Creative Cities – taking high quality music and dance performance to local communities

From schools in inner London to a performance at the Royal Festival Hall - that magical journey could be in store for Isle of Dogs school children in March, after participating in music, dance and film-making activities with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Trinity Laban is working with the Isle of Dogs and wider Tower Hamlets community on a project called Creative Cities, proudly supported by Canary Wharf Group plc. Four schools, the Isle of Dogs Community Choir, Neighbours in Poplar and Dance Fusion are collaborating with Trinity Laban's project leaders and students to produce music, dance and film pieces about living in an urban space for a special one off concert at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf on 10 February.

The new works they have created are influenced by the music of Surrogate Cities, an orchestral work by acclaimed German composer Heiner Goebbels, which draws upon an eclectic mix of musical influences, texts and sampled sounds. Surrogate Cities is now, in Goebbels' 60th birthday year, receiving its London premiere in as part of one of the trailblazer projects for the Cultural Olympiad.

From 3pm on 3 March, many of these creative projects will receive a second performance alongside work by Junior Trinity, the Animate Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra's The Bandin at the public spaces of the Royal Festival Hall as part of Surrogate Cities Exploded!

Many of the children, young people and elders involved in the project have spoken about the transformational nature of their experiences in responding to Goebbels' work through music dance and film: 7 and 8 year olds from Shapla Primary School in Shadwell, for example, said:

  • Tanjina, 7, Shapla Primary School: "When I dance I feel like I'm the tallest person."
  • Ismaeel, 8, Shapla Primary School: "I felt famous when I was being filmed. We made shapes of the buildings and had to stay very still. When I dance I feel like I am the building."
  • Jakira, 13 George Green's School, wrote lyrics for her song, Rate Me Later: "Every colour, every light that burns across the night sky, reminds us all of where we are"

Howard Dawber from Canary Wharf Group plc, commented: "We have been working with local residents since the very first days of Canary Wharf, investing in projects that foster ambition and that bring about social and economic development."

"A vital part of this community involvement is working with world class education providers like Trinity Laban to give local young people exciting and new experiences and training which could guide them into a lifelong interest, and perhaps employment, in the creative industries in Canary Wharf and beyond."

Professor Anthony Bowne, Principal of Trinity Laban, agreed: "Trinity Laban has run a highly successful programme of activities with our local communities for more than a decade; this kind of work enriches lives and ensures that we are highly connected to all those who live and work in this important part of London.

"We are delighted to be working with Canary Wharf Group plc, through our partnership helping ensure that many more local people, young and old, are able to participate in unique artistic experiences."

For more information, pictures, quotes or a press pass to the East Wintergarden performance, please contact Susie Haywood, Trinity Laban Media Manager, on 07912 963 427 or email [email protected].


Children from Shapla Primary School, Shadwell, in the Trinity Laban dance class

The Groups

  • Cubitt Town Primary School, Isle of Dogs - two Year 5 music and dance classes
  • Shapla Primary School, Shadwell - one Year 3 class: dance, one Year 5 class: music
  • George Green Secondary School, Isle of Dogs (after school composition and a long term rock band project called Get Your Act Together
  • Mulberry School for Girls, Tower Hamlets - Year 9 class: dance
  • Isle of Dogs Community Choir - intergenerational choir creating new work
  • Neighbours in Poplar - older adults music, dance and film sessions
  • Dance Fusion - Trinity Laban youth dance group

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is the UK's only conservatoire of music and contemporary dance. Its innovative course provision, exciting performances and groundbreaking education, community and social inclusion work make Trinity Laban a leader in the advancement of elite and creative artistic practice. The unequalled expertise and experience of Trinity Laban staff and world class facilities are housed in landmark buildings in Greenwich and Deptford, enabling the organisation to foster the musicians, dancers and artistic leaders of the future, enriching Britain's vibrant cultural life and its creative industries which are vital to a balanced, diverse economy.

As well as providing a world renowned platform for the cultivation of artistic talent, Trinity Laban is dedicated to its work in the wider community. The institution tailors specific music and dance outreach programmes to deprived communities in Deptford, Greenwich, Lewisham, the Isle of Dogs and beyond. Trinity Laban's participatory arts projects engage socially excluded and hard to reach young people and adults, build community relations and develop participants' aspirations and skills for employment or study.

Junior Trinity

Junior Trinity is a Saturday School for 3-19 year olds held in Trinity Laban's Faculty of Music. Junior Trinity's aim is to encourage a lifelong interest in music and to give our students the opportunities to develop to their maximum potential. A current Junior Trinity student is a finalist in the BBC's Young Musician of the year 2012.

Animate Orchestra

Animate Orchestra is run by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Greenwich and Lewisham Music Services for local young instrumentalists aged 10 - 13. It has just received funding to extend into Lambeth and Southwark.

Animate is not a traditional orchestra, but welcomes a wide range of instruments, from any cultural background, to reflect the skills and interests of its members.

Music Nation

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is involved in the BBC's Music Nation weekend (3-4 March 2012). The weekend is one of a select group of `countdown' events for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, and is a key part of the BBC's Cultural Olympiad programming. Built primarily around classical music, but taking in jazz, folk and world music, Music Nation aims to engage as many people as possible; whether it be attending world-class performances or taking part in community projects and workshops in venues and public places up and down the country.

Surrogate Cities

For more information please see this news item: Trinity Laban leads the London premiere of Heiner Goebbels' Surrogate Cities to launch the Southbank's Cultural Olympiad.

Canary Wharf Group plc

Canary Wharf Group plc is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies.

Canary Wharf has a working population of nearly 100,000 people in a diverse range of sectors for some of the world's leading companies. It has paved the way for the regeneration of London's Docklands and one in five Canary Wharf workers now lives in a local East London borough. It has helped London and the City consolidate its position at the centre of the business world.

Following the recent announcement to build a new headquarters for European Medicines Agency at 25 Churchill Place, the Group has plans in place to continue to develop Canary Wharf in the coming years. The Group is currently constructing the Canary Wharf Crossrail station ahead of schedule and on budget, which is ready to receive the Crossrail tunnel boring machines in Summer 2012. Canary Wharf Group also has joint ventures outside Canary Wharf at 20 Fenchurch Street (with Land Securities) and the Shell Centre (with Qatari Diar).

Canary Wharf Group is backing Tower Hamlets' bid to become the UK's next city, as part of Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012

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