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Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Round Up October 2022

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

Premieres and Performances

October saw many exciting premieres and performances from our alumni. Oona Doherty’s Navy Blue premiered in the UK at Sadler’s Wells. The piece was reviewed in the Guardian, who also interviewed Oona in the lead up to the premiere.  

Sandeep Gurrapadi appeared in The Shoemaker with the Welsh National Opera. 

Adrien Mastrosimone’s show What Makes A Man returned to Vienna this month. 

Manu Delago appeared in concert with Anouska Shankar and the Britten Sinfonia. 

Nardus Williams featured as Contessa Almaviva in Glyndebourne’s The Marriage of Figaro, which ran at the venue this month, and will tour in November. Nardus is also highlighted in The Arts Desk’s review of Wigmore Hall’s recent Vaughan Williams anniversary concert. 

Ayanna Witter-Johnson has been on tour with Andrea Bocelli this month. 

Dance Umbrella’s digital festival featured Sarah Golding and Yukiko Masui’s SAY: AF (And Friends), as well as two film pieces from Oona Doherty. 

Dai Fujikura’s Glorious Clouds received its UK premiere at the BBCSO’s anniversary concert this month. 

Gothic Opera, created by Beatrice De Larragoti, Alice Usher, and Charlotte Osborn, ran a double bill of Louise Bertin’s Le Loup-garou and Pauline Viardot’s Le dernier sorcier at The Round Chapel in Hackney from 27 October to 1 November, with fellow alumni Ashley Mercer, Anna McLachlan, Lars Fischer, and Ellie Kemp in the cast. 

Corrie Dick released her new album Sun Swells this month. Fellow alumni Laura Jurd and Dave Malkin also feature on the album. 

Jessica Walker’s Scene/Unseen, an autobiographical cabaret performance, received this review from West End Best Friend. Scene/Unseen is available on English Touring Opera’s website until December. 


Interviews and Features

Several alumni were interviewed and appeared in some great features this month. Matthew Bourne was interviewed in the Guardian, discussing storytelling in dance. 

Valentina Ciardelli and Anna Astesano featured in the Strad, ahead of the UK premiere of their harp and double bass duo work Ruutsu this month. 

Moses Boyd featured in a video interview for British audio brand Bowers and Wilkin. 

Reader’s Digest’s recent article on the UK jazz scene draws attention to Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, and Tomorrow’s Warriors. Several more alumni feature on their list of 50 Inspirational young UK jazz artists and composers to listen to, including:

  • Moses Boyd 
  • Cherise Adams-Burnett 
  • Xhosa Cole 
  • Elliot Galvin 
  • Nubya Garcia 
  • Deschanel Gordon 
  • Laura Jurd 
  • Cassie Kinoshi 
  • Mark Kavuma 
  • Sheila Maurice-Grey 


Announcements and Awards

Announcements and awards also saw many alumni in the news this month. 

The shortlists for the 2022 International Opera Awards, which will be held in November, have been announced. Nardus Williams and John Savournin both appear in the Rising Talent category. 

The 2022 Jazz FM Awards were held this month. Emma-Jane Thackeray won Album of the Year for Yellow, and Chelsea Carmichael won Breakthrough Act of the Year. Mark Kavuma was shortlisted for Instrumentalist of the Year, and Kokoroko was shortlisted for UK Jazz Act of the Year. 

Cecilia McDowall has been nominated for a 2022 Ivors Academy Composition Award for her piece There is no rose.  


Coming Up

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! will be screened in cinemas in November.  

Bethany Horak-Hallet is one of the soloists for Really Big Chorus’ Messiah from Scratch at the Royal Albert Hall in November. 

EFG London Jazz Festival returns in November, with many jazz alumni lined up to perform. 

Sheila Maurice-Grey and Chelsea Carmichael will be performing at Jazzfest Berlin in November. 

James Darch has been cast as Gino Bartali in Glory Ride at The Other Palace, running 14 to 16 November. 


Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Round Up September 2022

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.


TL alumni have released lots of new music this September.

Camilla George released her new album Ibio-Ibio on September 30. The album also features alumni Rosie Turton, Daniel Casimir and Sheila Maurice-Grey.  Camilla and Daniel also feature on Jazz re:freshed’s live EP Outernational Live from Studio Two Abbey Road, which was released this month. 

Stelios Kyriakdis released his new album, Agalia, in September. 

