London Contemporary Dance School
Image: Camilla Greenwell
14th June 2019
Central School of Ballet | Dance | Alumni
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.
8th June 2019
CDD | Staff
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.”
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
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]
30th May 2019
The Universities Minister has announced that EU students starting courses in 2020/21 will have guaranteed home fee status. EU students starting a university programme in England in the 2020/21 academic year will have guaranteed home fee status and financial support for the duration of their course. The Universities Minister, Chris Skidmore, announced that EU nationals […]
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The Universities Minister has announced that EU students starting courses in 2020/21 will have guaranteed home fee status.
EU students starting a university programme in England in the 2020/21 academic year will have guaranteed home fee status and financial support for the duration of their course.
The Universities Minister, Chris Skidmore, announced that EU nationals who start a higher education course in England in the 2020/21 academic year will remain eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support, Advanced Learner loans as well as FE and apprenticeships support, whether a deal for leaving the EU is in place or not.
The announcement followed the Government’s existing commitment on student finance for EU nationals starting courses in England in the 2019/20 academic year or before.
23rd May 2019
Central School of Ballet | LCDS | NSCD | Rambert School | Dance | Awards | Students
We are delighted to announce that Northern School of Contemporary Dance student Max Revell has won BBC Young Dancer 2019. He is currently in his second year on the BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) course. The prestigious competition searches for the UK’s most talented dancers aged 16-21 in four categories: Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian and Street […]
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We are delighted to announce that Northern School of Contemporary Dance student Max Revell has won BBC Young Dancer 2019. He is currently in his second year on the BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) course.
The prestigious competition searches for the UK’s most talented dancers aged 16-21 in four categories: Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian and Street Dance. The Grand Final took place on Saturday 18 May at Birmingham Hippodrome, and was broadcast live on BBC Two.
On winning the competition, Max Revell, aged 20, said:
“I’m completely over the moon. I just really didn’t expect it. It’s been such a humbling experience and everyone involved in the competition was just amazing.”
Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella and Grand Final Judge, said:
“This competition is all about performance, and I feel as though Max went on the greatest journey. For me, his final solo was the most exceptional piece of dance, and it was for that reason that he was the winner for us today.”
Max advanced through two tough preliminary rounds before competing in the Street Dance Category Final. Though he didn’t win this category, the judges selected him as a ‘Wildcard’ entry from across all categories, putting him through to perform in the Grand Final alongside another CDD school student, Matthew Rawcliffe, 19 (Contemporary), who is currently in his second year at Rambert School, and finalists Thomas Carsley, 22 (Street Dance), Chloe Keneally, 18 (Ballet), and Shree Savani, 20 (South Asian Dance).
The finalists were each judged on technical skill, creative expression and overall performance.
Max presented three diverse works to the judges: a self-choreographed solo titled Subject Number 6, a duet choreographed and performed by Max and Tom Hughes Lloyd named Stranger, and Unstrung, a solo commissioned by the BBC and choreographed by world-renowned Hip-Hop dancer Dickson Mbi, a graduate of London Contemporary Dance School.
The judging panel comprised some of the industry’s leading artists including Wayne McGregor, founder of Studio Wayne McGregor and Resident Choreographer at the Royal Ballet; Shobana Jeyasingh, Artistic Director of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director of Dance Umbrella; Christopher Hampson, Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet; Junior Bosila Banya, member of Wanted Posse, and Chitra Sundaram, Dance and Theatre choreographer. Throughout the process, Max was mentored by Artistic Director of CRXSS PLATFXRM, Ivan Blackstock, and House of Absolute founder Julia Cheng.
Janet Smith, Principal & Artistic Director of NSCD, said:
“We’re all delighted for Max here at NSCD. He is a hardworking, dedicated student who is always open to feedback; generous, conscientious and mature in his approach to the challenge of learning. His attention to physical and musical detail within the winning performance piece indicates the kind of focus and discipline it takes to become a dancer, as well as Max’s obvious appetite for play and spontaneity.
It’s clear he is not only an excellent performer but also a choreographer in the making, who is blending his street dance skills and artistry with everything he is drawing from his current contemporary dance studies here at NSCD, part of the national Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.
