TRINITY LABAN CONSERVATOIRE OF MUSIC & DANCE
CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING MAGAZINE
TRINITY LABAN CONSERVATOIRE OF MUSIC & DANCE
CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING
Nurturing Talent The progression of the CATs over the years
Professional Effect Meet our artists for 2013
What does it take to be creative? Enabling young people to be open and curious
Centre for Advanced Training
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Faculty of Dance, Creekside, London SE8 3DZ 020 8305 9400 | firstname.lastname@example.org trinitylaban.ac.uk/cat 1
Issue 2 | Summer 2013
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FIRST FOR DANCE
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We are one of Europe’s leading centres for the training of professional contemporary dance artists. Train in Contemporary Dance with a renowned teaching faculty, at our unique award-winning Laban building. Over 97% of our first degree leavers are in employment or further study six months after graduation – placing us in the top five across the whole higher education sector.
TRINITY LABAN CONSERVATOIRE OF MUSIC & DANCE
City University London validates Trinity Laban’s postgraduate diploma and degree programmes across music and dance, including the Research Degree Programme. Within the validation partnership Trinity Laban is responsible for the delivery and management of the provision and City University for assuring the quality and standards of the programmes. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company No. 51090. Registered Charity No. 309998. Photography: Kyle Stevenson
Higher Education Statistics Agency 2011
The challenge in describing a ‘typical’ CAT day has been that there simply isn’t one
16 Works are developed to the highest production standards and have received rave reviews
8 A 10-Year Engagement 9 Nurturing Talent The Trinity Laban CAT provides intensive and rigorous dance training taught by highly experienced dance teachers and artists
CAT LIFE 13 Life After CAT 16 A day in the life of a CAT student 18 A fine balance Katherine’s working life of teaching, managing, creating and performing dance exemplifies a flexible way of working in the sector
21 Joining the dots Saturday is my favourite day of the week because of the atmosphere and energy created by the young people in the Laban building
I think if you set up the right atmosphere initially then what can go wrong?
CAT CONNECTIONS 24 Professional Effect 30 Tom Dale Company
32 FRANTIC ASSEMBLY 34 WAYNE MCGREGOR | RANDOM DANCE Trinity Laban is at the forefront of the fields of dance science and health
I gained a lot from working on making the project a good and positive experience for all the students
CAT HEALTH 39 science in practice 40 top 10 health tips for dancers 44 CREATIVE QUESTIONS Helping young people to be open and curious needs the provision of a safe environment – one which encourages exploration
46 The role of reassurance It is especially gratifying to see someone dancing who had been struggling with an injury
Editor Martin Collins firstname.lastname@example.org Editoral Consultant Ian Bramley email@example.com Editorial Assistant Bethan Peters / firstname.lastname@example.org Design Team Adam Hypki email@example.com / Tara Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org Corporate Events Manager Sylvia Ferreira email@example.com Publisher Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Cover Photo James Keates Photography Ben Johnson, James Keates Contributors Ian Bramley, Janet Briggs, Eleanor Buxton, Martin Collins, Tom Dale, Mafalda Deville, Veronica Jobbins, Bim Malcomson, Niamh Morrin, Bethan Peters, Louisa Pestell, Debbie Watson, Print Newton Print, Simon Besley / firstname.lastname@example.org
Without the opportunity I donâ€™t think I would have realised my potential and passion for contempoary dance. Trinity Laban CAT student
reativity, training and dancers’ health are the heart of our conversations in the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) office at Trinity Laban. We constantly discuss how they impact on best practice in our work with young people, and it is by keeping this debate alive and open to new influences that we can move the art form and training forward.
While members of the team may differ on specific points, the one thing we all believe is that you cannot separate out the elements of the triad of creativity, training and dancers’ health, and that their interrelationship leads to a more sustainable development of the whole dancer than the individual elements can do independently. Our aim is always to challenge our students’ practices and continually review our approach to their training, ensuring that we are preparing then for a lifetime in the arts. In this issue of the CAT magazine, I want to share and open up our discussions to a wider audience. Inside its pages you will find articles covering diverse topics, including pieces on the broader context in which the CAT operates, an investigation into the nature of creativity and a day in the life of a CAT student. On page 40, Dance UK presents a pro-active approach to educating dancers about their own bodies and, on page 46, Janet Briggs, our physiotherapist, talks about how important something as simple as reassurance can be in dealing with dance injuries when they happen. You can find out what our students have gone on to do after they have left the CAT on page 13 and discover how the links with professional artists and companies set them up for a life in dance in the section starting on page 24. I hope you enjoy reading this issue and carrying on the debate in your own conversations. Martin Collins Editor
A 10-Year engagement Veronica Jobbins Head of Learning and Participation (Dance), Trinity Laban
he Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is one part of the Learning and Participation (Dance) programme at Trinity Laban, which offers a wide range of youth, schools and community projects and activities, professional training, and short courses for people of all ages and different experiences. Each week we engage with over 1,000 people and I am very proud of how the programme has developed over the 10 years since we came to our amazing building in Deptford.
