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2nd November 2015

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

Dance School Alumni in Nominations for 2015 National Dance Awards

Congratulations to all our dance school alumni nominated in the 2015 National Dance Awards! Three out of five companies in the Best Independent Company category are led by dance school alumni: 2Faced Dance, led by Artistic Director and Choreographer Tamsin Fitzgerald (NSCD), Company Chameleon, led by Artistic Directors Anthony Missen and Kevin Turner (NSCD), and […]

Congratulations to all our dance school alumni nominated in the 2015 National Dance Awards!

Three out of five companies in the Best Independent Company category are led by dance school alumni: 2Faced Dance, led by Artistic Director and Choreographer Tamsin Fitzgerald (NSCD), Company Chameleon, led by Artistic Directors Anthony Missen and Kevin Turner (NSCD), and Rosie Kay Dance Company led by Artistic Director Rosie Kay (LCDS). Candoco Dance Company, which was founded by LCDS alumna Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE, is nominated for Outstanding Company.

Central School of Ballet alumnus Kenneth Tindall is nominated for two awards: Best Classical Choreography for The Architect (Northern Ballet) and the Emerging Artist Award for his freelance choreography. Also nominated for the Emerging Artist Award is NSCD graduate Carlos Pons Guerra, for choreography for Denada Dance Theatre.

Nominated for Best Modern Choreography are LCDS alumni Ben Duke (Paradise Lost [lies unopened beside me] for Lost Dog) and Rosie Kay (5 Soldiers for Rosie Kay Dance Company). Also nominated is Crystal Pite’s Polaris for Sadler’s Wells, which featured Central School of Ballet and LCDS students among its 64-strong cast.

LCDS alumna Nancy Nerantzi is nominated for Outstanding female performance (modern) for her role as Marie in Burning for Richard Alston Dance Company.

Finally, four of the five nominations for Outstanding male performance (modern) are dancers who trained at Conservatoire dance schools: Ben Duke (LCDS) in Paradise Lost [lies unopened beside me] for Lost Dog, Igor and Moreno (LCDS) for Idiot-Syncracy, Dominic North (Central School of Ballet) for the lead role of Edward Scissorhands for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and Liam Riddick (LCDS) for the role of Franz Liszt in Burning for Richard Alston Dance Company.

You can find the full list of nominations, based on work performed in the UK between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2015, here. The winners will be announced on 25 January 2016.

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1st November 2015

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

November round-up – alumni appearances

Alumni on stage Currency, the European contemporary dance and circus festival at The Place features Projected, a collaboration between LCDS graduate Anders Duckworth and sound artist Chris Edwards (4 November), and NCCA graduate Natalie Reckert in a fusion of handbalancing and dance (7 November). Claire Skinner (LAMDA) and Kenneth Cranham (RADA) star in Florian Zeller’s […]

Alumni on stage

Currency, the European contemporary dance and circus festival at The Place features Projected, a collaboration between LCDS graduate Anders Duckworth and sound artist Chris Edwards (4 November), and NCCA graduate Natalie Reckert in a fusion of handbalancing and dance (7 November).

Claire Skinner (LAMDA) and Kenneth Cranham (RADA) star in Florian Zeller’s The Father, playing at Wyndham’s Theatre until 21 November.

Bertie Carvel (RADA) stars in the Old Vic’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape, running until 21 November. The production is reviewed in the Guardian here.

Mark Rylance (RADA) stars in the Duke of York Theatre production of Farinelli and the King, a new play by Claire van Kampen, until 5 December 2015.

2015 LAMDA graduate and Spotlight Prize winner Rosalind Eleazar is appearing in Plaques and Tangles at the Royal Court until 21 November.

Transfigured Night, a new creation by Olivier-award winning choreographer and LCDS alumnus Kim Brandstrup, is touring the UK with Rambert Dance Company from 28 October – 19 February.

