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Owen Lane, 2023

Owen Lane

Company Director & Founder

Owen Lane began training aged 7 at the Rosemary Lane School of Ballet. During this time he completed multiple RAD and ISTD examinations and furthered his training in ballet at the Royal Ballet School Junior Associate Program in London. Using this training he was able aged 11 to gain a full scholarship to the Vocational ballet school in association with the Birmingham Royal Ballet School. He furthered his studies in Classical Ballet and various other styles over 8 years at the school. 


In the early stages of his career, he performed on multiple occasions with the Birmingham Royal Ballet in productions including Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast and Two Pigeons before embarking on an international career. His first international contract came in 2014 when he joined the Croatian National Ballet. In his first season with the company, he performed roles including Prince (The Nutcracker), Don Jose (Carmen), Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Young Prince (Scherezade) and Puck (Midsummer Nights Dream). After this time Owen was invited as a guest artist of the Slovenian National Ballet in Ljubljana for the creation of a new ballet “Doctor Zhivago” with renowned Czech choreographers Jiri and Otto Bubenicek, he was then offered the chance to join the company on a full-time basis. Over the next years, he performed in multiple productions of the Slovenian repertoire including Prince/Policeman (The Nutcracker), Benvolio (Romeo and Juliet), Benno (Swan Lake), and Orpheus (Orpheus). During his time with the Slovenian National Theatre Owen managed to attain Principal Dancer Status and toured to multiple places including theatres in Asia, South America & Europe.


 Following this Owen decided that he would take the knowledge gathered during his professional career and give it back to the local community of his youth. He turned down multiple offers to continue his performance career and decided instead to launch Milton Keynes Dance Theatre. 


Owen has since gained a strong reputation for working with and developing young dancers into the best versions of themselves both on and off stage. He now holds multiple years of teaching experience both locally and internationally and dancers of the company have gone on to achieve and further their ambitions as professional dancers at vocational schools across the country. 


Owen has also built up a strong choreographic repertoire during this time including: ‘Savage Beauty (Stantonbury Theatre, 2019), ’Romeo & Juliet’ (The Venue, 2020), ‘The Quality of Mercy’ (Slovenian National Ballet, 2020), ‘Pandora’ (The Venue, 2021), 'Electric Pow Wow’ (Junction, Northampton), ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (The Venue, 2022), 'Romeo & Juliet' (The Venue, 2023) and now ‘The Fields of Cupid’ (The Venue, 2023)


With many more creations already planned for the coming years, Owen is excited to see the development of the company and its productions in the future.

Jess Yeo, 2023

Jess Yeo

Head of Artistic Development & Founder

Jess is incredibly proud to have been part of MKDT since its creation: she has worked as Assistant Choreographer for Romeo & Juliet (2020, 2023), as Guest Artist for Pandora (2021), Co choreographer for Peter Pan (2021), Assistant Choreographer for Sleeping Beauty (2022) and Assistant Choreographer and Dancer for The Fields of Cupid (2023). On top of this, Jess loves to share her passion through teaching Contemporary techniques and creative workshops within the Company, as well as in schools around Milton Keynes and as a teaching assistant for Rambert and The Place’s Centre for Advanced Training. Jess has experience sharing dance with ages 2-90, most recently as performer and rehearsal assistant for Sophie Nuzel’s ‘The Little Watersprite’ (The Place, 2022). Jess is currently studying a BA(Hons) in Contemporary Dance at London Contemporary Dance School in which she practises a range of styles including Floorwork, Popping, Cunningham and Ballet. This follows her 8 years of training at London Contemporary Dance School's Centre for Advanced Training. During this time, she performed pieces created by companies including Richard Alston, Extended Play and Tavaziva who have all inspired her love for choreography. Underpinning this is Jess' love for neoclassical and ballet, facilitated by her classical ballet technique; she has completed all RAD exams, including Advanced 2, with Distinction.


Alongside her studies, Jess was a member of the first cohort of Avant Garde's apprentice company AG2/ Company G.O.T.F. Here, she explored fusing hip-hop, contemporary and musicality in a company environment as well as performing pieces for screen and around London and the UK. Jess is also a trained teacher for Avant Garde Dance Company. Jess is excited to help shape the future of MKDT in her role as Head of Artistic Development and continue to bring everything she learns to the Company.

Olivia Beckett, 2023

Olivia Beckett

Head of Visual Development & Founder

For the past three and a half years Liv has been part of the MKDT team, working alongside her Co-Founders to create not only the aesthetic for each performance but to build the community itself. She has predominantly trained in classical ballet but has explored many dance styles throughout her training. Most recently, she achieved her Advanced 2 Ballet with the Rosemary Lane School, gaining her ARAD title. She is very grateful to the school for taking her from pre-school all the way to graduation. Alongside her exams, she has performed regularly in the local area in productions including ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Pandora’ & ‘Sleeping Beauty’, all in soloist roles. Through these productions, she has curated a love for performance and storytelling, which she hopes to pass down to the company. In addition to performance, Olivia has found a passion for Theatre and Design, obtaining an A grade in her A Level studies and exploring this passion through MKDT productions. From learning the ropes in the company’s premier production, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, to designing and creating her own garments for ‘Pandora’, her inspiration only grows with each new project.


In recent years, Olivia has had the opportunity to pass down her love for dance through teaching students from PreSchool to Grade 3 Level and has now completed her RAD’s Certificate for Ballet Teaching Studies. In the meantime, she continues to create for the company through choreography, costumes and set and is a proud member of the MKDT team.

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