I joined the then Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in 1996 as Head of Professional Studies. There was only a passing reference in my interview to the need for someone to help shape the public benefit side of the funding application to the National Lottery for a new building. The intention for the building was to bring together the diverse aspects of our institution – dance artist training, community participation, education, health and performance – into a cohesive whole where each element would feed and support the others. This is reflected in Herzog and de Meuron’s architecture, which creates an inclusive environment that enables creativity and community engagement to flourish. In 2003, when our new building was officially launched, the political climate for the arts and education was very different and we took advantage of a number of government policies and initiatives to establish the Education and Community Programme (as it was then called) locally, regionally and nationally. An early project, Creating Success, used dance to raise achievement in local primary schools, and we developed gifted and talented programmes for Lewisham pupils and projects with Creative Partnerships. Working with Lewisham Council’s Arts Service, we were instrumental in setting up the Lewisham Schools Showcase and the Lewisham Education Arts Network. In the last 10 years there have been many highlights. Our community launch and Open House event saw 6,000 people visiting the new Laban Building on
a single day. The programme for the day included performances and participatory workshops all over the building, sowing the seeds from which we have developed our activities. Since then, the annual Christmas Youth Dance projects with Greenwich Dance, the many wonderful children and youth performances in the Laban Theatre, the Pick up the Pace three-year programme for boys, last year’s Big Dance picnics and, more recently, our music and dance programme for older people, Retired not Tired, have all been memorable. The development of the CAT at Trinity Laban has been a major project; it now has about 120 students aged 13 –18 from across the South East. The CAT has become a vital part of the Learning and Participation jigsaw of activities, providing access and progression for young people inspired to dance and motivated to commit to intensive training. A vital ingredient in the success of the Learning and Participation (Dance) programme is the expert and committed team of 12 staff that devises, delivers and produces all the various activities and projects we run. The team work with over 80 freelance dance teachers and artists to provide all our participants with the highest quality dance experiences. But what of the next 10 years? While these are difficult times economically, I am optimistic about the future of the programme. We have established partnerships with key dance agencies, such as Greenwich Dance, a range of dance companies and our local authority, and we are making strong international links. Within Trinity Laban, we work collaboratively with the Faculty of Music, bringing together music and dance for creative projects. Our programme is built on the people of all ages and backgrounds whom we engage with. It is their love of dance, and their enjoyment and appreciation for what we do that lay the foundation for the future.
nurturing talent he Centre for Advance Training (CAT) at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is one of nine National Dance Centres for Advanced Training situated throughout the country and funded through the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme. CATs identify children aged 11–16 who have exceptional potential in dance and develop their talent through pioneering programmes, creating and inspiring future generations of world-class dancers and choreographers. Through the national provision of highly specialised dance training for young people, CATs cultivate artists at a critical stage in their development to prepare them for entry into the world’s leading vocational dance schools and on to successful and rewarding careers in the arts.
Belgium, reflecting on this time said: ‘The National Dance CAT scheme worked as a catalyst for my aspirations. It was incredible to be involved in a constantly moving environment of young people enthusiastic about dance. Throughout the scheme I felt like I was improving my skill levels and every teacher on CAT gave me the incentive to aim high and achieve.’ In 2008, Trinity Laban’s Dance Science Department, in collaboration with the National Dance CATs, started the first ever longitudinal study examining young dancers, through an interdisciplinary project which measured the characteristics of dance talent, their interrelationships and potential implications. The knowledge gained through the study has been fed back into the core curriculum of the CATs as well as being published in noted scientific journals. In addition to this, research is currently taking place looking at the integration of inclusive dance within the current training model of the National Dance CATs, led by Dance4.
In a 2010 speech, Ed Vaizey, the current Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, stated that cultural education should ‘help us find and nurture the exceptional talent in the next generation, who are destined to go on to be performers and artists, but also teachers and mentors’. This is exactly what the National Dance CATs aim to do. The CAT at Trinity Laban provides intensive and rigorous dance training taught by a highly experienced team of professional dance teachers and artists. Term-time classes on Saturdays and weekday evenings, and special projects during school holidays, offer contemporary dance, ballet, choreography, dance fitness and health, performance opportunities, experience in different dance styles, visits to dance performances, collaborative projects and access to careers advice. The dance training programme is delivered in collaboration with Trinity Laban’s Dance Science team. Participants benefit from the unique skills and knowledge of leading practitioners in fitness, dance health, Pilates, physiotherapy and nutrition. It is hoped that students will leave the CAT to pursue professional dance training at aged 16 or 18 if they wish. Current students have been offered places at London Contemporary Dance School, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Trinity Laban, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary, London Studio Centre, Urdang Academy, Bird College and a number of universities. Taha Ghauri, former CAT student, currently studying at the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (P.A.R.T.S.),
From the completely ridiculous to the utterly sublime experiences, my time at Trinity Laban as a CAT student has changed my life in a way I could never have predicted five years ago. Charlie Burt | former CAT student
Life after CAT
A day in the life of a CAT student A fine balance Joining the dots
Photo: James Keates
Acupuncture massage pilates STUDIO physiotherapy and more
For further information visit trinitylaban.ac.uk/health email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org call 020 8305 9482
LIFE AFTER CAT
Bethan Peters he Trinity Laban Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is a springboard into many exciting and diverse progression routes within various careers. The training programme not only nurtures young people’s technical and creative dance abilities but also develops a range of personal, social and professional skills that are transferable to any industry.
After they leave us, many of our students decide to continue their dance training at degree level at a specialist dance conservatoire or university, within the UK or abroad. CAT alumni have gone on to study at institutions including Trinity Laban, London Contemporary Dance School, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Urdang, ArtsED, Studio Centre and the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (P.A.R.T.S.). Many of these past students have said that they would not have known about or pursued further dance training had they not taken part in the CAT programme.
The CAT programme offers young people a taste of vocational dance training. Through intensive training alongside their regular schooling, students not only receive technical dance tuition but also develop an understanding of what it is like to be in a professional dance company, work with choreographers and stage dance works in public theatres. This offers the young people experience that will be invaluable should they choose to pursue a career in dance. While the majority of students who stay with the CAT programme until they are 18 go onto pursue a career in dance (96 per cent of CAT alumni go on to vocational performing arts training), others have gone on to study subjects such as history, politics and education. These students have said that being on the CAT programme has been just as enriching and beneficial even though they have not continued intensive dance training. The aim of the CAT programme is to offer our students exceptional quality dance training and open up the possibilities of where they can go in their career paths, whether that be in dance or not. We keep in touch with CAT alumni and always look forward to seeing what they are doing with their wonderful talents and imaginations.
Photo: Raw PR
Some CAT alumni who have completed their vocational training now work with world-renowned dance companies, touring with international musicals and performing in West End plays. Former students have performed with New Adventures, Northern Ballet, Thriller the Musical, the National Youth Dance Company and Nederlands Dans Theatre 2.
