Transitions goes on tour - fresh and sophisticated contemporary dance from the UK’s leading graduate dance company

Transitions Dance Company, the student touring company based in Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, has announced its 2012 UK and European touring dates.

"Performances by this enterprising and annually reconstituted company are always an eye-opener" - The Guardian Guide

Eleven of the best young dancers from across the world perform a mixed bill of choreography by three international artists: Shang Chi Sun, who has his own dance company Shang Chi Move in Berlin, Hubert Essakow, a former soloist with The Royal Ballet and Martin Nachbar, a choreographer whose 2011 work The Other/s had a successful debut with last year's company.

For two decades Transitions Dance Company has entertained and delighted audiences from Aberdeen to Austria, Jersey to Japan and Manchester to Malaysia with a programme of short dance pieces - and 2012 will be no exception.

''World-class contemporary dance" - Dr Miles Gregory, CEO & Artistic Director, The Maltings Theatre

Artistic director David Waring said: "Transitions is the original Conservatoire dance company, created to help emerging artists bridge formal training and their entry to the professional world. The Company has gained an international reputation for the technical excellence of its dancers and the originality of the work it performs.

"The individuality and enthusiasm of the dancers and the artistry of these renowned choreographers gives the audience a wonderful glimpse of the future stars of contemporary dance. This year we also have  compositions by Trinity Laban music students Helen Whitcher and Mike MacLennan for Martin Nachbar and Hubert Essakow's dance works respectively, celebrating the joy of collaborative work between our music and dance programmes."

Ross Cameron, Trinity Laban's Head of Taught Postgraduate Programmes, said: "Transitions Dance Company is unique - no other graduate company commissions so many new dance works on an annual basis.

"By commissioning new work from outstanding choreographers and recruiting dancers emerging onto the international dance scene, Transitions Dance Company continues to lead the way in contemporary dance with this explosive and exciting repertoire programme."

UK and European Performance Dates

28 February: Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
2 March: Rich Mix, London
7 March: Arts Educational School, London
14 March: Brewery Arts Centre, Cumbria
17 March: The Maltings, Berwick-Upon-Tweed
21 March: The Lights, Andover
26 April: Roehampton University, London
2 May: Skolen for Moderne Danse, Copenhagen, Denmark
9 May: Courtyard Arts, Herefordshire
19, 20 May: ResExtensa Danza Teatro Danza, Puglia, Italy
30 May: East Bridgwater Community School, Somerset
7, 8, 9 June: Laban Theatre, London

The 2012 company - Megan Armishaw, Tom Bowes, Zoe Georgallis, Chris Goodwin, Ashley Hind, Tennealle Johnson-Roll, Lisa Kobdish, Carla Piscitelli, Charlotte Pook, Jenny Reeves and Ed Warner

Artistic Director - David Waring

David Waring has performed, choreographed and taught both in the UK and internationally with a range of artists including Ricochet Dance Company, Walker Dance, Adventures in Motion Pictures, The Featherstonehaughs and his group fishpool (co-directed with Gaynor Coward).

From 2000-2002 David was a participant and assistant director at PAL (Performing Arts Lab). Performance work in 2008 - 2010 includes Kate Brown's and yet..., Athina Vahla's Listening Post at the London Science Museum and his own solo hustler at the Capital Nights festival in Liverpool, supported by Merseyside Dance Initiative and Homotopia. He also choreographed for the launch of the new Fiat 500 in 2008. Continuing the series, hustler #2 (a guerrilla dance performance in an urban environment, choreographed by and performed with Mélodie Gonzales and 21 other couples) premiered in Big Dance 2010, supported by Greenwich Dance and was also part of Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 2011. David is also currently developing a short film entitled he's the greatest dancer, has recently mentored Mélodie Gonzales in her Poupée Post-it creation and will be premiering hustler #4.5 at the Homotopia festival 2012. He graduated from Laban in 1987.

2012 Choreographers

Martin Nachbar

A winner of the Choreography Award Ludwigshafen, Martin has trained all over the world, studying Dance and Choreography at the School for New Dance Development (SNDO) in Amsterdam and at P.A.R.T.S and AMCh. Co-founder of Gruppe B.D.C along with Thomas Plischke and Alice Chauchat, he has collaborated with recognised visual artists and composers. He returns in 2012 following last year's highly successful work with Transitions, The Other/s. A much loved British family and its domestic environment is the subject of this year's piece. Wittily observed, with finely honed, quirky movement, the piece is both absurd and mysterious. This just might be a sneaky peak into the real lives of a special clan!

Hubert Essakow

Born in Johannesburg, Hubert joined The Royal Ballet as a First Artist in 1993. As Soloist, he performed many roles in works by leading choreographers such as Ashton, Macmillan, Balanchine and Tharp. On leaving The Royal Ballet in 2003 to pursue a freelance career he appeared with K-Ballet and George Piper Dances in London. Inspired by the life and work of US graffiti artist Keith Haring, Hubert's full company work is characterised by an articulate pure dance vocabulary, and is underpinned by his classical training and an incisive musicality.

Shang Chi Sun

Shang Chi trained at Taipei's National Academy of Arts and Ernst Busch University in Berlin. He has worked with Sasha Waltz & Guests, Staatstheater Nürnberg and Balletto Teatro. Shang Chi Move co. has performed internationally, most recently Genus and je.sans.paroles (2011). His work often focuses on deeply felt aspects of human nature, and is wonderfully connected to the German Tanztheater tradition. Set to an hypnotically insistent electronic musical score, Shang Chi's piece offers a simmering group intensity and energy. His awards include First Choreography Prize at the 12th international Solo Tanz Festival Stuttgart.

Background to Transitions Dance Company

Transitions Dance Company was founded in 1982 by Bonnie Bird (1914 - 1995) who was Artistic Director until her death in 1995. Transitions was formed to bridge the gap between training and a professional performance career for graduate dancers. The dancers gain invaluable performance experience working with professional artists and choreographers whilst remaining as students gaining a recognised qualification.

Each year the best graduate dancers from across the world audition to become members of Transitions Dance Company and normally up to twelve are selected. The dancers gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance from Trinity Laban's Faculty of Dance and have the opportunity to complete an MA in Dance Performance.

A glance at past choreographers reads like a who's who of contemporary dance and includes: Richard Alston (Richard Alston Dance Company / Rambert Dance Company), Lea Anderson (The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs), Rosemary Lee, Mark Murphy (V-Tol Dance Company), Henri Oguike (Henri Oguike Dance Company), Jasmin Vardimon, Maresa von Stockert, Fin Walker (Walker Dance Park Music), Ashley Page (Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet), Luca Silvestrini (Protein Dance) and Rafael Bonachela (Sydney Dance Company), Aszure Barton, Miguel Pereira, Cristian Duarte, Ben Wright (b-group), Lucy Guerin, Pablo Ventura, Colin Poole, Angela Woodhouse, Daniel Larrieu, Cheng-Tsung Lung, Crystal Pite.

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