New Woods Collective, a trio made up of alumni Hannah Shilvock, Christina Alishaw, and current PHD student Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser released their debut album Branches. The album features music by TL composition alumni Michael Clulow and James Hurst and is mixed and mastered by Ben Leigh-Grossart. 

Oscar Jerome released his second album, The Spoon, this month. 

Olie Brice released his new album Fire Hills this month. 

Laura Jurd has released her new album, The Big Friendly Album. 

Ezra Collective (the jazz-grime group featuring Femi Koleoso and Joe Armon-Jones) have released a new single from their upcoming album Where I’m Meant To Be, Ego Killah. 

Stjepan Hauser released his solo album The Player this month.  



Alumni were also involved in exciting performances and premieres this month. The Time Traveller’s Wife musical premiered in September, with choreography by Shelley Maxwell. 

En Route to Common Ground, an outdoor, moving dance project created by Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance Company, took place in Woolwich at the beginning of September. 

(Ġagħel) Gaghel Dingli performed an on-the-street dance piece this month, protesting against the commercial takeover of public spaces. 

Ieva Dubova performed the UK live premiere of her Preludes at the start of September. 

The chamber opera The Red Room premiered in September, as part of Tete a Tete Opera Festival 2022, with music written by alum Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour. 

Pianist GeNIA performed as part of a fundraising concert for the children of Kharkiv on September 30, along with Bill Nighy and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and other British and Ukrainian musicians. The total amount raised was £7,000. 

Alexandrina Hemsley’s dance company Yewande 103’s film dance piece Fountain began a tour of Picturehouse cinemas around the UK in September, which will continue into October. 

Femi Koleoso has continued to tour with Gorillaz.  

Georgi Mottram hosted the Pride of Jersey award ceremony. 



Alumni were also in the news with big announcements in September. Malik Nashad Sharpe is named on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for Arts and Culture in Europe. 

Peter Fenech has joined Southbank Sinfonia. 

Several alumni have been nominated for an award at the Jazz FM Awards 2022, including the band Kokoroko, Emma-Jean Thackray, Mark Kavuma and Chelsea Carmichael. 

John Savournin’s production of Patience with Charles Court Opera has been nominated for two Offies. 


Coming Up

Candoco Dance Company returns to Trinity Laban with a double bill from two boundary-breaking New York based choreographers: Trisha Brown and Jeanine Durning. These performances will also be the last for two of our alumni, Megan Armishaw and Olivia Edginton, who completed their undergraduate degrees at TL and the MA in Dance Performance with Transitions Dance Company. Since graduating, they have been core members of Candoco for seven and six years respectively. 

Sarah Golding and Yukiko Masui’s new production the album is on tour in October. 

Oona Doherty’s piece Navy Blue premieres in the UK at Sadler’s Wells in October. 


Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Round Up August 2022

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

Alumni have been the subjects of exciting announcements this month.  Sarah Golding and Yukiko Masui are part of the new cohort of DanceEast Associate Artists, and will be working closely with the organisation until April 2025. 

Edwin Pitt Mansfield has been elected Chair of the Association of Teachers of Singing, the leading representative body for singing teachers in the UK, for 2022-2024.  

Nikki Iles has been announced as composer-in-residence for 2023 with NDR Bigband. 

Ezra Collective (the jazz-grime group featuring Femi Koleoso and Joe Armon-Jones) has announced their new album Where I’m Meant To Be, which will be released in November. They have also released a single this month, Life Goes On, a musical collaboration with rapper Sampa the Great. 

Ayanna Witter Johnson has been nominated for Best Live Performer at the 2022 Association of Independent Music Awards 2022.  Ayanna was also one of several alumni with notable features in August, appearing as one of Andi Oliver’s guests for the BBC Prom Cynthia Erivo: Legendary Voices at the Proms. 

Akram Khan featured on an episode of the BBC podcast This Cultural Life. 

Dance Magazine’s performance recommendations for August featured Oona Doherty’s Navy Blue, in Hamburg and touring Europe. Fellow alum Emily May’s review in Frieze calls the piece “a cathartic and cleansing outburst of dejection and anxiety”. Navy Blue is set to premiere in the UK in October. 

Many alumni have released new works this August. Oscar Jerome has released a new single, Berlin 1, and announced his second album, The Spoon, which will be released on 23 September. 

Kokoroko (the jazz band featuring alumni Sheila Maurice-Grey and Cassie Kinoshi) have released their debut album Could We Be More this month, which is already receiving great reviews from the likes of the Guardian and Gigwise. 