Profile: Tom Jackson greaves Tom Jackson Greaves (21) was accepted as one of the first students at Trinity Laban CAT in 2007. He stayed on the programme until 2008, when he was accepted on to the BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance programme at the London Contemporary Dance School at 16, two years before the usual entry age. Tom made a big commitment at a young age to attend the CAT programme by commuting from Cornwall every weekend. His dedication paid off as he is now performing with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures in the current tour of Sleeping Beauty, playing the lead role of Carrabosse/Caradoc, as well as choreographing his own work. Tom says: ‘The CAT programme was a huge part of my development in becoming a professional dance artist. It gave me opportunities I would never have been able to be a part of anywhere else, with master classes with top companies, the best teachers in the country and amazing performance opportunities. It took my dancing, both technically and emotionally, to a much higher level and I truly feel it has shaped my career success.’ tom-jackson-greaves.com @tjgdance
â€˜My family life would be poorer without dance because my whole family benefits. Our eldest son is on the CAT programme. He could not be considering a career as a dancer and choreographer without this. As freelance, sole traders, my husband and I do not have a steady income. We could not afford to pay for lessons of this intensity and quality without support. It is very hard for a boy to move through adolescence with this ambition. You need to develop a high level of confidence and commitment to withstand the teasing which inevitably ensues at school. The CAT is a socially mixed environment which reaches young people from all walks of life and connects them creatively, giving them opportunities many of them had never dreamed of. I have watched young men from socially deprived backgrounds blossom into ambitious, motivated creative practitioners with real drive and purpose.â€™ Parent of student at Trinity Laban CAT
A day in the life of a CAT student
Eleanor Buxton or many students on the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) scheme at Trinity Laban, Saturdays begin bright and early as we travel from all areas of southern England to the Laban Building in Deptford. My own lengthy journey from Buckinghamshire is made more enjoyable as I meet other students at various places on the way and we travel in together. Our day officially starts with a warm up class to prepare our bodies and minds for a day of dance. Time in warm up provides a welcome opportunity to detach myself from my A level work, amongst other things, and to truly focus on my dancing.
After warming up, we split into technique groups. First, I have a contemporary class. Throughout my time at Trinity Laban I have been fortunate to have been taught by a wide variety of individuals. This makes it impossible to describe a normal class as each teacher brings a unique style and insight to the CAT. A technique lesson always has a sense of a progression. Initial exercises provide us with the opportunity to engage our bodies and focus on alignment and performance qualities before we later employ these skills in complex and dynamic pieces.
the other. Accompaniment from musicians leads to a constant, exciting collaboration between the two art forms. The final class of the day is a creative session, again a period of time dedicated to a range of work. This class provides the most freedom and may be spent entirely on exploring ideas through dance. I have recently finished working on Choreomission as a dancer in student choreography and into the summer term we will be rehearsing our project work for the end of year show. Throughout my time at Trinity Laban, we have taken part in workshops, met people from all areas of the dance industry, seen many inspiring productions and have been a part of research and performance events. The challenge in describing a ‘typical’ CAT day has been that there simply isn’t one; no two days at Trinity Laban are the same. In such a creative atmosphere, we never really know what to expect. Training on the CAT scheme has not only allowed me to develop as a dancer but also as person, with a greater understanding of myself and the world around me. I have had three truly unforgettable years.
We then break for lunch, which may sound trivial, but in fact provides CAT students with time to catch up. At the centre of the CAT experience are the relationships formed with others in such a diverse and talented peer group. We also spend time in tutor groups based on our academic year. As a Year 13 student, a lot of our discussions have been devoted to the daunting prospect of choosing which path to take next year. The support I have received in making this decision has been invaluable. Tutor time is used for numerous activities from discussions and one-to-one meetings to playing stress-busting games when assessments are coming up. In the afternoon I have a ballet class. The barre exercises act as a chance to work intricately and the centre work is a direct development of ideas and principles previously discovered. Although there is a clear distinction between styles, skills from both technique classes are transferable as each complements
A Fine Balance
Louisa Pestell ne of the things that we aim to impart to the students at the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) – and their parents – is an understanding of the career opportunities that currently exist within the performing arts sector.
One way we educate our young people is through the career days that we host. Leading professionals from the dance sector attend the days to talk about their career histories and their personal journeys. People such as Stuart Hopps (international film choreographer), Caroline Miller (Director of Dance UK), and Jonathan Goddard (formerly a dancer with Richard Alston Dance Company and Rambert and nominated for the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance) have taken part in previous events. The stories told range from being professional dancers before training for management positions to being the person who developed the first BA in dance in the UK. To give a realistic picture, their accounts include the difficulties they have faced as well as their achievements. For example, Jonathan discussed how he was told by a number of people in the dance industry that he would never become a dancer – though he proved them wrong in the end. The teachers and guest artists who contribute to the programme also play a vital part in expanding our students’ understanding of the career possibilities in dance. Their passion and commitment act as an inspiration to the young people on the scheme. The experience they bring from previous phases in their working lives or from other aspects of their current portfolios of activities not only informs their work with the students but also presents examples of possible career pathways.
Teacher profile: Katherine Hollinson Katherine Hollinson has taught on Trinity Laban’s CAT scheme for two years. With a diverse working life of teaching, managing, creating and performing dance, she exemplifies a flexible freelance way of working in the sector. One of her key passions is working with young people and developing them into young dancers: ‘After leaving Central School of Ballet of course I wanted to perform but I also had this need to develop the next generation. I was very fortunate to be supported, by my family, and the CAT programme does just that for these young people. I’m very proud to be a part of it.’ Katherine’s debut as a professional dancer was with the Balbir Singh Dance Company. Following this, Katherine immersed herself in the Manchester dance scene where she began teaching. Her first experience of CATs was at The Lowry where she taught alongside working on projects with Creative Partnerships and in local schools. After a research period in New York, supported by a bursary from Salford Arts and Music, Katherine decided to develop her career in London. The highlight of Katherine’s current work portfolio is performing Oltra La Luna, a duet choreographed by Marta Bevilacqua specifically for outdoor performances. This work has given her the opportunity to perform internationally in Brazil and Italy. Katherine says that when dancing this duet, which she loves, with people she likes, while travelling the world, she couldn’t ask for a better job. Katherine is realistic about the challenge to balance what she wants to achieve artistically with the pressure of sustaining a wage and maintaining job security but she remains keen to explore her own choreographic practice further. She recently created a performance piece in which the audience was given torches so they could light the work themselves. She intends to develop her exploration of such work whilst simultaneously working with more and different choreographers. TRINITYLABAN.AC.UK/CAT 19
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Joining the dots Louisa Pestell
anuary of this year, Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, was quoted in the Independent as saying he was full of praise for Trinity Laban’s long-term approach to improving access to higher education: ‘Sustained, well-targeted outreach such as summer schools, masterclasses and mentoring can be very effective and we want to see more of it... while work with teenagers is very useful and should continue, we are keen to see more long-term schemes that start at a younger age and persist through the school career.’ Professor Anthony Bowne, Principal of Trinity Laban, responded to Professor Ebdon’s comments by saying: ‘It makes sense in music and dance to nurture talent from an early age if you are to take them in as gifted and talented at the age of 18.’