Dance company Tavaziva’s Africarmen, a new work loosely based on Georges Bizet’s Carmen, features four graduates from Conservatoire dance schools in its six-strong cast: Jordan Bridge, Theo Samsworth and Ellen Yilma trained at LCDS and Anna Watkins trained at Rambert School. Also working with the company are NSCD graduate Louis Parker-Evans (dancer/workshop leader) and 2015 Rambert School graduate Amelia Coates (apprentice/understudy). Africarmen is on tour until 27 February.

Central School of Ballet and Rambert School graduates appear in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, now on tour around the UK until April 2016. Dominic North (CSB), Christopher Marney (CSB) and Liam Mower (Rambert) star in principal roles.

Madeleine Worrall (LAMDA) and Joannah Tincey (RADA) can be seen at the National Theatre in Jane Eyre, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic Theatre based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë, running until 10 January.

BOVTS graduates and Peter O’Toole prize winners Dominic Allen and Ewan Black will appear in Sleeping Beauty at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, from 27 November – 17 January.

Newly appointed RADA President and alumnus Kenneth Branagh continues the Branagh Theatre season with productions of The Winter’s Tale (17 October – 16 January) and Harlequinade (24 October – 13 January). The company features RADA graduates Jaygann Ayeh, Jessie Buckley and Jack Colgrave Hirst and LAMDA graduate Tom Bateman. Branagh talks to the New York Times about taking on the role of actor-manager in this feature.

Across the pond, BOVTS MA Acting graduate Richard Lafleur stars as Leo Bloom in the U.S. tour of The Producers, from 20 October 2015 – 5 March 2016.

Alumni on screen

BOVTS graduate Laura Carmichael stars in the finale of series 6 of Downton Abbey airing on 7 November (ITV). A special episode shown on Christmas Day will conclude the series. Laura (Lady Edith) talks to The Independent about the final shoot and her upcoming roles.

New James Bond movie Spectre, in cinemas now, features drama school alumni Ben Whishaw (RADA) as Q, Naomie Harris (BOVTS) as Moneypenny, Ralph Fiennes (RADA) as M, and Rory Kinnear (LAMDA) as MI6 Chief of Staff Bill Tanner.

Ben Whishaw also stars in upcoming BBC Two series London Spy alongside LAMDA alumnus Jim Broadbent and RADA alumnus Adrian Lester. The five-part espionage thriller premieres on 9 November. Take a look at the trailer here:

BOVTS alumnus Alex Jennings stars alongside Maggie Smith in the new British film The Lady in the Van. Adapted by Alan Bennett from his 1999 hit West End play of the same name, it tells the true story about an elderly woman called Mary Shepherd who lived in a battered van on Bennett’s driveway for 15 years. In UK cinemas from 13 November, take a look at the trailer here:

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26th October 2015

LCDS | NSCD | Rambert School | Dance | Alumni | Staff

Conservatoire School Principals in Historic Honours for Dance Photograph

Conservatoire school principals Veronica Lewis (London Contemporary Dance School) and Janet Smith (Northern School of Contemporary Dance) were among Britain’s most renowned dance professionals gathered for a historic photograph featuring those who have been honoured in the Queen’s or New Years’ Honours lists for services to dance. The photograph, taken Tuesday 20 October on Sadler’s […]

Conservatoire school principals Veronica Lewis (London Contemporary Dance School) and Janet Smith (Northern School of Contemporary Dance) were among Britain’s most renowned dance professionals gathered for a historic photograph featuring those who have been honoured in the Queen’s or New Years’ Honours lists for services to dance.

The photograph, taken Tuesday 20 October on Sadler’s Wells’ stage, was organised by Dance UK and Dance Umbrella, and showcased leading figures in the dance world. Also featured in the photo are NSCD’s founding principal, Nadine Senior MBE, and several Conservatoire school alumni: Kenneth Tharp OBE, Chief Executive of The Place (LCDS), award-winning choreographer Anthony Van Laast MBE (LCDS), and Namron OBE Esq., (Rambert School) who taught at NSCD for many years.

