Image: London Contemporary Dance School

News

2nd June 2020

Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

#BlackoutTuesday  The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama understands and acknowledges our role as both a higher education institution and one that plays a direct role in shaping culture in our artistic disciplines and the wider arts and cultural sectors.  We also recognise the lack of diversity at all levels permeating these sectors, including our own institution, and how this lack perpetuates the existing systems of oppression.    We continue […]

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#BlackoutTuesday 

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama understands and acknowledges our role as both a higher education institution and one that plays a direct role in shaping culture in our artistic disciplines and the wider arts and cultural sectors.  We also recognise the lack of diversity at all levels permeating these sectors, including our own institution, and how this lack perpetuates the existing systems of oppression.   

We continue to see grave and incontrovertible evidence both in the UK and the wider world that the racial oppression of Black individuals and communities is a constant and ongoing struggle. Now, more than ever, is the time to act to break down the pervasive societal structures that maintain and reinforce this inequality and oppression.  We know that ultimately, this costs lives. 

We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and are committed to fighting against white supremacy and systematic, institutionalised racism and racial inequality that continues to oppress and attack Black communities around the world.  

We stand in solidarity with our Black students, staff, alumni, artists, audiences, community and everyone speaking out against racial injustice. We stand against inequality and will strive to do more through our work to challenge systemic racism. 

We encourage our communities to call out racism, act in protest, donate to funds if they can and educate themselves. As an institution we are committed to being better allies:  to listening more, doing better and building a supportive community where all members feel seen and heard.  

As artists and educators, we have a duty to actively create change.  Silence makes us complicit in the continuation of this oppression and inequality 

 

Donate to Black Lives Matter  

Anti-racism resources for white people  

For our White Friends desiring to be Allies  

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack 

Beyond denial: effectively tackling racism as a white person 

 

 

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21st May 2020

BOVTS | Drama | Stage Management & Technical Theatre | Staff

Fiona Francombe announced as new Principal of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School are delighted to announce that Fiona Francombe has been appointed as the School’s new Principal/CEO. Currently Director of The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, Fiona will take up her new position at the School over the summer.   Fiona trained in technical theatre at Rose Bruford College, before embarking on a career in […]

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Bristol Old Vic Theatre School are delighted to announce that Fiona Francombe has been appointed as the School’s new Principal/CEO. Currently Director of The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, Fiona will take up her new position at the School over the summer.  

Fiona trained in technical theatre at Rose Bruford College, before embarking on a career in stage management, working at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She moved into the TV industry in 1990 in London, joining the BBC’s Drama department as a runner. 

Following her move to Bristol in 1993, Fiona worked both for the BBC and as a freelancer for a variety of television dramas as a location manager and producer, before going on to manage production liaison for South West Screen and Creative England. In response to the BBC’s 2009 decision to relocate production of dramas such as Casualty to Cardiff, she successfully lobbied Bristol City Council for support in retaining production industries in the city. In 2010 she went on to establish The Bottle Yard Studios in previously disused warehouses on a seven-acre site situated on the southern outskirts of Bristol. The Council-owned studios are now established as one of the leading production facilities in the country, contributing greatly to the millions generated by the media sector for the local economy each year. 

Over the past decade, more than 60 titles have been produced at the Studios, including high-end TV dramas Poldark, Broadchurch, Wolf Hall, The Trial of Christine Keeler and The Pale Horse, light entertainment programmes such as The Crystal Maze and Tipping Point, and children’s favourites such as the green-screen series Andy’s Adventures. Fiona has consistently championed Bristol as an international hub for film and TV production and was instrumental in the city’s successful bids to become a UNESCO City of Film in 2017 and a Channel 4 creative hub in 2019. 

Commenting on her forthcoming move to the School, Fiona said: “BOVTS is a gem of an institution and part of one of the UK’s leading conservatoires. I have always respected and admired its extraordinary reputation for nurturing excellent talent, from my years starting out in theatre stage management, to my subsequent move into television and more recently as visiting guest lecturer for the BOVTS Film/TV department. 