I therefore feel very privileged to hold the position of Projects Manager within the Learning and Participation (Dance) team, working across a diverse range of projects and programmes. My role has evolved over time. When I started at Trinity Laban six years ago in the role of Administrative Assistant, I worked across the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) programme and on short courses, including Trinity Laban’s summer school, and adult and children’s dance classes. When appointed Projects Manager three years ago, I retained my responsibilities as a CAT tutor and continued to manage the CAT outreach programme. I also took on responsibility for activities relating to secondary schools, disability, widening participation and young ambassadors, and for some community projects.
their age, ability or experience. My strategy is to create a mixed programme of one-off and longer term opportunities both within the building and in school and community settings. Partnerships with other arts organisations – such as Greenwich Dance, Loop Dance Company and Candoco Dance Company – are vital in ensuring I can signpost young people to suitable activities and welcome new participants to Trinity Laban. When I tell people that I am working on a Saturday, they often express sympathy. But Saturday is my favourite day of the week because of the atmosphere and energy created by the young people in the Laban Building. Observing and working with our CAT students inspires me to develop strategies to reach as many young people as possible who may not otherwise know about, or get the chance to participate in, free and subsidised dance activities. I believe that if we do our jobs properly, we will create an infrastructure in which all participants from across our programmes know that while they may leave us at some point, they also understand that our door is always open – whether that is for advice, work opportunities or to join our over 60s group!
My previous knowledge of participants in our children’s classes, understanding of the CAT and my new strategic role in widening participation for Trinity Laban as an institution has placed me in an ideal position to join the dots and strengthen progression routes between different activities. So, what do I do? Ultimately, I aim to create a network of activity that provides a cohesive and connected map of opportunities for young people to participate in regardless of
An exceptionally creative and enthusiastic group of young dancers. The future of contemporary dance is in safe hands with these students. James Wilton
cat connec tions
Professional Effect Tom Dale Company
Frantic Assembly Wayne McGregor | Random Dance
CAT students are always open, creative, focused, enthusiastic and ready to go! What more could one want from a group of young dancers, when making a new piece? Bim Malcomson
Professional EFFECT Martin Collins
ithin the programmes at Trinity Laban, at all levels, we strongly believe that creativity and training cannot be divorced from one another. The creative curriculum at the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) has been designed to enable young people to extend their creative vocabularies, express their artistic voices, and interact with the professional dance community.
Each year the CAT at Trinity Laban commissions a number of professional artists to work with the young people on the programme. This exposure to the professional dance world provides a key element in their training. The projects are treated as professional companies in their own right, supplied with rehearsal directors, lighting designers, costume designers, producers and, of course, the artist themselves. The young people receive call sheets for the production days and rehearsals, and get to perform the work at some of the most prestigious venues in the UK: the Royal Festival Hall, English National Ballet’s Big Dance Tent, White Lodge, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Clore Ballroom, Robin Howard Dance Theatre and, of course, the Laban Theatre. These works are developed to the highest production standards and have received rave reviews. Over the past few years, CAT students have worked with some of the world’s top choreographers and companies, including: Lea Anderson, Arthur Pita, James Wilton, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Nigel Charnock, Frederick Opoku-Addaie, Sarah Linstra, Darren Ellis Dance, Lost Dog, Bim Malcomson,
Lee Smikle, Tina Krasevec, Kenneth Tharp, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Hofesh Shechter, and Pascal Merighi (as a guest choreographer for Tanztheater Wuppertal). Every artist has their own process. For example, Lea Anderson brought images, photographs and artworks into the studio for the students to use as starting points for developing movement material. Lea was surprised by their enthusiasm for early twentieth-century Russian theatre and Meyhold’s biomechanics and she felt the process worked very well. Each artist or company also brings their own history and sources of inspiration. Lea, for example has a visual arts background and an interest in other art forms: ‘Most of my influences have not come from dance. I have always been interested in taking structures or conventions from another art form and translating them into dance to see what happens. I like to misread things, such as pictures or notebooks, and then reconstruct them as dance. So quite often my influences are cross art form’. Working with the CAT students can place new demands on the artists involved. Darren Ellis’s work with CAT students in 2012 was based on a work he created for his company the previous year. Long Walk Home, supported by DanceEast and Arts Council England, was a series of individual portraits of four very different women, each at a different stage of life, featuring the music of acclaimed folk duo, the Askew Sisters. TRINITYLABAN.AC.UK/CAT 25
When reworking the piece for the CAT students, Darren needed to depart from the idea of the four portraits, and he and company dancer Joanna had to employ a different choreographic approach when incorporating 20 young dancers into the new piece:
â€˜The process was about developing a one-to-one relationship between me and the performers, finding out what dance means to them and what they were going through. In the original Long Walk Home I chose a piece of music for each performer and gave them tasks to work with. We then linked the solos together. With the process or journey I went on with the young people on the Trinity Laban CAT, Jo and I did the same thing but developed the relationship between the dancers and layered the music on this.â€™
Each year, through the involvement a range of artists, with their different ideas, backgrounds and processes, the young men and women on the scheme are taken on a creative journey. This year the young people on the CAT programme have worked with, and performed in work by, the following artists and companies: Mafalda Deville, Bim Malcomson, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Tom Dale and Frantic Assembly.
