London Contemporary Dance School

Image: Camilla Greenwell

News

17th July 2019

LCDS | NSCD | Rambert School | Dance | Alumni | Performances and Exhibitions

Together, not the same – Sadler’s Wells Young Associates present new work

In February 2018 Sadler’s Wells launched the Young Associates programme, a new initiative supporting talented 18 to 24-year-olds for two years, providing a crucial first step into their career as choreographers. The artists receive a tailored programme of professional development and support, including the opportunity to present their work as part of the Sadler’s Wells […]

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In February 2018 Sadler’s Wells launched the Young Associates programme, a new initiative supporting talented 18 to 24-year-olds for two years, providing a crucial first step into their career as choreographers. The artists receive a tailored programme of professional development and support, including the opportunity to present their work as part of the Sadler’s Wells artistic programme. Three of the four Young Associates are graduates of Conservatoire schools: Anthony Matsena (LCDS), Ruby Portus (LCDS & NSCD) and Christopher Thomas (Rambert School).

Tonight, under the artistic guidance of New Wave Associate Hetain Patel, the Young Associates return to the Sadler’s Wells stage with a bigger and bolder programme: Together, not the same. Anthony Matsena, Wilhelmina Ojanen, Ruby Portus and Christopher Thomas create an ambitious evening of dance, disrupting the traditional mixed bill dance format. At the heart of the production is a team of young creatives, from a range of art forms, adding their talents to a new artistic generation.

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16th July 2019

BOVTS | Stage Management & Technical Theatre | Alumni | Awards

BOVTS Theatre Design graduates compete for the Linbury Prize

We are delighted to announce that five Bristol Old Vic Theatre School MA Theatre Design graduates have been selected to participate in The Linbury Prize for Stage Design. The prestigious prize, awarded every other year by The Linbury Trust, recognises excellence in performance design amongst recent graduates. The prize offers twelve finalists of design degree […]

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We are delighted to announce that five Bristol Old Vic Theatre School MA Theatre Design graduates have been selected to participate in The Linbury Prize for Stage Design.

The prestigious prize, awarded every other year by The Linbury Trust, recognises excellence in performance design amongst recent graduates. The prize offers twelve finalists of design degree programmes the chance to work with some of the UK’s leading theatre, opera and dance companies.

Competing for the 2019 prize are alumni from the graduating MA Theatre Design classes of 2018 and 2019, including Caitlin Abbott (MA, 2018), Alana Ashley (MA, 2019), Robin Davis (MA, 2019), Emily Leonard (MA, 2018) and Stavri Papa (MA, 2018).

Angela Davies, Head of Theatre Design at the School said today: “I am thrilled that our graduates have been successful in the first round of the Linbury Prize. It is testament to their hard work, determination to succeed and above all else their individual talents. I am incredibly proud of all their achievements.”

As a former winner of the prize, Angela knows only too well the standard of the entries, explaining: “The Linbury Prize is open to graduates from all theatre and performance design courses. As the only graduate prize of its kind in the UK, there is an extremely high level of competition and the judges will see exceptional design skills across the board.”

In the next stages, finalists will present their portfolios to the prize judges and then representatives from commissioning production companies, which this year include Birmingham Royal Ballet, Leeds Playhouse, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Octagon Theatre, Bolton.

From these rounds, twelve finalists will be selected to work on costume and set designs between August and November 2019, culminating in a design exhibition at the National Theatre. Four winners will be chosen who will receive a commission to realise a production, launching their professional career.

Jenny Stephens, Artistic Director at the School, added “All our graduates are extremely deserving and to have five of them in the competition is not only an indication of their individual skills and talent, but also of the outstanding training they have received under Angela’s guidance.

“We wish all of them the very best of luck and look forward to following their progress in the next stages of the competition”.

For further information about the completion, please see the Linbury Prize website.

Alana Ashley’s 1:25 scale model set design for Let the Right One In

 

Robin Davis’ 1:50 scale model opera project design for Dido and Aeneas

 

Main image: Robin Davis’ 1:25 scale model set design for The Dissociation of Shirley Mason.

Photography by Craig Fuller.