Our aim is to enable aspiring dance artists to discover and develop their unique creative voices so I’m particularly proud that Max’s performance exemplified his originality and authenticity as a young artist finding his voice.
The BBC Young Dancer programme offers a rare opportunity to give national focus to young dance artists preparing for the profession – and to celebrate the art of dance.”
Max Revell has been dancing since the age of nine, attending breakdance and popping classes at Street Factory in his hometown of Plymouth. As a teenager, he travelled around the country to compete in various battles, and worked with several theatre companies before auditioning for conservatoires. In 2017 he was offered a place at NSCD.
CDD school students have had success in BBC Young Dancer competitions past and present. This year congratulations also go to to Ballet Finalist Keiko Tsuchiya, second year student at Central School of Ballet, and Contemporary Category Finalists first year student Hana Kato at London Contemporary Dance School, second year student Adanna Lawrence at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, third year student Max Cookward at Rambert School, and second year student Matthew Rawcliffe at Rambert School.
The Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer 2019 is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until Monday 17 June.
Photos © Jeff Spicer/PA Wire
8th May 2019
BOVTS | Drama | Awards | Students
We are delighted to announce that Bristol Old Vic Theatre School student Moronke Akinola, currently in her final year of the BA in Professional Acting course, has won the 2019 Alan Bates Award run by The Actors Centre, London. Now in its fifteenth year, The Alan Bates Award has established itself as the most prestigious […]
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We are delighted to announce that Bristol Old Vic Theatre School student Moronke Akinola, currently in her final year of the BA in Professional Acting course, has won the 2019 Alan Bates Award run by The Actors Centre, London. Now in its fifteenth year, The Alan Bates Award has established itself as the most prestigious award for graduating drama school students. Every year, one winner is the lucky recipient of a prize package worth over £5000, comprising of everything they might need for a successful launch into the profession.
Through a series of audition rounds including a semi-final and a final, the successful students perform in front of an experienced industry panel that in the past has included Hannah Miller (Head of Casting at the RSC), Alex Jennings, Julia Crampsie (casting director) and Janet Suzman. The award is named after Sir Alan Bates, patron of the Actors Centre from 1994 until his death in 2004. Sir Alan was passionate about the craft of acting and was intent on supporting young talent entering the profession. It is in his memory and in honour of his inspirational work that the Alan Bates Award is presented annually to an actor of exceptional talent.
BOVTS alumna Georgia Frost won the same award in 2017 and the School is very proud of its record in the competition. This year, Eva O’Hara was also one of the final six, and last year three of the final six actors were representatives of BOVTS.
You can see all the School’s graduating BA and FdA Professional Acting students together in the upcoming Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, playing at Bristol Old Vic between 14 – 22 June.
Well done Moronkẹ! We look forward to following your successful career in the coming years.
Moronke with Andrew Lloyd-Webber at Bristol Old Vic. Moronke was the recipient of an Andrew Lloyd-Webber Foundation scholarship to support her training at the School. Further information about the scholarship scheme is available on the ALWF website. Photo by Pam Rudge.
Headshot by Jon Holloway.
Main image: Moronke appearing as Flora Schreiber in the Dissociation of Shirley Mason at Bristol Old Vic. Photo by Craig Fuller.
Further information about the Alan Bates Award can be found on the webpages of the Actors Centre.
3rd April 2019
Central School of Ballet | LCDS | NSCD | Rambert School | Dance | Alumni | Film & Television
Dance companies from across the UK will come together for a major on-air and online celebration of dance on Friday 5 April. #DancePassion is a new dance festival organised by BBC Arts in collaboration with One Dance UK along with leading names and exciting new talent from across the dance scene. The day will feature […]
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Dance companies from across the UK will come together for a major on-air and online celebration of dance on Friday 5 April. #DancePassion is a new dance festival organised by BBC Arts in collaboration with One Dance UK along with leading names and exciting new talent from across the dance scene. The day will feature 11 hours of performance, rehearsals and behind-the-scenes insights.
All of the events in Leeds – featuring DAZL, RJC, Möbius Dance, Akeim Toussaint Buck, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet, DeNada Dance Theatre, and Gracefool Collective – will be hosted by Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Check out the full running order for the day on the BBC website and look out for Conservatoire graduates in the below features:
10:00 – Company Class with Candoco Dance Company
At London’s Studio Wayne McGregor contemporary company Candoco Dance Company present a company class with their disabled and non-disabled professional dancers and invited guests. Candoco was founded by LCDS alumna Celeste Dandeker-Arnold. Company dancers include Toke Strandby and Fabian Jackson (NSCD).