Over the next few pages you will be able learn more about this yearâ€™s artists and the creative exchanges that took place between them and the students.
theARTISTS Bim Malcomson
Bim Malcomson is a choreographer, teacher and mentor. As a choreographer she has toured her own work, as well as working with the Royal Opera House’s Education Department, Connect at Sadler’s Wells and the Centre for Advanced Training at Trinity Laban. She has also worked in theatre, opera and film, including Kenneth Branagh’s Magic Flute. She is Artist in Education at The Royal Ballet School where she choreographs large-scale projects. As a teacher she works at Trinity Laban and has also taught at The Place and Lewisham College. Bim regularly mentors for Youth Dance England and the Diploma in Ballet Education Practice: Royal Ballet School and Royal Opera House Education Department.
Mafalda Deville Mafalda Deville trained at Ginasiano Dance School in Portugal before moving to London to attend London Contemporary Dance School in 1998/99. After graduating, she joined BCN Dance Company where she began to develop her own choreography skills, becoming the resident choreographer of the company. From 2003 to 2012, Mafalda worked with Jasmin Vardimon Company, firstly as a performer then also as a rehearsal director, director, choreographer and teacher on company projects. At the same time, Mafalda developed here own creative work in physical theatre outside the company, becoming a freelance choreographer/ dancer based in Porto, Portugal, in 2012, where she also runs her own dance school project.
ormed in 2001, the Tom Dale Company (TDC) tests the boundaries of contemporary dance through a collaborative practice that focuses particularly on the synergy between electronic music, the digital arts and dance. The work has a strong philosophical approach and the company creates abstract worlds in its work, through which it explores global issues pertinent to contemporary society.
TDC Is based in Nottingham and is resident company at Dance4. The company’s latest work is Refugees of the Septic Heart, a collaboration between choreographer and dancer Tom Dale and digital artist Barret Hodgson, who recently enjoyed international success and critical acclaim with the company’s earlier production, I Infinite. Refugees is performed to an original score by prodigious composer/producer Shackleton, a distinctive figure on the vast dub/dubstep/techno scene, and accompanied by words from Vengeance Tenfold. Tom says: ‘This piece has been waiting to be made since Shackleton offered the first music ideas three years ago. We’ve now found the right group of people, cast and collaborators to make it happen. It’s great to be working with Barret again on a new project; we can’t wait to realise this vision and bring this piece to life and to find out where the refugees of the septic heart are going.’ Chantal Guevara writing on the Cloud Dance Festival website describes the piece as follows: ‘Refugees of the Septic Heart is a very rich work, with the audience being taken on a journey by Tom Dale into a futuristic world where existential themes are explored, as is the notion of an end game. It’s a feast for the senses.’ Alongside his work with his own company, Tom has been working with the students at the Trinity Laban Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) on the creation of a piece entitled coming back from your house. ‘Sometimes I just go into a process with a few devices, certain music that I want to use and a particular way of moving. I loved this gorrilaz track featuring Bobby Womack singing and I also loved a new version of “Walking on the Moon” that I had found. It gave me a warm feeling, like that feeling after a good day with friends, contentment and fulfilment. So the piece is about relationships, travelling, having a warm feeling – all abstracted of course – and the narrative has started to come from the work we have done as a group rather than from a preconceived concept. This was a very giving group to work with and I think they have achieved a lot and in the right spirit.’ (mc)
Tom Dale Company Coming back from your house
So, howâ€™s your day been?
assembly franticassembly.co.uk Photo: Johan Persson. Love Song by Frantic Assembly. 32
his year, the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) at Trinity Laban invited the theatre company Frantic Assembly to make a piece with the young dancers training on its programme. Founded in 1994, Frantic Assembly has a reputation for creating relevant, resonant performance pieces that combine movement, design, music and text. Martin Collins and his colleagues at the CAT were excited by how this holistic approach could benefit the students. Frantic’s work with young people mainly focuses on drama students and theatres, so the company was attracted by the opportunity to increase its work with young dancers. Scott Graham, Frantic’s Artistic Director, locates the project’s value in the exchange between artists and art forms:
‘I am always looking to find out what happens when dancers explore theatricality and actors explore movement. I find both sides bring their brilliance to the other’s discipline and create something fresh and fascinating. Beyond that the experience leads to a more rounded performer and theatre/dance maker and helps break down unhelpful barriers and expectations.’ The project was led by Steve Kirkham one of Frantic Assembly’s Learn & Train team. Steve has worked with the company since 1998, choreographing two early shows Klub and Zero, and his other recent work has mainly been within the fields of theatre or opera, including acting as assistant choreographer on His Dark Materials at the National Theatre. However, Steve’s experience within the dance sector is extensive. A founder member of Lea Anderson’s all-male troupe The Featherstonehaughs, he performed with DV8, and created and performed roles for Matthew Bourne in Nutcracker!, Swan Lake, Play without Words and Edward Scissorhands. His particular combination of skills and experience made him the ideal person to introduce Frantic’s way of working to the young dancers taking part. The project began in April with a four-day period in which Steve worked with the students intensively, continuing with weekend rehearsals in June and July, with the 10-minute piece being presented as part of two performances in July. Will Aitchison from the CAT worked alongside Steve in the rehearsal room, supporting the students and Steve in the creation of the piece. Steve developed the initial idea for the project in collaboration with Scott and Inga Hirst, who manages the company’s Learn & Train programme. They decided to base the piece firmly around the lives and personalities of the young dancers taking part: ‘We thought about a whole day: sleeping, waking, then coming together as a group of friends and working together. I wanted a lot of the ideas to come from the dancers. It’s about them and how they get on, work, create.’ The title of the piece, So, how’s your day been?, reflects this focus.