 

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15th July 2019

NSCD | Dance | Alumni | Awards

NSCD awards 2019 Honorary Fellowships

NSCD has announced its 2019 Honorary Fellows, this year both of whom are alumni of the school: renowned choreographer Akram Khan MBE and ACE Dance and Music founder Gail Parmel. The awards were conferred as part of the School’s graduation ceremony on Saturday 6 July. The highest honour the School is able to bestow, the […]

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NSCD has announced its 2019 Honorary Fellows, this year both of whom are alumni of the school: renowned choreographer Akram Khan MBE and ACE Dance and Music founder Gail Parmel.

The awards were conferred as part of the School’s graduation ceremony on Saturday 6 July.

The highest honour the School is able to bestow, the fellowships are awarded each year to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the School, contemporary dance and the wider cultural ecology. Since 2017 Honorary Fellowships have gone to alumna Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, Miranda Tufnell, author of Body, Space, Image: Notes Towards Improvisation, Wayne McGregor, and alumnus Gary Clarke. See the full list here.

Upon presenting the awards, NSCD Principal Janet Smith said:

“We are proud of the enormous achievement of our new Honorary Fellows, and also that they are our alumni. Each in their unique way, whether drawing from traditional Indian Kathak dance or traditionally rooted African and Caribbean Contemporary dance, has made an outstanding contribution to expanding our understanding of what contemporary dance is and can be in the 21st century and the voices and stories we can hear.”

After leaving NSCD in 1998, Akram Khan created Akram Khan Company, known for provocative and ambitious productions and now regarded as one of the world’s leading innovative dance companies. As well as a range of outreach and collaborative work, the company enjoys tours that reach out to numerous cultures and people across the globe. Akram has received various accolades including two Olivier Awards – Best New Dance Production for DESH in 2012 and Outstanding Achievement in Dance for XENOS in 2019 – and was invited to choreograph a section of the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Akram Khan, working overseas at the time of the ceremony, sent the following message:

“I feel honoured and grateful to accept this award. The Northern School of Contemporary Dance means a great deal to me. My time at the School shaped the way I create work, the way I conduct myself with others, and the way I practice. My time at NSCD truly created the foundation on which I now stand – and occasionally still dance.”

 

Gail Parmel is the co-founder of ACE Dance and Music, one of the UK’s most eclectic and resilient dance companies. She grew up in Chapeltown and graduated from NSCD in 1996, then danced with Kokuma Dance Company before co-founding ACE with her husband, musician Ian Parmel. The company remains firmly rooted in its home city of Birmingham, but is globally recognised as a leader in Contemporary African and Caribbean dance. ACE’s reputation has thrived thanks to a wide range of productions, classes, carnival presentations, and outreach programmes. Gail’s choreography career spans two decades, and she has created 10 successful touring productions to date.

Upon receiving the award, Gail Parmel said:

“I am so proud and humbled to be awarded this Honorary Fellowship. To be given the highest award that this school can bestow is something that I could only have dreamed of when I started my training here, back in 1987. Gaining a place at NSCD fundamentally changed the course of my life. I owe so much to the inspirational teachers who have contributed to me being here tonight, who identified and nurtured my talent and gave me the confidence to believe that a career in dance was not only possible, but achievable. As one of the first cohorts of students here, I still feel extremely connected to this school. It will always be a very special place for me.”

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12th July 2019

LCDS | Circus Arts | Dance | Performances and Exhibitions

Resolution Applications are OPEN!

Resolution is The Place’s annual festival of new choreography and performance works by emerging artists. Resolution exists to support and celebrate work by UK emerging artists. Every year The Place, home to London Contemporary Dance School, welcomes over 70 UK based artists to create original work for one of the most exciting and established London […]

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Resolution is The Place’s annual festival of new choreography and performance works by emerging artists. Resolution exists to support and celebrate work by UK emerging artists. Every year The Place, home to London Contemporary Dance School, welcomes over 70 UK based artists to create original work for one of the most exciting and established London performance festivals.

Artists learn from industry professionals through supportive and practical workshops and present their work at The Place theatre to an audience of up to 288, including industry critics. The Place invites choreographers and companies to propose exciting ideas for new work that they really believe in.