12:15 – Autobiography in rehearsal with Company Wayne McGregor
Company Wayne McGregor rehearse Autobiography, which is choreographed by Wayne McGregor CBE, and based on his own DNA and 25 year archive. Company dancers include graduates Jordan James Bridge, Fukiko Takase (LCDS), Jessica Wright (Central), and Jacob O’Connell (Rambert).
13:00 – Rambert and Marion Motin
Rambert presents a sneak peek of their brand new work by Marion Motin. Company dancers include graduates Sharia Johnson, Adam Park, Stephan Quildan, Kym Sojourna (Rambert), Pierre Tappon, Nancy Nerantzi (LCDS), Brenda Lee Grech and Jacob Wye (Central).
13:15 – RJC Dance Youth Provision Carnival troupe ‘ROOTS, RESPECT AND STILL RISING’
This first of three Leeds performances is inspired by and honours 25 years of RJC Dance, founded by NSCD graduate Kathy Williams, and is presented by young people aged 9-12 years.
Möbius Dance: Time Moves Slow
A new commission by NSCD alumnus Jamaal Burkmar ‘Time Moves Slow’, performed by NSCD graduates Ana Fernández Melero, Stefania Pinato and current NSCD third year students Charlie Hogan and Iolanda Portogallo.
Windows Of Displacement (excerpt)
Using his own journey of migration from Jamaica to the UK as a catalyst, NSCD graduate Akeim Toussaint Buck brings together dance, spoken word and song to tell a story that is both deeply personal and universal.
13:45 – The Science of Lifting with Motionhouse
Motionhouse performers demonstrate lifts and showcase the strength and physicality of their performers, notably their strong women. Artistic Director Kevin Finnan MBE and Rehearsal Director Junior Cunningham (NSCD) talk about how the dancers work together to execute a lift.
Company dancers include graduates Martina Knight, Alasdair Stewart, Naomi Tadevossian (LCDS), Junior Cunningham, Daniel Massarella, Rebecca Williams, Aaron Watkinson, Joel Pradas, Beth Pattison (NSCD), Chris Knight (NSCD, LCDS), Shannon Kate Platt (Rambert), and Apprentice Rebecca Knight (NSCD).
13:30 – Akram Khan Company
At Sadler’s Wells in London, Akram Khan Company invite you to check out the rehearsals for their new company production, Outwitting the Devil. Acclaimed choreographer and NSCD alumnus Akram Khan recently won a record eighth National Dance Award.
State of Mind by ACE Youth
Centred around schizophrenia, State of Mind explores the status of our consciousness, our perception of our intuition and the outside world and how it affects our actions, behaviour and body movements. The work is choreographed by Douglas Thorpe and performed the youth dance company of ACE dance and music, founded by NSCD alumna Gail Parmel.
15:00 – English National Ballet
Dancers from English National Ballet rehearse Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings. Company dancers include graduate Sarah Kundi (Central).
15:45 – Phoenix Dance Theatre in Rehearsal: Left Unseen
Get an insight into studio activity in Leeds as Phoenix Dance Theatre’s company dancers rehearse contemporary dance piece Left Unseen by Amaury Lebrun. This is a unique opportunity to hear from the Company’s Artistic Director, Sharon Watson (LCDS and NSCD). The piece was originally commissioned by Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Company dancers include graduates Vanessa Vince-Pang (Rambert), Carmen Vazquez Marfil (CSB, NSCD), Natalie Alleston (Rambert, NSCD), and Apprentices Jasmine Gordon, Frances Shepherdson, Elliott Augustine (NSCD).
National Dance Company Wales: Rygbi – Annwyl I Mi/ Dear to Me
In Swansea see NDCWales dancers and local Ospreys Rugby Club in rehearsals for NDCWales’ new production. Company dancers include graduates Ed Myhill, Mathew Prichard (Rambert), and Apprentice Aisha Naamani (LCDS).