“I’m very excited to be joining the team, and personally pleased to be bringing my professional career full circle. I have always wanted to make a difference for Bristol; this move will allow me to continue to do so after ten years developing The Bottle Yard Studios into a competitive film and television hub the city can be proud of.” 

Fiona is no stranger to BOVTS graduates either. Countless School acting and production alumni have filmed at the Studios for internationally-acclaimed productions including Tala Gouveia starring in ITV crime drama McDonald and Dodds, Sean Pertwee in the BBC’s latest Agatha Christie thriller The Pale Horse – along with BOVTS graduates serving as script supervisors, location managers and costume assistants; Theo James and Adrian Scarborough in ITV’s recent Austen adaptation Sanditon; and Laura Carmichael in Starz’ historical drama The Spanish Princess. 

Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winner and BOVTS alumna Olivia Colman also filmed the final series of Broadchurch at the Studios, the crime drama which propelled her to international stardom. The series was produced by another BOVTS alumnus, Dan Winch.   

Responding to the news, Dan – who also produced ITV’s recent Quiz, said: “Fi’s incredible experience, understanding of the complexities of creative relationships, passion for the creative industries and ambition have brought huge success to Bristol in recent years. Highly respected and admired by all those who’ve worked with and alongside her, both in front of and behind the camera, Fi’s warmth and supportive approach to all she undertakes makes her the most brilliant fit for BOVTS.” 

The news of Fiona’s appointment comes following the announcement in December that current Principal, Paul Rummer, would be retiring after thirteen years at the helm of BOVTS – and thirty-five years at the School in total. Fiona is set to join BOVTS in August, as the School approaches its 75th birthday celebrations next year. 

Lucy Bowden led the search for the new Principal as Chair of the School’s board of trustees. Lucy comments: “I am absolutely delighted that Fiona is joining the School and I believe that she will take it forward with passion, energy and confidence. This is an unprecedented time, when the pressures on conservatoire training have never been greater. But Fiona brings huge practical and commercial experience in the arts, and this will be invaluable in continuing the School’s success.” 

She continued: “Fiona has a love for the city of Bristol. Under her leadership, I’m confident that the School will continue to thrive locally, as well as nationally and internationally, consolidating Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s reputation as a world-class institution for drama and production arts training.” 

Paul and Fiona will be working closely in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition in the School’s leadership. We look forward to welcoming Fiona to BOVTS in the coming months. 

For further information, or for a full copy of the press release, please contact Matt.Carmichael@oldvic.ac.uk. 

 

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21st April 2020

CDD | Students

Student queries regarding tuition fees (including refund queries)

During the current Covid19 pandemic, the Conservatoire and its Member Schools, along with other higher education providers, are having to make adjustments to the way in which our programmes of study are normally delivered, to ensure continuation of delivery. We understand that students will have queries about changes to the planned delivery of their programmes, […]

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During the current Covid19 pandemic, the Conservatoire and its Member Schools, along with other higher education providers, are having to make adjustments to the way in which our programmes of study are normally delivered, to ensure continuation of delivery.

We understand that students will have queries about changes to the planned delivery of their programmes, and we ask you to bear with your School whilst we plan and provide alternative delivery.

In the meantime, specific queries regarding fees or refunds should be addressed to the Conservatoire, rather than the School, at qualityoffice@cdd.ac.uk.

Other queries regarding your programme of study should be addressed directly to your School – if you are not sure to whom you should address such queries in the first instance, get in contact with the named School contact listed on this page of the Conservatoire’s website: http://www.cdd.ac.uk/policies/student-related-policies/

For complaints that do not fall within the scope of queries/issues regarding fees and refunds, the Student Complaints Procedure should be used as follows:

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10th March 2020

BOVTS | Drama | Awards | Students

BOVTS student scoops a Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award

We’re delighted to announce that Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduating actor Charlotte East has won a prestigious Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award. As a recipient of the award, Charlotte receives a five-month contract with the Radio Drama Company. Jo Patmore and Mark Milligan were two of the four runners up this year. They will receive the offer of freelance […]

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We’re delighted to announce that Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduating actor Charlotte East has won a prestigious Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award. As a recipient of the award, Charlotte receives a five-month contract with the Radio Drama Company.

