Lîla’s youth dance company, The Mayakaras ( ‘Makers of Magic’ ) was established in 2006 in partnership with Instep Dance Company.

The Mayakaras are a mixed age (14-20) group of gifted and talented performers, in which the youngest dancers of today become the mentors of tomorrow.

We work with the Mayakaras on annual projects where Carrie, Abi, and Dougie, work with the young people in dance and music over intensive creative periods. During these projects the company are treated as young professionals and are challenged with methods and techniques from Lîla’s repertoire often resulting in mid-length works (30 mins). The Mayakaras also take the form of a research group in the development of our professional works enabling us to experiment with ideas on young and open minds.

The Mayakaras have an impressive Alumni. Many of the dancers have gone on to dance in higher education in universities and conservatoires. Several members now work in the dance sector and perform professionally for national and international companies. We are also very proud that two of  the Mayakara members, Joe Darby and Kai Downham, have danced for Lîla in our touring productions.

Our work with the Mayakaras has gained national interest and recognition from UK scholars and research bodies resulting in seminars and publications that seek to challenge current practices in teaching and learning through creative thinking. Publications include:

The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age, as part of a new series at New York University Press by Julian Sefton- Green

Close Encounters: Dance Partners for Creativity (edited by Kerry Chappell, Linda Rolfe, Anna Craft, Veronica Jobbins). Specifically chapter titled “Embracing collaborative choreography on the path to creative engagement” by Abi Mortimer.

The Mayakaras has been funded by bodies from the education sector (National School of Creativity) and is now largely funded through Arts Council England.

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