16:15 – Rosie Kay Dance Company: Telling the Stories of Frontline Soldiers with Dance
After experiencing a career-threatening injury, Commonwealth Games Handover choreographer and LCDS alumna Rosie Kay was drawn to the parallels between soldiers’ and dancers’ training, and the commitment, discipline and strength required. Ahead of the premiere of 10 SOLDIERS at Birmingham Hippodrome in May see the dancers perform whilst Rosie discusses her ideas.
17:30 – The Night is Young, So Are We
In a second Leeds trilogy choreographer and Central alumnus Kenneth Tindall creates a contemporary ballet duet for Northern Ballet’s Ayça Anil and Harris Beattie (Central) in response to Ella Eyre’s version of We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.
DeNada Dance Theatre
DeNada Dance Theatre is a UK-based dance company that exports, explores and subverts Hispanic and Latin culture in Britain and beyond. In this session they present an in rehearsal excerpt from their new show Mariposa, a transgender tragedy inspired by Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. It is choreographed by the company’s director and NSCD alumnus Carlos Pons Guerra. Company dancers include graduates Marivi Da Silva (NSCD) and Antonette Dayrit (Central).
Using their unique concoction of wildly entertaining dance theatre, NSCD graduate company Gracefool invite YOU to be guests at the non-wedding event of the year as they attempt to come to terms with coming of age in a high pressure, low tolerance, zero hour contract society. Four bridal-clad women attempt to entertain, delight and maintain their dignity in a desperate last ditch effort to work out what the hell it all means.
18:30 – Scottish Ballet – Celebrating 50 years
For the big day, tune in LIVE on Facebook from the Glasgow dressing rooms of Scottish Ballet’s Spring! tour. Meet the dancers as they prepare to go on stage. Company dancers include Central graduates Thomas Edwards, Jamiel Lawrence, Aisling Branagan, Amy McEntee, and Rishan Benjamin.
You can watch all these amazing performances live on Friday 5 April, then on demand at bbc.co.uk/dance
[Image: Kenneth Tindall’s The Night is Young, So Are We for Northern Ballet, photograph by Emma Kauldhar]
2nd April 2019
BOVTS | Central School of Ballet | LCDS | National Centre for Circus Arts | NSCD | Rambert School | Circus Arts | Dance | Drama | Stage Management & Technical Theatre | Alumni | Film & Television | Performances and Exhibitions
Katherine Kingsley (BOVTS) stars in Top Girls at the National Theatre, now running until 22 June. Charlie Cox (BOVTS) stars in Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre, now running until 8 June. Alleyne Dance – Kristina Alleyne and Sadé Alleyne (NSCD) – present The Other Side of Me at The Place on 3 April. Russell Maliphant […]
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Katherine Kingsley (BOVTS) stars in Top Girls at the National Theatre, now running until 22 June.
Charlie Cox (BOVTS) stars in Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre, now running until 8 June.
Alleyne Dance – Kristina Alleyne and Sadé Alleyne (NSCD) – present The Other Side of Me at The Place on 3 April.
Russell Maliphant Company tour Silent Lines this month to Dance East, DanceXchange and Lakeside, with company dancers Alethia Antonia (LCDS/NSCD), Folu Adimayo (NSCD), Edd Arnold, Grace Jabbari and Will Thompson (Rambert).
Aletta Collins (LCDS) is Choreographer for West Side Story at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, running 6 April – 25 May.
Phoenix Dance Theatre tour a Double Bill this month to Poole and Doncaster, with company dancers Vanessa Vince-Pang (Rambert), Carmen Vazquez Marfil (Central/NSCD), Natalie Alleston (Rambert/NSCD), and Apprentices Jasmine Gordon, Frances Shepherdson and Elliott Augustine (NSCD).
National Dance Company Wales tour Awakening this month to Swansea, Huddersfield and Aberystwyth, with company dancers Ed Myhill, Mathew Pritchard (Rambert) and Apprentice Aisha Naamani (LCDS).
English National Ballet present a Triple Bill at Sadlers Wells, 4 – 13 April, with company dancer Sarah Kundi (Central).
Living Room Circus (NCCA) present The Penguin and I at The Loco Klub Bristol on 11 April.
Northern Ballet present The Shape of Sound choreographed by Kenneth Tindall (Central) at Newcastle Northern Stage from 16 – 18 April.
