A PRESTIGIOUS dance company which only accepts the ‘cream of the crop’ is set to put on three different shows in Taunton.

The Transitions Dance Company will serve up a triple bill at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre on May 3, showcasing the next generation of contemporary dance performers from Trinity Laban with twelve MA students performing three brand new pieces from choreographers Cristian Duarte, Oded Ronen and Charles Linehan.

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Since its beginnings in 1982 by original Martha Graham Dance Company member Bonnie Bird, this company has aimed to bridge the gap between training and a professional performance career for graduate dancers.

Transitions Dance Company aims to allow company members to gain practical experience of life in a touring dance company whilst simultaneously completing their MA Dance Performance. Past alumni of the company include distinguished artists such as Sir Matthew Bourne, Luca Silvestrini, and Emma Gladstone.

The current Artistic Director is David Waring.

He has performed and choreographed with a range of artists including Ricochet Dance Company, Motionhouse, Walker Dance, Adventures in Motion Pictures, The Featherstonehaughs and his group, fishpool (co-directed with Gaynor Coward).

Giving his thoughts about what dance means to him, David said: “Dance for me is about instinct and it is the best way I feel I can communicate.

“Communication is about many things such as thinking how to express an emotion or a feeling when there are no words.

"It is about an idea which has been put into place through a creative process by a choreographer.

“It is a way we can use our bodies to express a mood and a way of showing the idea which has been created and interacting with the audience in front of you.

"What a dancer is doing is expressing something which needs to be given reality. Music can help set the tone in putting across a concept.

"Dance can be like conceptual art as it asks you to think about what you are looking at and asks you something about what you are seeing.

“What does dance mean to me? That is the million dollar question. For me it shows my strengthens, my failings, it shows I am a human being and it means I am aware of other people when they are on stage. It also asks for a level of concentration.”

Every year 70 dancers apply to join the group and only 12 are selected- a one in six chances to join some of the best young dancers in the UK.

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David said: “I want the students to become better, to be better dancers by enjoying a professional experience.

The dancers we have are in an educational programme and being trained by a professional company.

“They work with choreographers with the highest production values and as such expect the dancers to reach a certain level.

“What we hope they achieve is the ability to refine their skills and realising where they are and how they can improve.

“What we give the students is plenty of feedback and tell them what they need to do and how we feel they should go about doing it.

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“We get 70 people applying every year but only 12 are selected so we already have the cream of the crop.

“Some do come in having been working as a professional dancer. When they do they set the bar higher and have to push themselves even more.

“We give these dancers the chance to work with a professional company while they are studying for their masters.

“We look after them and challenge them to develop as artists. They have a lot to do an it is intense. With the three pieces they are doing for the show they have had to learn them in 13 weeks.”

Speaking about these three dances, David said: “What we will be presenting is three different dances. Each one brings with it its own pressure and ask different things of each of the dances.

“The dances are technical, abstract and comedy.

“They will push the dancers and take them into areas they might not be comfortable if they do not have the skills.

“I hope the audience see a view of contemporary dance unlike anything else which is happening in Britain and in Europe.”

- Tickets for the Transitions Dance Company's Triple Bill at the Tacchi-Morris on May 3 cost £12 for adults, £10 conc and £8 student.

For further details and to buy tickets go onoine at tacchi-morris.com or call the box office 01823 414141