The gathering aims to raise the profile of dance, and encourage more people to nominate outstanding dancers, choreographers, teachers and leaders to receive honours for their outstanding achievements in cultural life and local communities. The photograph is dedicated to David Drew MBE, principal dancer and former member of the Royal Ballet who died on 16 October 2015. David was one of the founders of Dance UK.

You can find out more about the Conservatoire school principals on our staff and leadership page.

Photo: Top Row Left to Right: Edward Watson MBE, Piali Ray OBE, Jeanetta Laurence OBE, Prue Skene CBE, Namron OBE Esq., Jeanette Siddall CBE, Fergus Early OBE, Peter Huggins MBE, Nadine Senior MBE, Linda Jasper MBE, Kiki Gale MBE, Deborah Baddoo MBE, Mark Baldwin OBE

Middle Row Left to Right: Marie McCluskey MBE, Nina Yadavan Rajarani MBE, Lea Anderson MBE, John Ashford CBE, Janet Smith MBE, Dr Scilla Dyke MBE, Colin Nears CBE, Cassa Pancho MBE, Deborah Bull CBE, Anthony Van Laast MBE, Veronica Lewis MBE, Dame Monica Mason, Kenneth Tharp OBE, Mira Kaushik OBE, Valerie Bourne CBE

Front Row Left to Right: Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE, Richard (Dick) Matchett MBE, Sheila Labhart OBE, Bisakha Sarker MBE, Lady Anya Sainsbury, Donald Whyte MacLeary OBE, Dame Beryl Grey, Dame Gillian Lynne, Robert Cohan CBE, Clement Crisp OBE, Janet Lewis MBE, Brenda Last OBE, Nilima Devi MBE, Douglas Squires OBE, Hazel Rayson MBE

Photo by Elliott Franks

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20th October 2015

BOVTS | Drama | Alumni | Awards

Alumni Winners at 2015 UK Theatre Awards

The 2015 UK Theatre Awards were presented at a star-studded ceremony on Sunday 18 October, with individual wins for Conservatoire school alumni. RADA graduate Joel MacCormack shared the Best Performance in a Play award (for his performance in Each His Own Wilderness). 2009 LAMDA graduate Ned Bennett won Best Director for Pomona, an Orange Tree […]

The 2015 UK Theatre Awards were presented at a star-studded ceremony on Sunday 18 October, with individual wins for Conservatoire school alumni.

RADA graduate Joel MacCormack shared the Best Performance in a Play award (for his performance in Each His Own Wilderness).

2009 LAMDA graduate Ned Bennett won Best Director for Pomona, an Orange Tree Theatre production, and Yen, a Royal Exchange Theatre production.

Multiple award-winning RADA alumna Imelda  Staunton took home the Best Performance in a Musical award for her part in Gypsy, which also won Best Musical Production.

Guest presenters appearing at the ceremony included BOVTS alumnus Sir Patrick Stewart and RADA alumna Anne Reid.

You can view the full list of winners here.

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19th October 2015

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

October round-up – alumni appearances and awards

Alumni on stage James Cousins Company, set up in 2012 by LCDS graduate James and creative producer Francesca Moseley, is performing Without Stars / There We Have Been at The Place on 20 – 22 October. Taking inspiration from Murakami’s bestselling novel Norwegian Wood, this critically acclaimed double bill portrays two sides to a beautifully […]

Alumni on stage

James Cousins Company, set up in 2012 by LCDS graduate James and creative producer Francesca Moseley, is performing Without Stars / There We Have Been at The Place on 20 – 22 October. Taking inspiration from Murakami’s bestselling novel Norwegian Wood, this critically acclaimed double bill portrays two sides to a beautifully tender story of love, loss and loyalty. You can read an interview with choreographer and dancer James Cousins here.