Partikel, the jazz trio featuring alum Duncan Eagles on saxophone, released their new album Anniversary Song this month, to very positive reviews. Duncan was also interviewed by London Jazz News on the release, and the band’s belated ten-year anniversary. 

Made Kuti has released a new single, No More Wars 

Dai Fujikura has released a new album, Aquarius. 

Olie Brice was interviewed in London Jazz News, ahead of his album launch this September. 

Alumni also contributed to major stage successes this month. James Darch has starred in Identical at Nottingham Playhouse, a new musical based on The Parent Trap that has drawn positive reviews. 

The hit play Cruise returned to the West End this month ahead of a tour later this year. Sarah Golding’s movement direction is a highlight. 

Opera Holland Park’s HMS Pinafore took to the stage this month, with John Savournin as Captain Cocoran and directing. The production earned very positive reviews including Operawire and Britishtheatre.com 

John also directed a production of Iolanthe at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival this month, and Charles Court Opera’s Patience at Wilton’s Music Hall throughout August. 

Nardus Williams sang solo soprano in Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D Major at the BBC Proms this month, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The performance was well reviewed in the Guardian. 

Ashley Beauchamp was musical director for Janacek’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared at Waterperry Opera Festival in August. Trinity Laban students also featured in Johnathan Dove’s Figures in the Garden at the festival. 

Tali F. Bowers brought her one-woman show Monoslogue, a piece about the challenges of life with chronic pain, to the Edinburgh Fringe this month. 

Coming Up

Camilla George’s new album Ibio-Ibio, also featuring alumni Daniel Casimir and Sheila Maurice-Grey, will be released on 30 September. 

The upcoming musical The Time Traveller’s Wife will premiere in September, with choreography by Shelley Maxwell. 

The chamber opera The Red Room, with music by Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour, premieres in September as part of Tete a Tete Opera Festival 2022. 

Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Roundup July 2022

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

Many alumni performed at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival this month. Laura Jurd featured several times, including with her fellow alumni Elliot Galvin, Corrie Dick, and Connor Chaplin as the band Dinosaur. Nubya Garcia also headlined, performing with Deschanel Gordon, Sam Jones, and Daniel Casimir.  

Love Supreme Jazz Festival also saw Nubya Garcia headline, and Ezra Collective and Emma-Jean Thackray also featured in the lineup.  

Femi Koleoso has been touring with Gorillaz this summer. The band’s European tour begins in August. 

Nardus Williams has featured as Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze de Figaro with Glyndebourne Opera.  

Elaine Mitchener featured in The Blue Woman, a new opera that was the centrepiece of The Royal Opera House’s Engender Festival this month. 

Heloise Werner featured in one of the Barbican Sessions this month, performing ‘Unspecified Intentions’ from her recent album Phrases. 

Heloise was also among the alumni with big news announced this month, as she has been commissioned by the CBSO as part of their Sounds New initiative.  

Jesse Kovarsky is the movement director for the new off-Broadway play On That Day in Amsterdam, which runs from July 23 to September 4. 

Cassie Kinoshi has composed the music for The Tempest at the Globe theatre, running from July 22 to October 22. 

Daniel Casimir won Jazz Album of the Year at the 2022 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards, for his album Boxed In. 

Stephen Upshaw will be joining the Trinity Laban strings faculty as a full-time member of the teaching staff. 

Alumni were also featured in many publications throughout July. Opera Holland Park’s production of HMS Pinafore, with alum John Savournin featuring in the role of Captain Corcoran and as director, appears in the Sunday Times Day Out list for summer 2022. John also appeared on In Tune this month, discussing his directing of Iolanthe at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. 

Kokoroko featured in Jazzwise this month, ahead of the release of their album Could We Be More in August. 

Ayanna Witter-Johnson was featured in The Strad this month, discussing how she explores her Jamaican heritage in her music. 

Joe Armon-Jones‘ collaboration EP with Mala, A Way Back, features on Bandcamp’s Best Electronic Music list for July. 

Laura Jurd features as a producer and Elliot Galvin features on keyboard on Mike Soper’s new album Undoing, which featured in London Jazz News this month with a highlight given to both alumni. 

The Trinity Laban Innovation Awards 2022 Winners all sitting together on a grassy bank. They are 12 females in total, all looking ahead and smiling.

Announcing our TL Innovation Award Winners 2022

The award provides final-year students with a platform to grow as creators, offering significant support in the form of professional development and seed funding so awardees can realise their artistic and business ideas.