Jo Patmore and Mark Milligan were two of the four runners up this year. They will receive the offer of freelance engagement in a Radio Drama Production later in the year.

Named after one of Radio’s most distinguished actors, the Carleton Hobbs initiative has been run by BBC Radio Drama every year since 1953 awarding over 150 bursaries in this time.

Congratulations to Charlotte, Jo and Mark!

BA Professional Acting Student Charlotte East

Charlotte East

 

BA Professional Acting Student Jo Patmore

Jo Patmore

 

Mark Milligan

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4th March 2020

BOVTS | Central School of Ballet | Dance | Drama | Stage Management & Technical Theatre | Alumni | Awards

BOVTS and Central graduates nominated for the 2020 Olivier Awards

The Olivier Award nominations for 2020 have been announced, with graduates from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Central School of Ballet among the nominees. Adrian Scarborough (BOVTS) is nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Leopoldstadt at Wyndham’s Theatre. Sophie Thompson (BOVTS) is nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role […]

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The Olivier Award nominations for 2020 have been announced, with graduates from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Central School of Ballet among the nominees.

Adrian Scarborough (BOVTS) is nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Leopoldstadt at Wyndham’s Theatre.

Sophie Thompson (BOVTS) is nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Present Laughter at The Old Vic.

Bob Crowley (BOVTS) is nominated for Best Set Design for Mary Poppins at Prince Edward Theatre.

Ingoma by Mthuthuzeli November (Central) for Ballet Black at Royal Opera House – Linbury Theatre is nominated for Best New Dance Production.

MÁM by Michael Keegan-Dolan (Central) for Teaċ Daṁsa at  Sadler’s Wells is nominated for Best New Dance Production.

Congratulations, all!

This year’s Olivier Awards will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 5 April. A full nominations can be found here.

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20th February 2020

NSCD | Dance | Staff

Sharon Watson named new Chief Executive and Principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) is delighted to announce Sharon Watson as its new Chief Executive and Principal. Watson, who is currently the longest standing Artistic Director of Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre, will begin her tenure as CEO and Principal of NSCD in May 2020. She becomes NSCD’s fourth Principal in the institution’s 35-year […]

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Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) is delighted to announce Sharon Watson as its new Chief Executive and Principal.

Watson, who is currently the longest standing Artistic Director of Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre, will begin her tenure as CEO and Principal of NSCD in May 2020.

She becomes NSCD’s fourth Principal in the institution’s 35-year history, following in the footsteps of Janet Smith MBE, Gurmit Hukam and founding Principal Nadine Senior MBE. Janet Smith announced in September 2019 that she would be stepping away from the role in 2020.

Sharon Watson said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be appointed CEO and Principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance. My relationship with the school has spanned 35 years and to be able to continue the legacy of Nadine Senior MBE is incredibly rewarding. I cannot wait to join the team and to work with the exceptional teaching staff who understand the importance of creativity and talent development. Students of NSCD are renowned worldwide, this is certainly something to be proud of and to continue to build on.”

Watson grew up in Leeds and was one of Nadine Senior’s pupils at Harehills Middle School before going on to study at London Contemporary Dance School in 1983. On leaving the school she was one of the first female dancers to join all-male Phoenix Dance Theatre, and in 1996 she attended NSCD to complete a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Dance) degree. Watson returned to Phoenix Dance Theatre in 2009 to take up the role of Artistic Director.

In recent years Sharon has been recognised with a variety of awards and accolades, including the Sue Ryder ‘Yorkshire Women of Achievement in Business Award’, and the First English Woman’s Award for Arts and Culture.

NSCD presented Sharon with an Honorary Fellowship in 2018, and in 2019 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Leeds Beckett University for her contribution to the Arts. In October 2019 she was named the Arts and Media Senior Leader of the Year by the Black British Business Awards.

