Tuesday 8 September 2015 by Clare Evans

NACA 2015 - Jamaal Burkmar and Matthew Bourne.
Photo: Danilo Moroni

New Adventures & Re:Bourne are delighted to announce that Jamaal Burkmar is the winner of the 2015/16 New Adventures Choreographer Award (NACA). Nearly 100 applied for the award, and Burkmar was shortlisted with six other emerging choreographers: Corey Baker, Tara D’Arquian, Alexandra Green, Eleesha Drennan, Andrew McNicol and Matt Nicholson.

Matthew Bourne said today: “After an insightful weekend of deliberation and debate Jamaal was a clear favourite of our judges from this year’s short-listed applicants. We were all impressed by Jamaal’s potential to be a leading choreographer. His exploration of movement through eclectic music choices coupled with his desire to share his personal journey through his choreography make him an exciting and deserving winner.”

Jamaal Burkmar said he can’t wait to get started developing new work and showcasing it to the industry, adding, “I’m thrilled and delighted to have won this year’s award and to be following in the footsteps of such brilliant previous winners.”

Burkmar was chosen after a weekend of interviews, debate and deliberation chaired by Bourne and his team of distinguished judges:

Scott Ambler (Associate Artist, New Adventures), Lez Brotherston (Designer and Associate Artist, New Adventures), Caroline Finn (Artistic Director, National Dance Company Wales), Christopher Hampson (Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet), Etta Murfitt (Associate Artist Director, New Adventures & Re:Bourne) and Sharon Watson (Artistic Director, Phoenix Dance Theatre). Edward Watson (Principal Dancer, Royal Ballet) and Nina Goldman (New York based teacher and performer) also contributed to the shortlisting process.

Jamaal will now receive 12 months of mentoring and support to develop new work to be presented by New Adventures, at his own showcase performance, at a London venue in the Autumn of 2016.

The award was originally established by colleagues and friends in celebration of Matthew Bourne’s 50th birthday in 2010. James Cousins won the inaugural award and Tom Jackson-Greaves was the runner-up. Cousins has gone on to establish an international choreographic career working with major dance companies around the world and touring his own work globally. Jackson-Greaves is in demand as a dance-theatre choreographer collaborating with a wide range of artists on projects in the UK and overseas. The 2013/14 award was awarded to three artists: John Ross, Sally Marie and Caroline Finn all of whom have established enviable careers as dance-makers. Finn was recently appointed Artistic Director of National Dance Company Wales.


Jamaal trained at the Northern School for Contemporary Dance and ACE Dance and Music in Birmingham. During his time as an undergraduate, Jamaal flourished as an artist and enjoyed great success particularly with his first piece of work, Ocean, which he made in his second year. Ocean was reworked on Verve, the postgraduate company of NSCD. This commission marked the first time an undergraduate had been given the opportunity to work with the company and led to Ocean touring across the UK and Europe alongside three other works by Lea Anderson, Ben Duke and Goddard/Nixon. Since graduating from NSCD Jamaal has created works on youth and graduate companies and has had opportunities to work with students at both NSCD and LCDS.

Photo: NACA 2015 – Jamaal Burkmar and Matthew Bourne, by Danilo Moroni

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