Now in its fourth year, the Trinity Laban Innovation Award forms part of the conservatoire’s strategy to help emerging artists develop their voice and innovate in the cultural industries.

We’re pleased to announce that the 2022 winners are:

  • Phoebe Noble, Natasha Spencer Levy, Ellie Drayton and Holly McConville (Musical Theatre) for 13 Months Theatre
  • Shaye Poulton Richards (Music) for Upon A Mother’s Death
  • Iolla Grace (Music) for InsideSound
  • The Grounding Project: Ruby De Ville Morel, Mila Fernandez and Melissa Heywood (Dance) for The Water Series
  • Ashley Lim and Isabelle Long (Dance) for Transcendance
  • Ebony Robinson (Dance) for Diversity in space and styles

The awardees impressed expert panellists Chief Executive of Black Lives in Music Charisse Beaumont, Creative Dance Consultant Theresa Beattie OBE, and Trinity Laban Principal Anthony Bowne with diverse and innovative proposals that span cultural history, boundary-pushing genre development, and the power of the arts for positive change in the community.

Anthony Bowne comments –

“The panel and I were incredibly impressed by the creativity, ambition and scope shown by applicants across dance, music and musical theatre. The Trinity Laban Innovation Award is one of the many ways in which Trinity Laban is nurturing entrepreneurial and project management skills in early career artists and strengthening our connections with the wider industry.”

Charisse Beaumont comments –

“I was impressed by the calibre of the applicants this year. Each demonstrated not just creativity and innovation but the willingness to use their project to impact society. I am deeply inspired and encouraged by the fact that this is just the beginning of their career as future leaders.”

Theresa Beattie comments –

“I was impressed by the entrepreneurial ideas of the students and how each finalist made the case through their presentation as to how they could make a positive civic impact with Innovation Award investment.”

Funded by our Higher Education Innovation Fund allocation, each winning project receives an award of £3,000 to use on development. They will also benefit from a specially tailored 10-month mentorship programme delivered by acclaimed Trinity Laban alumni, who will share their expertise, including:

  • Flautist and music educator Nicola Tagoe 
  • Artistic Director of Studio Will Dutta and Co-Head of Artist Development at Sound and Music Will Dutta (BMus Piano 2008) 
  • Presenter, workshop leader and narrator Lucy Drever, who is Associate Artist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Head of Musicianship at the Benedetti Foundation, and an Ambassador for the Britten Pears Arts Community team. (BMus Voice (mezzo soprano) 2013) 
  • Dance and movements specialist Yukiko Masui who has worked with international contemporary dance companies such as Art of Spectra, Cathy Waller Company, Christopher Marney and Vuyani Dance Theatre. (DDS 2009; MA Dance Performance 2011) 
  • Matthew Harding, artistic director for Urban Interface Dance UK and the founder and director for Wolfpack Dance Collective UK. (MFA Choreography 2019) 

Since its inception in 2019, the Trinity Laban Innovation Award has already supported 18 forward-thinking and socially engaged projects conceived by winners who have achieved remarkable things, contributing to the UK’s rich cultural landscape. These include:

  • Composer, musician and artist James Layton who founded Into the Ocean, a London-based recording and concert series showcasing experimental new music including an album of works for solo viola in collaboration with Stephen Upshaw.
  • Multicultural all-female dance collective Mass Hysteria who has created work for Tate Modern, The Place’s Resolution Festival 2020 and V&A’s Friday Late series.
  • Producing Artistic Director Hayley Huggett, who set up Tilley Peacock Productions, creating shows and workshops for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Trinity Laban Innovation Award Co-founder, Joe Townsend comments –

“Now is the time for finding fresh ways of working together. In these uncertain times, the arts are more important than ever. Fuelled by energy and imagination, combined with Trinity Laban’s excellent creative approach to training, we are proud to support these fabulous artists as they launch their careers in music, dance and musical theatre. There are more collective projects than in previous years, which is a testament to our belief in collaborative working.”

The award gives graduates more than just money to realise a project, the mentoring is a two-way learning relationship that provides a safe space for mentors and graduates to bring ideas into action and to help shape the bigger picture of music and dance.

Dance artists Emma Greene and Sunniva Moen Rorvik used their 2021 award to support their project exploring experiences of dance of the African Diaspora in the London Borough of Lewisham. They comment –

“The Trinity Laban Innovation Award gave us the opportunity to make important connections within the local community. The support from our mentor, really helped us to take on this new challenge with confidence and we are forever grateful for the opportunities that we have had since receiving the award.”