Her appointment to the role of CEO and Principal of NSCD was made by the School’s Board of Governors, and comes at an exciting time in the organisation’s development as it looks to a new phase of growth and expansion.

Brian Brodie, Chair said: “We were very impressed by Sharon, and her clear commitment to nurturing talent and supporting diversity”

“NSCD has thrived under Janet Smith’s leadership. As the school now moves into its next chapter as a world-leading centre for dance education and development, we are very pleased in our new appointment. We look forward to working with Sharon to build on everything Janet has achieved and to ensure that we don`t lose sight of our mission to enable aspiring dance artists and dance professionals, regardless of background, to shape the future of dance.”

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31st January 2020

Central School of Ballet | Dance | Staff

Central School of Ballet announces appointment of new Executive Director to lead the organisation in its new Southwark home

Central School of Ballet has announced the appointment of its new Executive Director Mark Osterfield. Mark will join Central mid-March to lead the organisation in its much-anticipated new home in the South Bank arts community in the London Borough of Southwark. Mark’s distinguished career includes managing leading arts organisations and facilitating change for the public […]

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Central School of Ballet has announced the appointment of its new Executive Director Mark Osterfield. Mark will join Central mid-March to lead the organisation in its much-anticipated new home in the South Bank arts community in the London Borough of Southwark.

Mark’s distinguished career includes managing leading arts organisations and facilitating change for the public benefit with social, cultural and economic impact. He is notable for his work on the refurbishment of Camden’s Swiss Cottage Central Library and Tate St Ives where he led the team which delivered its iconic new building. Tate St Ives went on to win Museum of the year 2018 as a result of Mark’s leadership.

Mark joins Central when undergraduate admissions for its core BA (Hons) programme in Professional Dance & Performance are at an all-time high and its graduate performing company Ballet Central delights growing audiences in towns and cities across the UK.

Ralph Bernard, Chair of Governors for Central said: “This is an extremely important appointment for Central School of Ballet and Mark was the outstanding candidate. His appointment coincides with the biggest event in our history – the move to a spectacular new home in Southwark. Mark’s distinguished track record in managing arts and his extensive business, management and fundraising experience will be vital to our continued success.”

Ralph continued: “Mark’s role will be to lead the school through its next phase of development which will significantly increase our size. Mark will work closely with our Artistic Director, Christopher Marney and together they will continue to support Central’s position as a world-leading dance training institution.”

Mark Osterfield said: “This role at Central gives me a great opportunity to continue to support the great cultural offer we have in the UK, helping young people to become great dancers, and engaging with audiences and communities in Southwark and beyond. On a personal level it is my chance to reconnect with my childhood passion for ballet, and the training that set me up for a lifelong engagement with the arts.”

Central’s new premises are the result of years of planning and a highly successful capital campaign that has raised just under £9.5million for the project involving the full relocation of the school and the fit-out of the building. The new building will be opened by Central’s patron HRH The Countess of Wessex at the end of February. There will then be a phased move of all parts of the school from its current premises in Clerkenwell to Southwark over subsequent months.

Central’s new Southwark premises will feature amenities to rival dance training facilities anywhere in the UK; seven studios, a fully equipped studio theatre, study and resource centres. The fit-out will include a state-of-the-art health suite providing psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, Pilates and recovery from injury programme. The aim is to become a hub for a dynamic dance community combining excellence in dance training for those aiming for a professional career and a programme of opportunities for the local Southwark community.

Mark takes over from Director Heidi Hall who will join the Board of Governors in April 2020.

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31st January 2020

Central School of Ballet | Dance

Change to Ballet Central 2020 Tour Repertoire

A piece of repertoire created by the Royal Ballet’s choreographer Liam Scarlett due for inclusion in this year’s Ballet Central tour will no longer be presented. Central School of Ballet has decided not to run the piece following a report in yesterday’s Times which featured allegations of misconduct at the Royal Ballet. Central was unaware […]

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A piece of repertoire created by the Royal Ballet’s choreographer Liam Scarlett due for inclusion in this year’s Ballet Central tour will no longer be presented. Central School of Ballet has decided not to run the piece following a report in yesterday’s Times which featured allegations of misconduct at the Royal Ballet. Central was unaware of the story or the allegations until the news appeared yesterday.