John Leonard (BOVTS) is Sound Designer for Other People’s Money at the Southwark Playhouse, running from 17 April – 11 May.
Nora Invites – Eleanor Sikorski and Flora Wellesley Wesley (LCDS) – present Where Home Is at Sadlers Wells, 24 – 25 April.
Maanuv Thiara (BOVTS) features in the highly anticipated new series of Line of Duty, now airing Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.
[Image: Alleyne Dance – Photo by Laurent Gamberelli]
1st April 2019
BOVTS | CDD | Central School of Ballet | Dance | Drama | Performances and Exhibitions | Students
Bringing together four years dedicated to redefining the boundaries of conservatoire training, simultaneous performances of Otis and Eunice were performed to audiences at both Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the Royal College of Music on 29 and 30 March. Otis and Eunice was the culmination of the Virtual Conservatoire project, committed to creating new […]
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Bringing together four years dedicated to redefining the boundaries of conservatoire training, simultaneous performances of Otis and Eunice were performed to audiences at both Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the Royal College of Music on 29 and 30 March.
Otis and Eunice was the culmination of the Virtual Conservatoire project, committed to creating new potential for live performance and performing arts collaboration.
The project has been an ambitious four-year collaboration between Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Central School of Ballet, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Royal Academy of Music (RAM) and Royal College of Music (RCM). The project has been backed by HEFCE / Office for Students Catalyst Fund.
Created with immersive theatre makers Raucous, Otis and Eunice is a modern retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice featuring actors from RADA, LAMDA and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, dancers from the Central School of Ballet, and music written and performed by RCM and RAM musicians.
The production was performed as two different standalone shows. Staged simultaneously at the RCM’s Britten Theatre and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, the shows were linked through dual narratives concerning the disappearance of Eunice. Audiences in each venue were also able to see the partner narrative unfold onscreen, through a live high definition video link using Low Latency (LOLA) technology.
Sharon Clarke, Raucous explains:
‘The process for making Otis and Eunice followed an unknown path. Trying to write a meaningful script that encapsulated live streaming, while working between six partner organisations, in two cities while engaging over 50 students was, to put it mildly, a challenge.
The main challenge for me as a writer, though, was how to knit together two different stories that collided through live streaming and ended up making sense to both audiences. Then I needed to work out how to introduce original composition, dance and musicians to an already complicated play. All within a matter of months.
The composers, working to a pretty strict brief from me, weaved their magic into original songs and score, the technical team problem solved this behemoth of a project with great humour and superb ingenuity, the performers just got stuck in and started to play as soon as the script was in their hand, the ingenious designers and directors, all lecturers, were stalwarts in making the pieces fit and making me laugh when the going got mind-bendingly complicated.
This is new theatre. This is a new way of teaching theatre. It has been a bold and brave undertaking from the Virtual Conservatoire team, who are preparing students to work in the digital age and introducing two audiences across two cities.’
Over the last four years, conservatoire facilities have been transformed into state-of-the-art digital spaces that enable creative collaboration between the consortium’s students and partners across multiple locations, in real time. The result is a new template for conservatoire training, which pioneers digitally enabled pedagogy and practice, and the scope to transform live performance art into a multi-location experience.
The Creative Process
Hear more about the theatre-making process behind the show in the trailer, featuring interviews with Bristol Director, Technical Producer and the cast.
Photographs by Chris Christodoulou.
28th March 2019
BOVTS | Drama | Alumni | Awards
Congratulations to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alumnus Alex Jennings, who has been nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Supporting Actor for his role in ITV’s Forgotten. Jennings is a three-time Olivier Award winner and the only person to have won three Best Actor Olivier Awards for Comedy (Too Clever by Half in 1988), […]
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Congratulations to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alumnus Alex Jennings, who has been nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Supporting Actor for his role in ITV’s Forgotten.
Jennings is a three-time Olivier Award winner and the only person to have won three Best Actor Olivier Awards for Comedy (Too Clever by Half in 1988), Drama (Peer Gynt in 1996) and Musical (My Fair Lady in 2003).
In 2017 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West of England, presented by Professor David Halton, Chair of Trustees for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at the School’s graduation ceremony at St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol.
The BAFTA Television awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 12 May. You can find the full list of nominations on the BAFTA website.