To find out more, visit our Innovation Award webpage.

If you’re interested in studying at Trinity Laban visit our study pages.

Image credit: Juno Snowdon

Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Roundup June 2022

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

Alumni took to the stage in many performances in June. The contemporary cello duo 2Cellos, of which alum Stjepan Hauser is one half, performed at Wembley Arena at the start of the month, as part of their farewell tour.

Eleanor Perry’s choreography was featured at the Royal Albert Hall’s Pride 2022 event.

Elaine Mitchener’s performance at the closing concert of the London Contemporary Music Festival 2022 was highlighted in London Jazz News’ review of the event.

Olivia Edgington, Ingvild Marstein Olsen, Natalie Sloth Richter, Johanna Merceron, and Vivian Triantafyllopolou took to the stage at Stamford Arts Centre in a double bill of their exciting new works, SMACK and Spektakel.

Hope 4 Justice, Trinity Laban’s call for action on the climate emergency, took place this month. Alum Sarah Golding was the choreographer for the project.

Bethany Horak-Hallet debuted at Garsington Opera this month, in the role of Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte.

Katarine Karneus’ performance as Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal is highlighted in the Ikley Gazette’s review of the opera in Leeds Grand Theatre.


New works by alumni were released and premiered throughout June. Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s piece FAIYA! was premiered at the London Symphony Orchestra’s concert in Trafalgar Square on June 11. Ayanna also gave an interview in the Voice, discussing her music and its connection to Jamaican folk song.

Heloise Werner released her new album Phrases, with a launch concert in Wigmore Hall. The album was also featured as Europadisc’s album of the week, and in Gramophone and the Guardian.

Kokoroko, the jazz group led by Sheila Maurice-Grey and featuring Cassie Kinoshi, have released a new single Age of Ascent, ahead of the August release of their album Could We Be More. The single was reviewed in Clash magazine.

Ezra Collective, the jazz-grime fusion quartet featuring Femi Koleoso and Joe Armon-Jones, released their first music video this month, for their song Victory Dance. They have also signed to the record label Partisan.

Joe Armon-Jones released his new single Pray this month.

Nubya Garcia and Moses Boyd appear on the XATIVA single Fall Back To You, released this month.

James Layton’s opera saudade premiered in Ostrava, Czechia on June 28.

Hollie Harding’s piece What was scattered has been included on Composers’ Academy 4, recorded by Patrick Bailey and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Manu Delago features on Anoushka Shankar’s upcoming live album Between Us.

Daniel Casimir features on Binker Golding’s new album, Dream Like a Doogwood Wild Boy.

Xhosa Cole appears on On Record, a “sonic love letter to Birmingham” that released this month.

Artie Zaitz and Mark Kavuma’s album Back to Back was featured in Jazz Journal.


Alumni were also given several reviews and features in June. Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy featured as Sarabi in The Lion King at Edinburgh Playhouse, which garnered this review.

Nikki Iles was featured in London Jazz News ahead of a concert with the RNCM Big Band.

Daniel Casimir was interviewed in Reverb magazine, on the making of his album Boxed In.

Laura Jurd was featured in Elbphilharmonie this month.

Matthew Bourne was interviewed by the Telegraph on his revival of The Car Man, a ballet based on Bizet’s Carmen. The ballet premiered this month to rave reviews, including in the Telegraph and the Independent.


Matthew Bourne was also one of many alumni given awards and feature in announcements this month, winning Best Modern Choreography for The Midnight Bell at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2022.

Two alumni were recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Rosemary Lee received an OBE for services to dance, and Harriet Stubbs was awarded a British Empire Medal for services for the community in West London during Covid-19, after the success of her online concert series.

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards took place in early July. Alumni Xhosa Cole, Matt Ridley, Nikki Iles, Deschanel Gordon, and Chelsea Carmichael were nominated, and Daniel Casimir’s Boxed In won Best Album.

Wayne McGregor has been announced as National Youth Dance Company’s Guest Artistic Director for next year.

James Darch has been announced as part of the cast for the upcoming musical Identical, an on-stage rendition of The Parent Trap, which premieres at the Nottingham Playhouse in late July.

Jessie Jing has been awarded a BOH Cameronian Grant for New Productions, in order to develop her piece Nian Gao into a stage production.

