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Alumni Round Up June 2023

Thu 6 July 2023

In our June Alumni Round Up, TL graduates have occupied their month with a range of different activities from performances to podcast episode releases and much more.

To start off, we want to acknowledge that Trinity Laban was mentioned as one of the four arts schools that “nurture artistic growth in unconstrained environments”. Have a read of the article by Study International here. 



Over this past month, TL music alumni have been busy with performances at festivals, concerts, as well as gaining new positions in different orchestras. 

Joe Armon-Jones played multiple gigs over the weekend at Glastonbury 2023. This included performing with Maxwell Owin, Ezra Collective and Speakers Corner Quartet.

Ezra Collective’s captivating performance on the West Holts Stage “transported the audience into sheer euphoria” (Clash Magazine) as they lured the crowd in with contagiously catchy rhythms. You can watch the full performance on BBC iPlayer here.

Also performing at Glastonbury 2023 was TL 2022 Innovation Award winner Phoebe Noble from 13 Months Theatre Ltd. They performed Grumble Cat, their children’s puppet production at the Kidzfield.  

Ayanna Witter-Johnson performed with the legendary Peter Gabriel during his concert at the O2 Arena. It had been almost 10 years since Peter’s last live performance.  

Birmingham-based saxophonist, Xhosa Cole and his band, brought his unique music to the Glasgow Jazz Festival on 15 June. Xhosa released his debut album, K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us last summer paying homage to music from African American improvisers and composers. 

Philharmonia Orchestra has announced the appointment of composer, producer, TV presenter and sarod player Soumik Datta who will be joining the orchestra for its 2023-24 season as their artist in residence. Now in its third year, the residency programme facilitates collaboration between the orchestra and an artist from a non-classical tradition, exploring the fusion of art forms. 

Orchestra Ciudad de Granada recently announced its 2023-24 season at which former BBC New Generation Artist James Newby will be performing Handel’s Messiah alongside Hilary Summers, Thomas Walker and Berit Norbakken in November 2023, conducted by Daniel Reuss. 

WhatsOnStage announced the full cast and creative team for the newly expanded version of Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder! with Inga Davis-Rutter as the musical supervisor. The “murder mystery podcast thriller comedy” returns this summer to Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester. 

TL Voice alum, Heather Main who was previously an opera singer who had sung at the Barbican and had a circus background as part of John Cage’s Musicircus, is now a successful horse trainer with ambitions of Royal Ascot success. 



TL dance alumni have been active in choreographing new dance works, performances at various venues, along with releases of new podcast episodes and online courses. 

Dr. Gemma Harman released a new episode, Studio as site: voicing bodies through research in dance pedagogy with past TL dance lecturer, Dr. Jamieson Dryburgh. Dr. Dryburgh is currently the Director of Higher Education at Central School of Ballet and is a dance artist, researcher, leader, and pedagogue with over twenty years of experience in the UK conservatoire setting. 

On 17 June, Emma Skyum Poulsen’s choreography of SUJAMIT was premiered as the opening performance at the DanceWest Fest Emerging Artist Commission in the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Watch the performance of SUJAMIT here 

Emergence, the postgraduate dance company of Joss Arnott Dance and the University of Salford, recently completed their 2023 tour. TL dance alumni who were part of this year’s Emergence company include: Maea Morgan, Lily Armah, Kato Thomas, and Lucy Halfpenny. 

The article Preview of the Dance Seasons at Jacob’s Pillow and PS21 mentions Oona Doherty as one of the international artists who will be making her debut as the first headlining artist from Northern Ireland performing at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2023 in the U.S. this summer. Book your tickets to the premiere of Navy Blue here. 

Dr. Imogen Aujla, dance science alum and guest lecturer at TL, created two new online courses for freelance dancers on the topics of resilience and self-confidence. Thanks to One Dance UK, you can access these courses free-of-charge by heading over to Dance in Mind’s website here. 

As part of Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork-based dance artist and choreographer Helga Deasy who is also Cork city’s artist-in-residence at Dance Cork Firkin Crane presented her final work, Built on Bridges. Helga’s work which explored building bridges between artists and the local community through themes of identity and belonging, migration, home, safety and belonging, received a five-star review in The Irish Times. 

Transitions Dance Company alum, Osian Meilir, presented Qwerin, a piece on Welsh folk-dancing and queer nightlife on 30 June at Greenwich Park as part of Greenwich Dance Summer In The Park 2023. 

James Pett choreographed a number of contemporary dance pieces for Bangkok City Ballet for the Bangkok City Ballet Dance Gala 2023 held on 15 June. Here’s a striking photo from Drifting Into I. 

On 30 June, two recent contemporary dance graduates Adriana Garcia and Leah Wallace performed All You Need is Love in collaboration with the Youth Collective at the British Museum. 


Coming up

IADMS 33rd Annual Conference: Columbus, Ohio 2023 

This year, the IADMS 33rd Annual Conference will be held at Ohio, USA. This four-day conference will provide a multitude of opportunities to network and learn from professionals from around the world in the field of dance medicine and science. You will get the chance to learn about the latest advances in the field through a series of lectures, panel discussions, case studies, Q&A and practical sessions from world-renowned professionals.  

Conference registration is now open with early bird rates closing on 31 July. Register here. 


Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival  

Afrobeat infused Kokoroko (Cassie Kinoshi, Sheila Maurice-Grey) will be performing at Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival in Birmingham, 7 -9 July. 


Cheltenham Music Festival 

James Newby will be one of the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists performing for the Cheltenham Music Festival, 8 – 15 July. 


Australia’s 2023 Dance (Lens) Festival 

Internationally-renowned guest curator, Gitta Wigro, will be curating Australia’s 2023 Dance (Lens) Festival between 13 – 31 July. The Festival will showcase local Australian screen dance works. As part of Gitta’s “influential screen dance work session,” she invites the audience to “observe what you hear” in her curatorial themed work, Sound Into Sight. 



Featuring an extraordinary number of TL alumni, pioneering grassroots jazz organisation Jazzre:freshed are partnering with the iconic Roundhouse for the 10th edition of its one-day festival JAZZ RE:FEST. TL alumni performing at JAZZ RE:FEST include Chelsea Carmichael, Mutale Chashi, Arthur O’Hara and Wayne Francis (Ahnansé), along with TL students Joshua Short and Jacob Gryn.   

When: Sat 29 July, midday

Where: Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London