‘funny, sexy and flamboyant’ – NSCD graduate Carlos Pons Guerra’s Ham and Passion, touring the UK from October 2015 – February 2016, is reviewed in The Guardian.

BOVTS graduates Ray Coultard and Nicola Sloane are appearing in French farce Monsieur Popular at the Ustinov Studio Bath, from 1 October to 7 November. Set in 19th century Paris, this hilarious French farce is by Eugène Marin Labiche who was to be a huge influence upon Georges Feydeau and is translated, directed and has additional songs written by Jeremy Sams.

BOVTS graduate Erin Doherty is playing Laura in The Glass Menagerie at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse from 7 – 31 October. Graduates Dominic Allen and Peter Edwards are performing in The Crucible at Bristol Old Vic Theatre from 8 October – 7 November and Luke Newberry (In The Flesh) is appearing in Teddy Ferrara at The Donmar from 2 October – 5 December.

The Barbican’s sell out run of Hamlet continues until 31 October starring LAMDA alumnus Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet and RADA alumna Sian Brooke as Ophelia.

RADA graduate Tanya Moodie stars in a new one-woman play exploring the pressures on our public services. Joanne is playing at Soho Theatre until 31 October. Read an interview with Tanya in The Independent here.

LAMDA graduates Joe Claflin and Laura Hanna and RADA graduate Doireanne May White have just finished their run in The Sweethearts at Finborough Theatre.

National Centre for Circus Arts graduate company Silver Lining have been announced as associate artists at Jackson’s Lane. Company member Niamh O’Reilly appeared in a new performance, Sound Box, on 7 October and talks about the show here.

Alumni on screen

RADA graduate Tom Hiddleston stars in gothic horror story Crimson Peak directed by Guillermo del Toro, released 16 October. You can watch the trailer here:

Tom was interviewed in the Guardian about his roles in Crimson Peak and the upcoming Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light.

Trailers have been released for two forthcoming dramas starring LAMDA alumni: Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Jekyll and Hyde (Tom Bateman) are coming to BBC One and ITV this autumn:

Awards

RADA alumna Imelda Staunton has won the UK Theatre Award for best performance in a musical for her role in the Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Gypsy.

DanceEast announced the first successful recipients of its new Choreographic Development Award at a fundraising evening on Friday 2 October. Award winners included three LCDS graduates: Joseph Toonga, Tim Casson and Wayne Parsons.

The Dance Europe’s Critics Choice awards featured two Central School of Ballet alumni: dancer Kate Lyons as Outstanding Female Performer and dancer/choreographer Andrew McNicol as New Name to Watch.

 

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13th October 2015

NSCD | Dance | Alumni | Performances and Exhibitions

NSCD Graduates at Rambert Dance Company’s The Future

On Saturday 3 October, Rambert Dance Company held a showcase at The Lowry, looking towards the future of dance. The programme titled ‘The Future’ provides young choreographers and guest artists with performance platforms, and other advantages beneficial to their career in dance. Of the nine artists featured on the evening of the performance, seven were graduates of […]

On Saturday 3 October, Rambert Dance Company held a showcase at The Lowry, looking towards the future of dance. The programme titled ‘The Future’ provides young choreographers and guest artists with performance platforms, and other advantages beneficial to their career in dance.

Of the nine artists featured on the evening of the performance, seven were graduates of Northern School of Contemporary Dance:

Anthony Middleton (choreographer, theMiddletonCorpus)

Isabel Slingerland (theMiddletonCorpus)

Tom Tindall (theMiddletonCorpus)

Carlos Pons Guerra (choreographer)

James Southward (performer)

Mary Mannion (performer)

Daniel Phung (performer)

Carlos Pons Guerra, currently touring with his company DeNada Dance Theatre, was commissioned to create a duet for dancers of the Rambert Company. Anthony Middleton presented his own work Without End, previously shown at Northern Connections with his company theMiddletonCorpus and James Southward, Mary Mannion and Daniel Phung performed in Anthony Lo-Guidice’s Savages.

