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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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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26th November 2019

Central School of Ballet | LCDS | Rambert School | Dance | Alumni | Awards

CDD School Graduates Nominated for 2020 National Dance Awards

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle has announced the shortlisted nominations for the National Dance Awards, covering performances in the UK between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019. This year marks the awards’ 20th anniversary and we are delighted that a number of Conservatoire school graduates are among this year’s nominees. James Cousins […]

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle has announced the shortlisted nominations for the National Dance Awards, covering performances in the UK between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019. This year marks the awards’ 20th anniversary and we are delighted that a number of Conservatoire school graduates are among this year’s nominees.

James Cousins Company (LCDS) is nominated for Best Independent Company.

Arthur Pita (LCDS) is nominated for Best Modern Choreography for Alexandra Markvo/Bird & Carrot.

Three graduates are nominated for the Emerging Artist Award: Jemima Brown (LCDS), as a Dancer with Tom Dale Company & James Cousins Company; Salomé Pressac (Rambert School) as a Dancer with Rambert; and Mthuthuzeli November (Central School of Ballet) as a Choreographer for Ballet Black.

Jemima Brown (LCDS) received a second nomination for Outstanding Female Modern Performance for her performance in Epilogues with James Cousins Company.

Also nominated in the Outstanding Female Modern Performance category is Solène Weinachter (LCDS) for her role as Juliet in Juliet and Romeo with Lost Dog.

Two graduates are nominated for Outstanding Male Modern Performance: Jonathan Goddard (Rambert School) for his performance in The Mother for Alexandra Markvo/Bird & Carrot and Liam Mower (Rambert School) for his role as the Prince in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.

The winners will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony to be held in Central London on Wednesday 19th February 2020. For the full list of nominations, visit the Critics Circle website here.

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28th October 2019

CDD

Conservatoire for Dance and Drama elects Caragh Merrick as new Chair to the Board of Governors

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, a higher education provider of world-leading performing arts training, is approaching its 20th anniversary. As we look to the future, we are delighted to announce the election of Caragh Merrick as our new Chair to the Board of Governors. Caragh will take up the post in November 2019 and […]

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, a higher education provider of world-leading performing arts training, is approaching its 20th anniversary. As we look to the future, we are delighted to announce the election of Caragh Merrick as our new Chair to the Board of Governors. Caragh will take up the post in November 2019 and succeeds the current chair James Smith, who has reached his maximum term limit after serving since 2010. Caragh joins the Conservatoire as we embark upon an ambitious new strategic plan, building upon the organisation’s legacy and strengths: internationally renowned conservatoire training underpinned by dynamic relationships with the performing arts industries, and a national presence across three leading centres of culture. She will work in close partnership with the Conservatoire’s Chief Executive Officer David Ruebain and the Principals of the six member schools.

David Ruebain, Chief Executive Officer, says of the appointment:

“Caragh brings a wealth of executive and board experience to the Conservatoire. She has a thorough understanding of both the higher education and performing arts sectors, and her previous work with membership organisations and her passion for collaboration make her the ideal person to realize the myriad opportunities of the Conservatoire partnership. She is the perfect successor to James, to whom we are immensely grateful for his caring stewardship during the past nine years. Caragh impressed us all with her leadership skills, style, and dedication to the performing arts, and I am excited to work with her in leading the organisation into its next evolution.”

Caragh was a senior audit partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1990 to 2002, during which time she also fulfilled a number of practice leadership roles, including membership of the UK Assurance Board with specific responsibility for HR strategy development and implementation. On retiring from PWC, she worked with Chairmen and Chief Executives, principally in the public sector, to develop effective board leadership and corporate governance.

She has held Trustee and Chair roles for a diverse range of organisations including the National Theatre, the National Foundation for Youth Music, Help Musicians UK, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and UCAS, and remains a Trustee of the University of Birmingham and the Royal College of Art.

Caragh Merrick says,

“I believe strongly in the work of the Conservatoire and in the vital contribution of the performing arts to our cultural life and to our society as a whole. I am greatly looking forward to working with David and the Principals. The individual members of the Conservatoire are leading schools internationally in their chosen fields; together we can harness the considerable potential of the collective to achieve something very special in the coming years.”

 

Press contact: Emma Swift at Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, emma.swift@cdd.ac.uk / 020 8150 5511.

Notes to editors:

The Conservatoire is a formal collaboration among six member schools who are committed to the delivery of world-leading education and specialist vocational training in the performing arts. We train the performing artists and production professionals of the future: actors, circus artists, dancers, stage managers, technical theatre practitioners, choreographers and directors.

Located at the heart of three vibrant cultural centres in London, Bristol and Leeds, the Conservatoire schools are: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Central School of Ballet, London Contemporary Dance School, National Centre for Circus Arts, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Rambert School.

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9th September 2019

Central School of Ballet | Dance

Central alumni perform on BBC One’s Peaky Blinders

On Sunday evening, two Central alumni appeared in the new episode of Peaky Blinders on BBC One. 2008 graduate Brenda Lee Grech and 2012 graduate Jacob Wye, both now company members at Rambert dance company, performed Swan Lake choreographed by Rambert artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer. You can watch the episode now on BBC iPlayer […]

On Sunday evening, two Central alumni appeared in the new episode of Peaky Blinders on BBC One.

2008 graduate Brenda Lee Grech and 2012 graduate Jacob Wye, both now company members at Rambert dance company, performed Swan Lake choreographed by Rambert artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer.

You can watch the episode now on BBC iPlayer here.