that make them happy, role models and the bravest things they have seen. As well as forming a starting point for the creative process, some of the answers have been incorporated into the spoken dialogue of the finished piece. Steve described the project as progressing in the following way: ‘We started every day with quite a physical warm up and played team-building games as it’s important they really work as a team and build up a company feel. I gave them tasks in groups, pairs and on their own from which they created the movement for the piece. I then started to pull their work together to create the overall piece. Some of the responses from their questionnaires on the first day generated ideas for tasks and other tasks came from Frantic Assembly rehearsals.’ ‘On the last day of the week intensive we ran through the piece and I started to see a fuller/more rounded piece of work. The next step of the process is less about steps and more about them and their personalities infiltrating the work.’ When asked if there were any issues in translating Frantic’s theatrical way of working to a dance context, Steve said: ‘I think if you set up the right atmosphere initially and make everyone feel comfortable and tell them to bring all of themselves into the room, then what can go wrong?’ However, in the context of the project, the dancers’ technical training sometimes acted as an obstacle to achieving the more everyday movement style that that Steve was aiming for: ‘The main challenge, I think, was for the students to be as natural as possible: walking and simply moving across the space in a relaxed way, looking strong and free. They would sometimes move in a very held, upright, dance way, and I wanted them to walk or run very easily and simply.’ Interchange between company and students lay at the heart of the project. Frantic has relished the opportunity to work with a new group of emerging dancers, introducing them to the way of working, and giving them new tools to devise and create their own work. In turn, the company saw in the students a sense of joy and exploration while they played their parts in creating their work. Reflecting on the project, Steve expressed his admiration of how supportive the students were of each other and his satisfaction that, at the end of the intensive four days of working, the group were already starting to work cohesively like a professional company. The result of all of this, Steve hopes, is a performance full of the dancers’ personalities and ideas – all performed in the trademark Frantic style. Ian Bramley
To kick-start the process, on the first day of the project, the CAT students were given a questionnaire designed to provide Steve with insights into them as individuals and as a group, including questions about their dreams and fears, the things
wayne mcgregor | random dance Being there
randomdance.org Photo: Ravi Deepres. FAR by Wayne McGreger | Random Dance. 34
Catarina Carvalho of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance talks to Ian Bramley about bringing a taste of company life to Trinity Laban CAT students
s Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet and the government’s Youth Dance Champion, Wayne McGregor is one of the most respected choreographers in the country.
His company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance was founded in 1992 and since then has been the platform though which he has explored his radical movement style and his collaborations with new technologies and other art forms. In 2013, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance undertook their second project with the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) at Trinity Laban, drawn by the challenge of working with exceptionally talented young dancers and the opportunity of working with a new group of students. The project was led by company dancer, Catarina Carvalho. Originally from Portugal, Catarina worked with choreographers such as Javier de Frutos and Rui Horta before joining Wayne McGregor | Random Dance five years ago. How does the project fit into the wider work of the company? The Creative Learning department of Random works with a wide range of participants from those with little or no dance experience to vocational students and professionals. The CAT students are part of this spectrum and the company has worked with CAT students from around the UK. It was great to work with such a talented group of students to explore their individual creative and movement potential through choreographic methods which reflect the way Wayne McGregor works in the studio with his dancers. What was the inspiration for the project? The piece was inspired by American painter Edward Hopper. We used some of his paintings and themes as a stimulus to create material. Most of the images we used were his ‘figure paintings’, which explore themes of solitude and human relations in different environments. These ideas were used as a starting point and then developed and abstracted to create the language of the piece.
How did you work with the CAT students? The way the project is structured is based on the way Wayne works with the dancers in his company, which gives the CAT students an opportunity to experience a professional way of working to create a piece. It is very much a collaborative way of working. Each day started with a warm up technique class to physically and mentally prepare the students for the day. I would then quickly brief them on what we would be working on during the day. Then I would teach them a phrase or make duets/trios/ quartets on them, depending on the day. The day then would carry on with creative tasks that were given to the students for them to create their own material. This could be to generate solos, duets or trios, and the task would be designed with a specific purpose based on the imagery or acoustic stimulus we were working on. At the end of each day, we made a list of all the material we’d created so we could refer to it a few days later when we began to structure the piece. What did you get from the project? It was very interesting working with the CAT students because of their abilities and their motivation to learn and work in a professional environment. It is a specific challenge to keep the students engaged because of the different levels within the group; I gained a lot from working on making the project a good and positive experience for all the students. Were there any unexpected discoveries for you during the project? I noticed that it is important to keep the possibility of injury in mind because the students are not used to working so intensively with their bodies. So I worked to prevent these things from happening by introducing small methods of warming up and cooling down as part of the daily routine. What do you think the students gained from participating?
The title of the piece is Dasein, a German word that literally means ‘being there’ but which is also a fundamental concept in existential philosophy that relates to human existence and issues of self, mortality and the relationship with other human beings while still remaining alone with yourself. This relates to the subjects Edward Hopper explored in his work.
I think it is a fantastic opportunity as the students get to work closely and intensively with professional dancers. They get the chance to understand how it is to work at a professional level. I think they’ve gained a lot by creating their own dance material and seeing what the possibilities are.
Science In Practice
Top Ten Tips for Dancers Creative Questions The Role of Reassurance
Want to reach your optimal dance fitness and perform at your best?
The newly established National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science aims to enhance dancersâ€™ health and performance. Through shared expertise and a network of multidisciplinary hubsites and partners, it is working to provide access for all dancers to high quality, evidence-based, dance specific healthcare and dance science services. For more information on how to access NIDMS dance medicine and science services including the first NHS dance injury clinic go to:
www.danceuk.org or contact Helen Laws, Manager of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7713 0730.
national institute of dance medicine and science
science in practice
ance science and dancersâ€™ health have become increasingly important in recent years as knowledge in these areas has grown within the dance industry. Now, the challenge for everyone in dance is to put this knowledge into practice in the studio.
Trinity Laban is at the forefront of the fields of dance science and health, and this expertise is embedded into our work at the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) and across the diverse programmes at Trinity Laban. We have worked with Trinity Laban dance scientists to design the CAT programme around the needs of the healthier dance in a number of different ways. For example, at the Trinity Laban CAT we train our male and female students separately within their technical training. Anecdotally, this seems to provide valuable benefits, based on the idea that young men experience physiological and psychological issues during the growth spurt that are not experienced as dramatically by young women. We ensure that the young people are supported throughout their time on the programme. A dedicated Performance Enhancement Teacher works with teachers and students to apply scientific concepts to the practical work in the studio to enhance technical training. Every young person on the programme is provided with Dance UK information sheets on dancersâ€™ health and we employ our own dance specific physiotherapist. Trinity Laban has developed successful partnerships with Dance UK and the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science and within the CAT we have led on and participated in a number of scientific studies related to dance and the training of young people. Most recently Trinity Laban has been working with Dance4 on new research on the development of changing perception of dance training for people with disabilities.
