Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Image: Brian Slater
Since 2012, the Conservatoire has held an annual Student Conference, an opportunity for representatives from the eight schools to come together and explore issues relevant to their training. Supported by staff at the host school and the central services team, students are invited to contribute to the planning for the day.
The inaugural conference in 2012 was hosted by London Contemporary Dance School. The student organisers chose the theme ‘Collaboration’ in order to explore and foster closer links between the schools and between specialisms. The programme included communications and movement workshops, an invited panel of industry specialists, and small discussion groups on themes chosen by the participants.
The 2014 conference was hosted by LAMDA and took the theme of ‘Making and Creating Work: Taking Control of Your Career’. A panel of past students were invited to speak about their experience of creating work, setting up a company, or managing portfolio careers. Panelists included Jonathan Sayer and Henry Lewis of the award-winning Mischief Theatre, designer and scenographer Alison Neighbour, Arron Sparks of Circus Geeks, and Jenni Wren of Slanjayvah Danza.
The 2015 conference, ‘The CDD Jigsaw’, was hosted by RADA, and aimed to reflect the many facets of the Conservatoire and its schools and how they all fit together. The day was a lively combination of physical workshops, provocations, interrogations and debate, with time for considering mindfulness, panel questions and answers with recent graduates all in work, consideration of student engagement and cross school working.
The most recent conference, ‘Artproofing’, was hosted by London Contemporary Dance School, and explored the theme of empowerment. The programme included a spoken word workshop and panel Q&A, with the afternoon – working towards a manifesto – encouraging discussion and debate about the role and future of the CDD student body.