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1st September 2019

BOVTS | Central School of Ballet | LCDS | NSCD | Rambert School | Circus Arts | Dance | Drama

Alumni round up – September 2019

The Place presents Touch Wood, a platform for Choreodrome artists to present a sketch of work which is in its conception, from 3 – 6 September. The programme includes new work by graduates: Space Invaders (working title) by Ruby Portus (LCDS & NSCD) on 3 September Gay Gardens by Thick and Tight, with dancers Daniel […]

The Place presents Touch Wood, a platform for Choreodrome artists to present a sketch of work which is in its conception, from 3 – 6 September. The programme includes new work by graduates:

  • Space Invaders (working title) by Ruby Portus (LCDS & NSCD) on 3 September
  • Gay Gardens by Thick and Tight, with dancers Daniel Hay-Gordon and Eleanor Perry (Rambert), on 5 September
  • Well Lit by Duckworth & Persson, with dancer and choreographer Anders Duckworth (LCDS), on 6 September
  • IONCEWAS, choreographed by Eva Recacha and Lauren Potter (LCDS) and performed by Lauren Potter, on 6 September.

New English Ballet Theatre perform at Sadler’s Wells from 4 – 6 September. The company features dancers Marianne Allen and Aitor Viscarolasaga Lopez (Central).

Charlie Cox (BOVTS) makes his Broadway debut in Betrayal at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, playing from 5 September.

Northern Ballet present Three Short Ballets at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre 5 -7 September and Doncaster Cast 10 & 11 September. The company features dancers Rachael Gillespie, Ashley Dixon, Hannah Bateman, Harriet Marden, Harris Beattie, Ayca Anil, Matthew Morrell, and Julie Nunes (Central).

Jonzi D (LCDS), Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention, presents Open Art Surgery at Sadler’s Wells on 7 September and Breakin’ Convention Presents on 27 – 28 September.

Gracefool Collective (NSCD) present This Is Not A Wedding at the Gala Theatre, Durham, on 11 – 12 September.

Stuart Waters (NSCD) presents ROCKBOTTOM at The Place on 12 September.

Dilek Rose (BOVTS) features in Reasons to Stay Alive at Sheffield Theatres Studio Theatre, from 13 – 28 September.

Eliot Smith (LCDS) presents Portraits of Courage at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, on 18 September. The company features dancers Gemma Paganelli, Giacomo Pini (LCDS), Adam Davies (Central), Victoria Winter (NSCD) and Niall Tyzack-Carlin (Rambert).

Christopher Schutt (BOVTS) is Sound Designer for Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp at the Royal Court, 18 September – 12 October.

English National Ballet perform at Sadler’s Wells on 18 – 28 September. The company features dancer Sarah Kundi (Central).

Candoco present Double Bill at Sick Festival at The Lowry, Salford, on 18 & 19 September. The company features dancers Toke Strandby and Fabian Jackson (NSCD).

Pedro Leandro (BOVTS) features in A View from the Bridge at York Theatre Royal, playing 20 September – 12 October.

James Wilton (LCDS) presents The Storm, touring this month to Birmingham MAC and Hurst Festival. The company features dancers Sarah Jane Taylor, Sean Monroe (LCDS) and Jacob Lang (Rambert).

Artistic Director and choreographer Paul Chantry (Central) presents Alice – Wonderland Through The Looking Glass, touring this month to Guildhall Arts Centre, The Swan Theatre, and Waterside Arts Centre.

Fantasia by Artistic Director and choreographer Rosie Kay (LCDS) opens at Birmingham Hippodrome, 25 – 26 September. The cast features dancer Carina Howard (Rambert).

Amy Bell (LCDS) presents The Forecast at The Place on 26 September.

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19th August 2019

National Centre for Circus Arts | NSCD | Circus Arts | Dance

NSCD and National Centre for Circus Arts graduates shortlisted for Total Theatre Awards

Total Theatre Awards have announced the shortlist for 2019, with graduates from National Centre for Circus Arts and Northern School of Contemporary Dance among the nominees. Nikki & JD (National Centre for Circus Arts graduate Jean-Daniel Broussé) are shortlisted for Knot for the Total Theatre & Jackson Lane Award for Circus. Knot uses hand-to-hand circus […]

Total Theatre Awards have announced the shortlist for 2019, with graduates from National Centre for Circus Arts and Northern School of Contemporary Dance among the nominees.

Nikki & JD (National Centre for Circus Arts graduate Jean-Daniel Broussé) are shortlisted for Knot for the Total Theatre & Jackson Lane Award for Circus. Knot uses hand-to-hand circus skills to tell the tale of an impossible choice: how can we be honest with ourselves without hurting those we love? See the show at Assembly Roxy, Upstairs, Jul 31, Aug 1-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-25, at 2.45pm.

Slanjayvah Danza, founded by NSCD alumna and current MA Dance & Creative Enterprise student Jen Wren, is shortlisted for Six Feet, Three Shows for the Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance. Six Feet, Three Shoes combines dance, storytelling and foot-stomping rhythms to reimagine traditional arts and celebrate friendship across borders. See the show at Dance Base, Studio 3, Aug 2-4, 6-11, 13-18, at 4.00pm.

The Total Theatre Awards are a peer-to-peer assessment process of dialogue and debate to recognise excellence and artists pushing the boundaries of independent performance. 403 eligible shows were assessed over the first 11 days of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and a total of seven awards will be awarded across five categories: “Physical & Visual Theatre”; “Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form”; “Emerging”; “Circus”; and “Dance” at a ceremony to be held on 23 August.

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