We have also helped establish Foundations for Excellence, which started life at a Department for Children, Schools and Familiesâ€™ Music and Dance Scheme conference in February 2009 at Dartington Hall. Foundations for Excellence exists to share research, resources and best practice for the support and development of talented young musicians, singers and dancers. It currently achieves this through an online resource hub, the commissioning of new information sheets on a variety of specific topics and a biannual conference. Within this section you can read about how Janet Briggs, our physiotherapist, works with our students to reassure them that they are on the right path to recovery when injured. You will also be able to pick up some of the best health tips from Dance UK for young dancers. Finally, Debbie Watson presents insights into the creative sprit of the young people on the programme as discovered through recent research. (mc)
Top 10 Health Dancers 1 4 2 5 3 6 Niamh Morrin Healthier Dancer Programme Manager, Dance UK
Look after your bones
A warm up will prepare you physically and mentally for your dance class, rehearsal or performance. The fundamental aim is to increase the body’s core temperature and prepare the muscles, nerves and joints for the demands the will be placed on them during dance activity. This vital preparation will contribute to injury prevention, improved co-ordination, improved technique and enhanced focus.
Vitamin D and calcium must be included in a healthy dancer’s diet. Without these components you will be more prone to stress fractures and your healing process will be slowed down. Include vital calcium rich foods like milk, cheese and yogurts in your diet. Green leafy vegetables, almonds, figs and tofu are also good sources of calcium. Vitamin D is present in oily fish, egg yolks and cod liver oil but we get most of our vitamin D from sunlight. You should take time to go outdoors during busy days in the studio.
Around 60 per cent of your body is made up of water. In order for your body and brain to function effectively we need to maintain good hydration levels. Always start a class well hydrated and bring a full drinks bottle with you in to the studio. Aim to drink water or an isotonic sport drink during and also after dance activity. If you are not fully hydrated and take part in dance activity you are likely to fatigue more quicker and performance will be poor. You will also be exposed to an increased risk of injury.
Maintain good energy levels
In order to perform at your best, you must have the right fuel on board. A healthy diet will help you keep your energy stores topped up, aid recovery, assist with injury prevention and boost your immune system to fight off illnesses and infection. The most important fuel for dancers is carbohydrates; make sure you include foods like bread, cereals, potatoes, pasta and bananas in your dancer diet. 40
Cooling down after dance class, rehearsal or performance prepares the body to finish activity by gradually reducing the intensity of exercise. The aim is to steadily bring down the heart rate, re-mobilise joints and stretch the muscles that have been used in the dance activity. A good thorough cool down will assist with reduced muscle soreness and stiffness, maintenance/improvements in flexibility and reduced risk of injury.
You must ensure you include rest in your schedule. Doing extra classes and spending more hours trying to perfect technique will result in fatigue. Fatigue will cause you to use incorrect techniques resulting in skeletal misalignments; this will inevitably lead to injuries. Always build extra classes into your schedules gradually. For example, don’t go abruptly from doing three to seven classes a week.
h Tips for 7
Focus on yourself Focusing on yourself can be highly beneficial in getting the most out of yourself within dance classes, rehearsals and performances.
Seek Dance Specific advice If you do sustain an injury, seek an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible. It is best to see a practitioner who has experience working with dancers.
Measure your improvements based on your own personal progress and not on your classmates’/colleagues’ abilities.
Allow yourself to make mistakes and use them as opportunities to learn and improve.
The National Institute for Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS) is a free service embedded within the National Health Service. NIDMS provides high quality injury care for dancers and is available through a referral from your local GP. For further information, please visit www.nidms.co.uk
Set personal goals and ensure these goals are achievable in the time you have specified. (If you are unsure about how to go about achieving your goals, discuss it with your teacher/tutor.)
For immediate advice and treatment, Dance UK lists experienced private practitioners on its Healthcare Practitioners Directory. For more information, please visit www.danceuk.org/ medical-practitioners-directory/
Managing an injury It is important that you manage your injuries from the moment you sustain one. Remember the P.R.I.C.E method: Protection and Rest: stop performing if swollen/limping Ice: apply ice, wrapped in a wet towel for 10 to 20 minutes every one to two hours Compression: if available, apply an elasticated tubular bandage (remove overnight). Ensure circulation is maintained, remove if the area is cold/discoloured. Elevation: raise the injured part above the level of the heart. This will assist with drainage of swelling.
Maintain your Fitness Dance classes and rehearsals do not develop your ability to cope with the demands of dance performance. It is important that you take part in one to two hours of supplementary cardiovascular and strength training. The best supplementary training is dance specific. For cardiovascular training, it is beneficial to carry out uncomplicated dance routines that will keep the heart rate raised. For aerobic training that will assist with your ability to sustain activity for longer periods of time, work at an intensity of approximately 60–70% of your maximal effort for 20 minutes. Build on this duration gradually. Running is also a beneficial form of cardiovascular training for dancers although correct running technique and footwear is essential for injury prevention.
The performance was amazing, I felt so good knowing my family were watching me collaborate with The Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden. Trinity Laban CAT student
At this present time, it seems like there is no clear definition of what creativity is in dance and that may be due to a range of factors, including: widely differing contexts, the varying views of participants and teachers, and the need for more research. Furthermore its understood that teachers and assessors can vary widely in their opinion of what good creativity looks like. One research study undertaken within the CAT programme may help us in beginning to reach a consensus. In the following article dance scientist Debbie Watson presents a snapshot of results from an exploration into creativity within the Trinity Laban CAT. This is just the start of research in this area and already there are plans to look more deeply at creativity within CAT settings in the future. It is only through more investigation that we will be able to develop our understanding of creativity and how best to support its development. (mc)
CREATIVE QUESTIONS At the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT), the subject of creativity and its impact on dance training is a constant topic of discussion. How do we nurture it? Can we measure it? Can it be taught?
s dancers, we often think we know what creativity is, and whether we ‘have it’ or not. As part of a study into talent development in dance – funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Department of Education and led by Trinity Laban – we asked dancers, artists and teachers to think quite deeply about their views and experiences of creativity in dance and discovered that it was not quite that simple.