Resolution 2020 festival will take place from Thursday 9 January – Saturday 22 February 2020. Applications will be open until 5 September.

For more information, visit The Place website and take a look at the video below:

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8th July 2019

CDD | Students

Conservatoire students report high satisfaction levels in 2019 National Student Survey

The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) have been announced by the Office for Students. The Conservatoire continues to perform strongly in the survey, this year achieving 91% in overall satisfaction, well above the sector average (84%) and its institutional benchmark (80%). In several areas it performed significantly above benchmark, including 92% satisfaction in learning […]

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The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) have been announced by the Office for Students. The Conservatoire continues to perform strongly in the survey, this year achieving 91% in overall satisfaction, well above the sector average (84%) and its institutional benchmark (80%). In several areas it performed significantly above benchmark, including 92% satisfaction in learning community (benchmark: 78%, sector: 76%). In the Times Higher Education analysis of larger higher education providers, the Conservatoire is ranked third in overall satisfaction.

The quality of teaching is highly rated by Conservatoire students, with 91% satisfied in this year’s survey – exceeding the sector average by 7%. The Conservatoire holds a Gold Award in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), awarded in 2017.

David Ruebain, Chief Executive Officer of the Conservatoire, said: “We are delighted with the Conservatoire’s performance in this year’s NSS results. The high levels of satisfaction are an endorsement of the passion and dedication of our staff to delivering a world-leading student experience. We wish every success to our 2019 graduates at the start of their professional journeys.”

Dulcie Fraser, BA Graduating student, London Contemporary Dance School, said:  “The undergraduate years at LCDS have been the best of my life. With an openness I hadn’t experienced before, LCDS welcomes a diverse range of people and supports them to become well rounded artists.”

The NSS offers an annual opportunity to review the student experience in conjunction with other feedback and student engagement activities. The Conservatoire will use the survey to identify areas for further improvement and enhancement, and is committed to maintaining its world-leading standards of teaching in dance, drama, circus arts and production arts.

*Note: The Conservatoire publishes its National Student Survey results at institutional level. It does not publish the results of the individual schools, as these are considered additional data which cannot be released by the institution. Course-level NSS results will be publicly available on Unistats later in the year. 

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4th July 2019

BOVTS | Drama | Performances and Exhibitions | Students

BOVTS Graduating Actors take their own shows to London

We’re delighted that eight Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduating acting students have had a piece commissioned for the graduates season at The Actors Centre. This exciting season will run from July to September 2019 and is made up of 15 productions over 40 performance dates. The John Thaw Initiative offers a platform for artists […]

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We’re delighted that eight Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduating acting students have had a piece commissioned for the graduates season at The Actors Centre.

This exciting season will run from July to September 2019 and is made up of 15 productions over 40 performance dates.

The John Thaw Initiative offers a platform for artists to take creative risks and achieve vital feedback with work still in development without any financial pressure. Previous seasons have included the Mental Health Season, where each show explored an area of mental health, and was followed by a discussion and Q&A with invited guests;  the Blacktress UK season, offering opportunities exclusively for women of the African diasopra, and curated in association with the fabulous Blacktress UK; and the Queer season, curated by Otherland, exclusively for artists who identify as LGBTQIA+.

The Graduate Season offers performance opportunities for actors graduating from drama school who are creating their own work. In many cases, this will offer them their first professional credit. All participants were entrants in the Alan Bates Award, and the Alan Bates Award winner, Moronkẹ Akinola, is amongst the artists presenting work this season.

Huge congratulations to Moronkẹ Akinola, Finnbar Hayman, Emer Heatley, Sam Henderson, Eva O’Hara, Charlie Layburn, Jonathan Oldfield and Freddy Sawyer.

Find out more about the shows and get your tickets (which range from £5-7) on the Actors Centre website.

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1st July 2019

BOVTS | Drama | Stage Management & Technical Theatre | Performances and Exhibitions | Students

5* reviews for BOVTS production of The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has received 5* reviews for the School’s two part production of The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby, which was presented at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre from 14 – 22 June. Charles Dickens’ comically genius masterpiece, adapted by David Edgar, teems with a multitude of vivid characters, brought joyously […]

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Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has received 5* reviews for the School’s two part production of The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby, which was presented at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre from 14 – 22 June.