The piece Serpent was commissioned by Central through the company Ballet Boyz and not by Liam Scarlett directly. In preparation for this year’s tour Liam Scarlett has neither visited the school, personally rehearsed the piece with Ballet Central, nor had any contact with Central School of Ballet students.

The tour opens in London on 26th March with revised repertoire, soon to be announced.

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28th January 2020

Central School of Ballet | Dance

Ballet Central announces five month 2020 tour commencing in London 26th March

Central School of Ballet’s renowned graduate performing company Ballet Central will commence its annual tour at Stratford Circus in London, on Thursday 26th March 2020. Under the artistic direction of Christopher Marney, Ballet Central’s diverse range of dance and theatre will perform in 13 venues across England over a five month period concluding in London on 18th […]

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Central School of Ballet’s renowned graduate performing company Ballet Central will commence its annual tour at Stratford Circus in London, on Thursday 26th March 2020. Under the artistic direction of Christopher Marney, Ballet Central’s diverse range of dance and theatre will perform in 13 venues across England over a five month period concluding in London on 18th July.

This year’s repertoire delivers an exciting performance of theatricality, technical excellence and drama choreographed by international dance industry influencers, with stunning costumes enhanced by powerful music.

The Royal Ballet’s Liam Scarlett will present Serpent, an athletic ballet featuring an all-male cast. Ballet Central is pleased to perform an excerpt from Wayne McGregor’s Symbionts and scenes and from Marius Petipa’s La Bayadere. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s passion for storytelling is demonstrated in Requiem for a Rose which explores a beautiful metaphor of romance. Scottish Ballet’s Sophie Laplane is creating a new work with composer Philip Feeney based on the story of novelist George Eliot called George(ette), and finally Jenna Lee’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, is sure to please with a ballet inspired by the music and style of the 1950’s dance halls.

Christopher Marney, Artistic Director of Ballet Central comments: “There is a growing appreciation for the varied repertoire of the Ballet Central tour. We are thrilled to be returning to so many venues where audiences have welcomed the skill and technique of our young dancers. The tour is a unique opportunity to bring the works of world-class choreographers to audiences outside of London.

For the full list of tour dates, see the Ballet Central website.

 

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20th January 2020

LCDS | Rambert School | Dance | Alumni

Graduates named as Sadler’s Wells Young Associates for 2020-21

Graduates Olive Hardy (LCDS) and Magnus Westwell (Rambert School) have been announced as Sadler’s Wells Young Associates for 2020-21. The artist development programme nurtures choreographers under the age of 25 over the course of two years. Four artists will receive a tailored programme of professional development, including support with production time across studios and theatres, […]

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Graduates Olive Hardy (LCDS) and Magnus Westwell (Rambert School) have been announced as Sadler’s Wells Young Associates for 2020-21.

The artist development programme nurtures choreographers under the age of 25 over the course of two years. Four artists will receive a tailored programme of professional development, including support with production time across studios and theatres, advice and networking opportunities, as well as the opportunity to present their work.

The aim is to help the young artists take the crucial first step into their career as dance makers, enabling them to deepen their understanding of their own practice and gain valuable insight into dance production.

Olive Hardy graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2019. She is interested in delving further into the creative and collaborative process of dance making and hopes to produce work that resonates with the people who experience it.

Magnus Westwell is a graduate of Rambert School. He is interested in placing contemporary performance art in a variety of different settings and his work has been shown at electronic music festivals, in theatres, clubs, churches and on BBC4.

Olive and Magnus follow in the footsteps of the inaugural Young Associates for 2019-20, including graduates Anthony Matsena (LCDS), Ruby Portus (NSCD), and Christopher Thomas (Rambert School).

 

[Image: Olive Hardy, Vidya Patel, John-William Watson and Magnus Westwell, photography by Camilla Greenwell] 

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