Our study was an exploration and investigation into two questions: ‘What is creativity?’ and ‘How do you nurture and facilitate it?’ We knew that creativity was a fundamental aim within the CAT at Trinity Laban and we hoped that using an intelligent and sensitive approach in this setting would provide some helpful answers to these critical questions. We interviewed three CAT students, five teaching staff and three visiting choreographers/artists. To get a rounded picture, we also observed the dancers, artists and teachers in class and rehearsal, noting down how their interactions seemed from an outside view. Sometimes we even participated in class to get an inside feel. We also invited them to draw, as a way to bring up nonverbal descriptions of what creativity meant to them. After three months of gathering information in these different ways we began the analysis. We needed to formulate a lot of other questions along the way and to ‘listen’ carefully to what we were seeing, hearing and experiencing. The analysis was a long and arduous process, involving much checking and debating to ensure that the numerous findings we presented were reliable, credible and trustworthy.
What follows are some of things that we discovered through our research.
No place for right or wrong when it comes to creativity Many classical and traditional dance forms and techniques are taught in ways which limit personal expression and choice, and instead engender attitudes of striving towards a single ‘right’ way or, worse, fearful avoidance of ‘getting it wrong’. This can be further compounded where more traditional parenting and educational approaches are also experienced. ‘Some people are quite reluctant... to express their creativity because they think it would be “wrong”.’ Terry, CAT student
Creativity means embracing your vulnerability and that takes courage Helping young people to be open and curious in specific creative sessions needs the provision of a safe environment; one in which exploration and unknown outcomes are encouraged and welcomed. The role of interpersonal relationships, both teacher/student and student/student, is key in creating an atmosphere where all ideas are valued and where each young person feels seen and heard by peers and teachers. ‘Help people to realise the ideas they are having and what they have in their imagination can really help in whatever they do, not just in the dance world.’ Terry, CAT student
And that goes for teachers too In our study, one highly successful teacher shared the story of eventual disillusionment at the lack of creative development in his performing career, and another highly successful dancer talked of her difficulty in facing long instilled fears in order to begin to create work. For many teachers and professional dancers it can be even harder to embrace their vulnerability and find the courage to allow the possibilities that genuinely creative exploration can allow.
‘She brought them out into the space, into the particular session, into how they might be feeling on that day, into communication with her and each other and into humour and enjoyment.’ Observation of ballet class, taken from field notes
‘Both...over time...found teaching and professional environments which reignited their creative passions leading to new possibilities and directions.’ Watson, et al., Research in Dance Education, 2012, 13:2
‘There’s a really magical time where you have to let yourself go, and that’s the first stage.’ Stella, visiting dance artist
Tiny creative steps or great leaps into the unknown? The study showed that even in technique classes it is possible to adopt an open, curious attitude to learning and teaching that can enhance a young person’s ability to feel creatively engaged and stimulated. Loosening our grip on the illusion of perfection and control, and embracing a more fluid and responsive approach, may provide one key to unlocking the limitless opportunities and benefits of creative exploration and expression.
The role of reassurance Janet Briggs
have been working as a physiotherapist with the students at the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) for five years and I visit Trinity Laban three times each term. My work involves assessment, advice, giving exercises and if necessary referring on for further help. I work closely with Naimh Morrin, the Performance Enhancement Teacher at the CAT, who follows up on the exercises and advice that I give.
At the beginning of each academic year, along with other members of the staff team, I watch the students dancing. If we see someone who would benefit from some extra help it is offered to them and individual exercises may be added alongside the programme they are already doing. For example, if students have never done ballet before, having exercises that are specific to their needs helps speed the process of learning the new dance skills. It is interesting and helpful to know what other forms of dance a student is doing. I always ask what other dancing a student does â€“ some ballet dancers do character dancing and sometimes modern dance. While many of the CAT students do ballet as additional training, many also do street, hip hop, break dancing and other forms of dance. Whatever dancing they do it gives them a discipline. When I suggest exercises or activities to help them it is very rewarding when they come back feeling stronger or are able to do steps which were painful or difficult to do before. Reassurance can be an important aspect of treatment. One student came complaining of a hip joint coming out of the socket â€“ fear was written all over their face! Dancing was 46
restricted more because of fear than pain. After an assessment it was clear that the hip was not dislocating as they thought but a band of tissue had become tight on the outer side of the thigh and was snapping over a bony bump on the outside of the hip, giving the feeling of a dislocation. This is not uncommon and can be associated with a growth spurt. Reassurance, stretches and some exercises alleviated the problem and an explanation took away the fear, allowing the student to dance once more. The CAT students are highly motivated which sometimes leads them to dance on despite the injuries they have sustained. One student presented with a severe hamstring injury and was having difficulty walking and yet had tried to do class before coming to see me. Sometimes rest is the best form of treatment â€“ severe hamstring injuries can take some time to heal and so dancing will prolong the recovery time. This student had to be persuaded that they should rest and just do some very gentle therapy exercises. Generally, with explanation and education, students accept the advice that I offer and their injuries improve. Sometimes we refer students to the new National Institute for Dance Medicine and Science service for additional help. This fortunately can be accessed through the National Health Service. One of the nicest aspects of my work is being able to see the students in action; I really enjoy going to the studio and watching them doing classes or creating pieces. The end of year performances provide an exciting opportunity to see what has been achieved, and it is especially gratifying to see someone dancing who had been struggling with an injury or had been resting for a while.
TRINITY LABAN CONSERVATOIRE OF MUSIC & DANCE
CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING MAGAZINE
TRINITY LABAN CONSERVATOIRE OF MUSIC & DANCE
CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING
Nurturing Talent The progression of the CATs over the years
Professional Effect Meet our artists for 2013
What does it take to be creative? Enabling young people to be open and curious
Centre for Advanced Training
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Faculty of Dance, Creekside, London SE8 3DZ 020 8305 9400 | email@example.com trinitylaban.ac.uk/cat 1
Issue 2 | Summer 2013