Charles Dickens’ comically genius masterpiece, adapted by David Edgar, teems with a multitude of vivid characters, brought joyously to life by BOVTS students. This is an intensely human story, filled with wry humour, adventure and daring set against a glorious tapestry of life. The School presented five performances of part one and four of part two of this rarely performed colossus which had a total running time of seven and a half hours. Directed by Jenny Stephens and Geoff Brumlik, with a full cast of all final year undergraduate actors and creative production teams, this was a rare opportunity to enjoy this piece of theatre which has an outstanding pedigree from the original RSC production in the 1980s.

UK Theatre News said, “If this young cast and creatives are an example of the current crop of talent then theatre is in mighty safe hands for the future”.

Kristopher Hallett described the show as, “a phenomenal achievement, a total theatrical triumph”.

StageTalk magazine said, “These shows vividly bring to life Dicken’s extraordinary world of cruel tyrants, wide-eyed innocents, comic grotesques and noble heroes. Each separate production is an impressive stand-alone achievement; taken together, they surely represent a new high-water mark for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School… a bravely ambitious enterprise, and an extraordinarily successful one.”

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14th June 2019

Central School of Ballet | Dance | Alumni

Central partners with Phoenix Dance Theatre to celebrate #WindrushDay

In celebration of #WindrushDay next Saturday 22 June, at 12 noon Central School of Ballet is pleased to be partnering with Phoenix Dance Theatre to stream Sharon Watson’s film ‘Windrush: Movement of the People’ on Central’s Facebook page. The production which premiered at Leeds Playhouse in February 2018 is the first contemporary dance work to […]

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In celebration of #WindrushDay next Saturday 22 June, at 12 noon Central School of Ballet is pleased to be partnering with Phoenix Dance Theatre to stream Sharon Watson’s film ‘Windrush: Movement of the People’ on Central’s Facebook page.

The production which premiered at Leeds Playhouse in February 2018 is the first contemporary dance work to explore the narrative of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush that brought the first Carribean migrants to the UK.

“Windrush highlights both the struggles and the good times the Jamaican community experiences during those early years”– Sharon Watson

Having completed a sell-out UK tour and international performances to critical acclaim, the production was captured on film in December 2018 after being commissioned by The Space and Leeds 2023.

Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sharon Watson, creator of the film is also an Artistic Adviser to Central, and Central alumnus Carmen Vazquez Marfil performs in the film.

Watch the trailer here.

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8th June 2019

CDD | Staff

Birkbeck welcomes Conservatoire CEO David Ruebain as Visiting Professor

The Conservatoire’s CEO David Ruebain has been welcomed to Birkbeck, University of London, as a Visiting Professor in the School of Law. Starting as a local authority lawyer for Southwark and the ILEA, David went on to set up a ground-breaking disability, education and human rights law department in private practice. In 2007 he was […]

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The Conservatoire’s CEO David Ruebain has been welcomed to Birkbeck, University of London, as a Visiting Professor in the School of Law.

Starting as a local authority lawyer for Southwark and the ILEA, David went on to set up a ground-breaking disability, education and human rights law department in private practice. In 2007 he was appointed the first Director of Legal Policy at the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission where he led the work that resulted in the Equality Act 2010. He was later made the Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, where he served from 2010-18.

In addition to his role as CEO of the Conservatoire, David holds a plethora of advisory roles in his fields of expertise. He is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Advisory Board of the Wellcome Trust, a member of the Rights & Justice Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Chartiable Trust and the Equalities Adviser to the FA Premier League.

David said: “I am delighted to be appointed a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to continue my interests in the intersection of law and policy, particularly relating to equality and human rights, in an institution dedicated to high quality teaching and research alongside widening access.”

Daniel Monk, Professor of Law at Birkbeck, said: “David Ruebain is a pioneering legal activist, practitioner and thinker and we are delighted that he has accepted the position of Visiting Professor in the School of Law. We look forward to working with him and to developing conversations with both staff and students across a wide range of issues.”