This is the first time Rambert Dance Company has worked with young choreographers from outside the company in this particular way, and it is the first time it has presented choreographic platform events in north west England.

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12th October 2015

National Centre for Circus Arts | Circus Arts | Alumni | Performances and Exhibitions

National Centre Consultancy for Paul Smith and Wayne McGregor

As part of National Centre for Circus Arts’ consultancy for designer Paul Smith, recent Circus Arts graduates have been touring the world with the ‘A Suit to Travel In’ showcase. Take a look at their latest performance in India: National Centre have also provided circus consultancy for two current stage productions: Wayne MacGregor’s Raven Girl […]

As part of National Centre for Circus Arts’ consultancy for designer Paul Smith, recent Circus Arts graduates have been touring the world with the ‘A Suit to Travel In’ showcase. Take a look at their latest performance in India:

National Centre have also provided circus consultancy for two current stage productions:

Wayne MacGregor’s Raven Girl features The Royal Ballet’s Sarah Lamb and runs from 6 – 24 October. You can book tickets here.

Tipping the Velvet, starring RADA graduate Sally Messham as Nancy, is playing at Lyric Hammersmith from 19 September – 24 October (tickets available here) and also features aerial work. Take a look at behind the scenes aerial training with the cast:

 

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5th October 2015

Drama | Alumni

RADA welcomes Sir Kenneth Branagh as new President

RADA has announced Sir Kenneth Branagh as the Academy’s new President, succeeding Lord Attenborough who was President from 2002 until his death last year. Branagh graduated from RADA in 1981 and has since gone on to an acclaimed career as an actor, director, producer and screen writer. His credits span theatre, TV and film – […]

RADA has announced Sir Kenneth Branagh as the Academy’s new President, succeeding Lord Attenborough who was President from 2002 until his death last year.

Branagh graduated from RADA in 1981 and has since gone on to an acclaimed career as an actor, director, producer and screen writer. His credits span theatre, TV and film – including co-founding the Renaissance Theatre Company, successfully adapting Shakespeare works such as Hamlet and Henry V for film, and more recently directing Hollywood blockbusters Thor and Cinderella, and starring in the English-language adaptation of Wallander, for which he won a BAFTA.

This work seems a long way from Branagh’s Belfast beginnings – “I’m just a normal working-class boy from Belfast. I went to a comprehensive school and didn’t go to university,” quotes Branagh, when commenting on his background.

He is currently preparing for his year long season at the Garrick Theatre. The first play, The Winter’s Tale, will also feature RADA alumni Jessie Buckley, Jack Colgrave Hurst, and 2015 graduates Jaygann Ayeh and Kathryn Wilder.

Branagh becomes RADA’s sixteenth president, and commented “It’s such a privilege to be asked to take up this role. I am delighted to see – and now help – RADA continue to nurture and support generations of acting and technical talent. To be able to give back to the school which provided me with so much is a wonderful honour.”

Director of RADA and Principal of the Conservatoire Edward Kemp added, “We’re thrilled to have Ken on board for the next step of the RADA journey, which includes plans to make our training even more accessible and public-facing and to renovate our Studios building to maintain our position as a world-leading drama school. The diversity of Ken’s career, not only as an actor, but as director, producer and beyond are an inspiration to us all, staff and students alike.”

Read more about the announcement on The Telegraph.

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2nd October 2015

NSCD | Rambert School | Dance | Drama | Stage Management & Technical Theatre | Alumni | Awards | Performances and Exhibitions | Students

Recent alumni successes

A quick round-up of some recent alumni successes over the last month: ‘Ribald, buzzy and thoroughly cheering!’, Jessica Swale’s Nell Gywnn at The Globe starring RADA graduate Gugu Mbatha-Raw is receiving rave reviews. The play was originally workshopped at LAMDA. LAMDA alumnus Paterson Joseph and RADA alumna Tanya Moodie discuss diversity in British theatre on […]

A quick round-up of some recent alumni successes over the last month:

‘Ribald, buzzy and thoroughly cheering!’, Jessica Swale’s Nell Gywnn at The Globe starring RADA graduate Gugu Mbatha-Raw is receiving rave reviews. The play was originally workshopped at LAMDA.

