Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance opened the doors of its new dance Performance Laboratory this month at the conservatoire's Laurie Grove building in South East London.
The Performance Laboratory offers dance artists from around the globe a newly refurbished, permanent space to incubate, develop and rehearse dance projects; with professional technical support and artistic mentoring from Trinity Laban throughout the project.
This is the first phase of a joint redevelopment programme by the Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership to enhance and modernise dance facilities in South East London. Trinity Laban was supported by using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and received support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, an anonymous Trinity Laban benefactor, the Foyle Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation, totalling almost £450,000, to enhance Laurie Grove.
At a special launch performance featuring works by rising choreographers Tara Saclier D'Arquian and Hagit Yakira, Trinity Laban Chairman Lord Lipsey, thanked the generosity of the donors: "The support of all of our donors, the Arts Council and the support of our partner Greenwich Dance have been fundamental in making this project happen."
Trinity Laban Principal, Professor Anthony Bowne, said: "When the Laurie Grove dance studio was built in the late 1970s, everything was starting to happen for contemporary dance, including Trinity Laban (as we are now) offering the first ever BA in Dance in the UK.
"Since then, lots of household names have performed here for the first time including both Lea Anderson's companies the Cholmondeleys, and the Featherstonehaughs, and Matthew Bourne's Adventures in Motion Pictures - now the largest dance company in the world in terms of the number of people who watch the company and the number of performances they give. And it all started here."
Joyce Wilson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England, said: "This is the real joy of the job, coming out to celebrate successful projects like this fully equipped and supported contemporary dance facility in London. The availability of artistic space like this will result in great new work that can be toured at less expense and be able to respond to the artistic and creative needs of audiences around the country."
Tara Saclier D'Arquian is one of three inaugural recipients of the ACE-supported Compass Commissions offered by the Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership. From Belgium, Tara is a Trinity Laban Dance Theatre alumnus. Tara's site-sensitive work, In Situ, combined live performance and film making to question the limits and relationships between animals, human beings and gods. The live performance took place at Asylum in the remarkable Caroline Gardens Chapel, Peckham in September 2013.
Award-winning Israeli choreographer and Trinity Laban dance teacher Hagit Yakira founded Hagit Yakira Dance Company in 2007 which has toured the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and Israel. Hagit is a teacher and a guest choreographer at Trinity Laban and at The Place and also delivers workshops at ImPulsTanz, Vienna, as well as studying for her PhD in Choreography at Trinity Laban, researching the notion of choreographing autobiographies.
In 2013 Hagit began to research and develop her new work, "…in the middle with you". It will premiere at Trinity Laban's Laban Theatre on 21 November, and has also been selected for next year's British Dance Edition. Running from 30 Jan-2 Feb 2014, BDE is a showcase of the best of British dance for the UK and international dance industry. "…in the middle with you" will also be revived at Laban Theatre on 23 January 2014, before the BDE performance.
A dynamic partnership has been created byGreenwich Dance & Trinity Laban to provide ground-breaking dance performance, bespoke support for dance artists and an all-embracing programme of community and education work across South East London. The Partnership attracts National Portfolio funding from Arts Council England.