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1st June 2019

BOVTS | Central School of Ballet | LCDS | National Centre for Circus Arts | NSCD | Rambert School | Circus Arts | Dance | Drama | Alumni | Film & Television | Performances and Exhibitions

Alumni round-up – June 2019

Barely Methodical Troupe (National Centre for Circus Arts) present Shift at The Old Market, Brighton, 28 May – 2 June. Beau Holland (BOVTS) features in the Globe Theatre’s Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, and Pericles, now playing at the Globe and touring until 24 August. George Readshaw, Alex Wilson and James Keningale (BOVTS) feature […]

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Barely Methodical Troupe (National Centre for Circus Arts) present Shift at The Old Market, Brighton, 28 May – 2 June.

Beau Holland (BOVTS) features in the Globe Theatre’s Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, and Pericles, now playing at the Globe and touring until 24 August.

George Readshaw, Alex Wilson and James Keningale (BOVTS) feature in The Lord Chamberlain’s Men production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, now touring until 1 September.

Choreographer Rosie Kay (LCDS) brings 10 Soldiers to Norwich Theatre Royal on 4 June.

2Faced Dance present What The Moon Saw by choreographer and artistic director Tamsin Fitzgerald (NSCD) at The Courtyard, Hereford, 6 – 7 June. The production features dancers Jason Boyle, Louis Parker-Evans, and Sam Buswell (NSCD).

Choreographer and artistic director Gary Clarke (NSCD) presents new production Wasteland, touring this month to The Civic, Barnsley, 6 – 8 June, and Tramway, Glasgow, 14 – 15 June. The production features dancers Tom Dunn, Jake Evans, Rob Anderson (NSCD), Alistair Goldsmith and Emily Thompson-Smith (LCDS).

Ioanna Kimbook (BOVTS) features in Bitter Wheat at the Garrick Theatre, from 7 June – 14 September.

Ockham’s Razor present Belly of the Whale at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing on 8 June, with performers Nathan Johnston (LCDS) and Stefano di Renzo (National Centre for Circus Arts).

Ballet Black present a Triple Bill at Kings Theatre, Edinburgh on 8 June, with choreography by Mthuthuzeli November (Central), Martin Lawrance (LCDS), and Sophie Laplane (Central). The company features dancer Sayaka Ichikawa (Rambert).

Kate Stafford and Jonathan Le Billon (BOVTS) feature in After Dark at the Finborough Theatre, playing 13 June – 6 July.

Sophie Thompson (BOVTS) features in Present Laughter at the Old Vic, playing from 17 June.

Choreographer Ben Duke (LCDS) and Solène Weinachter (LCDS) present Juliet and Romeo at The Place on 18 – 22 June.

Choreographer Arthur Pita (LCDS) presents The Mother with Bird & Carrot at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 20 – 22 June.

Billy Howle and Faye Marsay (BOVTS) feature in Europe at the Donmar Warehouse, playing from 20 June – 10 August. Imogen Knight (LCDS & NSCD) is Movement Director.

Northern Ballet live stream Victoria in cinemas nationwide on 25 June. The company features Central School of Ballet graduates Rachael Gillespie, Ashley Dixon, Hannah Bateman, Harriet Marden, Harris Beattie, Ayca Anil, Matthew Morrell (Apprentice), and Julie Nunes (Apprentice).

Birmingham Royal Ballet present [Un]leashed on 25 – 26 June and Hobson’s Choice on 28 – 29 June at Sadlers Wells. The company features dancer Max Maslen (Central).

Phoenix Dance Theatre perform at Sadler’s Wells on 27 – 28 June. The company features dancers Vanessa Vince-Pang (Rambert), Carmen Vazquez Marfil (CSB, NSCD), Natalie Alleston (Rambert, NSCD), and Apprentices Jasmine Gordon, Frances Shepherdson, and Elliott Augustine (NSCD).

Lydia Leonard (BOVTS) features in new Sally Wainwright drama Gentleman Jack, now airing Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.

 

[Image: Wasteland by Gary Clarke Company, photo by Joe Armitage]

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