and transformative art form; whether with friends on a night out or through viewing extraordinary feats of art from the UK’s many professional dance companies.

“In the UK we are lucky to have one of the most thriving dance scenes in the world, and in 2019 we will open the doors to audiences everywhere via entertainment, specialist arts and digital programmes. We want to bring the nation together around a love of dance and showcase the extraordinary artistry in the UK.”

On screen, The Greatest Dancer will provide a Saturday night platform for British dance talent to show what they can do in front of a national audience, with the new talent competition due to launch in early 2019.

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Jordan Banjo and Alesha Dixon from the new BBC1 talent show, The Greatest Dancer (Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames/BBC)

Presented by Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo, dancers will be guided into pleasing the voting public by  captains Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison. The show will also have its own podcast on BBC sounds.

In April the new Dance Passion festival will host more than 50 troupes from across the country, to showcase the range of British dancing talent.

BBC Young Dancer returns for its third series next year, with hopefuls guided by luminaries of the UK dance scene. BBC Radio Three will see the return of Katie Derham’s Sound Of Dance in 2019.

Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content, said: “Dance is a natural partner for television – it’s both visually exciting and powerfully dramatic – and this year, with another popular series of Strictly Come Dancing, we’ve seen the way in which it catapults the nation together in moments of great joy.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to offer these new programmes across BBC television, delivering life-changing experiences to dancers both young and old.”

PA

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