LAMDA alumnus Paterson Joseph and RADA alumna Tanya Moodie discuss diversity in British theatre on Newsnight (24:37 on iPlayer). Paterson Joseph also spoke to the Guardian about his new play, Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, which ran at Oxford Playhouse 17 – 19 September.

Recent RADA graduate Amy Mae Smith has been awarded a Knights of Illumination Award in the Musicals category for Sweeney Todd, at Harrington’s Pie-Shop, Tooting.

LAMDA alumnus David Oyelowo has been chosen to narrate the audio version of Antony Horowitz’s new James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, which was published on 8 September.

The National Youth Ballet Gala Performance on 13 September featured a new piece by Rambert School student Arielle Smith (age 19). Inspired by the renowned Giselle ballet, ‘ATHENA’ (see image) takes on a modern twist to the classic love story, and set in the dark of the underworld it tells the story of a romance destined for doom. Rambert School students Bryony Harrison and Chris Thomas danced the lead roles.

NSCD graduate Carlos Pons Guerra has been commissioned to create work on Rambert dancers for the company’s The Future programme, which provides young choreographers within the company with performance platforms and mentoring. This year is the first time Rambert has extended these opportunities to external artists. Carlos’ new work for Rambert can be seen in London, Rambert, on 15-16 December.

Following three months working in Fiji with leading dance company Vou, 2014 NSCD graduate Heather Walrond has received funding from Arts Council England for a new piece of work, ‘The Rising’, exploring what makes people feel alive and empowered, influenced by Fijian and Maori dances. The Rising was selected to be part of Plymouth’s Ocean City Festival programme and played at the Barbican Theatre on 18 September.

2010 RADA MA in Theatre Directing graduate Chanya Button will debut her first feature film, Burn Burn Burn, at this years’ BFI London Film Festival. The film will feature RADA graduates Hannah Arterton, Owen Findlay, Lotte Rice and Susan Wokoma.

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30th September 2015

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

Pink Mist on Stage and Screen

Students from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and RADA have been working with Owen Sheers’ much-lauded Pink Mist on stage and screen. Bristol Old Vic Theatre’s production of Pink Mist, whose cast of six featured three graduating actors from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, is now to be reprised as part of the Theatre’s 250th […]

Students from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and RADA have been working with Owen Sheers’ much-lauded Pink Mist on stage and screen.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre’s production of Pink Mist, whose cast of six featured three graduating actors from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, is now to be reprised as part of the Theatre’s 250th anniversary celebrations. The 250th anniversary programme will also see the return of BOVTS alumnus Jeremy Irons in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night in March 2016.

An innovative collaboration between theatre and school, Pink Mist included three graduating acting students who rehearsed as students and, on opening night which was also their last day of term, performed as professionals. A stage management student also worked on the show during training and turned professional as the show opened.

The play tells the story of three young Bristol men deployed to Afghanistan. Returning to the women in their lives who must now share the physical and psychological aftershocks of their service, Arthur, Hads and Taff find their journey home is their greatest battle. You can watch the trailer and book tickets here.

Also featuring Sheers’ text, the 2014 RADA film Sweet and Right featuring RADA students has been accepted to the Aesthetica Short Film Festival. Told from the perspective of one unfortunate soldier, the film draws on Pink Mist and the poetry of WW1 to try to find parallels and to explain the pain that many people cannot comprehend.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival is a celebration of independent short film from around the world, supporting emerging and established filmmakers. Films screened at the festival are eligible to enter the BAFTA British Short Film and Animation Awards.

You can watch the trailer for Sweet and Right here:

 

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