Chiya Amos has been named Research Fellow in Sustainability Science at Hiroshima University, Conductor and Music Advisor of Hirodai Symphony Orchestra, and Representative for Music and Culture of the International Council of Environmental Law, being the first classical musician to gain this post.


Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Roundup May 22

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

The experimental quartet Bastard Assignments, made up of alumni Timothy Cape, Edward Henderson, Caitlyn Rowley, and Josh Spear appeared at the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival on May 19. 

Many dance alumni performed at Resolution Dance Festival, The Place’s celebration of new dance works and artists. These included Trinity Laban Innovation Award winners Laura Engholm (2020) and Tough Boys Dance Collective (2021). 

Two alumni performed at Prom Praise in the Royal Albert Hall with the All Souls orchestra; Michael Andrews conducted, and Maria Marchant performed excerpts from Rhapsody in Blue. 

The Rameau Project Orchestra, featuring Daisy Walford, Ben Vonburg-Clark, Hilary Cronin, and Emily Gray, performed the premiere of a reconstruction of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. 

Several jazz alumni took to the stage at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival this month. Nubya Garcia appeared alongside Joe Armon Jones, Daniel Casimir, and Sam Jones, Conor Chaplin’s appearance with Iain Bellamy was reviewed along with Moses Boyd’s concert, and Laura Jurd’s performance with Elliot Galvin, Conor Chaplin, Corrie Dick, and Martin Thompson also impressed.  

The Jazz at Morley College series, for which Mark Kavuma is artistic director, ran this month. Nicky Iles performed. 

Phillip Leslie appeared at the Perth Festival as one of the Cross Trust Artists of the Year. 

Femi Koleoso has been on tour with Gorillaz throughout May.  

Catherine Sleeman debuted at the Brighton Fringe with Unfold the Shutters, a hopeful response to the climate crisis created in collaboration with dancers including fellow alum Joeley Gibson. 

Iris Athanasiadi and Olivia Thynne have been performing in Our Labyrinth at the Tate Modern, a piece centered on the performers sweeping grains of rice into patterns. Choreographed by Lei Mingwei, it is inspired by the sweeping of temple paths in Myanmar. 

Several alumni performed at Manchester Jazz Festival towards the end of May, including Daniel Casimir, Xhosa Cole and his quartet, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, and Rebecca Nash. 

Ayanna Witter-Johnson headlined a performance at Wigmore Hall, with guest performers including Heloise Werner and Stephen Upshaw. 

Ayanna has also joined the board of trustees for Awards for Young Musicians, and has been named an ambassador and trustee of London Music Fund. 

Kokoroko played an Apple Music Home Session this month, covering William Onyeabor’s Body and Soul. 

Laura Jurd released her new single Little Opener this month. 

Reuben James’ new EP Tunnel Vision Mixtape was reviewed in London Jazz News. 

Oscar Jerome released his new single Sweet Isolation, which was covered in Clash magazine. 

Tomorrow’s New Quartet, with Deschanel Gordon on piano, released their new album All Together, Now! this month.  

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, in which alum Tom Self features, earned a 4-star review from The Stage. 

Matthew Bourne was involved in the production of Sondheim’s Old Friends, a tribute performance to the late musical theatre legend which The Stage described as “a moving experience”. 

Cloudgate Dance Theatre’s performance of Send in a Cloud was reviewed in the Taipei Times. Artistic director Cheng Tsung-lung has been hailed as successfully living up to the legacy of the company’s founder. 

Dance scientist Dr Lucie Clements’ study was recently featured in the Guardian – revealing that arts workers are twice as likely to have depression than the general population. 

Heloise Werner was featured in Gramophone, ahead of the release of her first solo album. 

Harp alum Siobhan Swider was interviewed by Sussex Life, discussing her recent performances for animals and their owners. 

Seed Sessions, founded by Isie Potter, was covered by Musicians Union. 

Mike Dixon’s book Turn Around and Take a Bow, chronicling his life and career as a leading musical director, was published on June 28. https://www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/turn-around-and-take-a-bow/ 

Coming Up: 

CRUISE returns to the Apollo Theatre in August, with movement direction by Sarah Golding. 

John Savournin is directing a new production of Iolanthe for the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. 

Ayanna Witter Johnson holding cello bow behind her head with defiant expression

TL Alum Joins London Music Fund

Multi-instrumentalist Ayanna Witter-Johnson named Ambassador and Trustee

Acclaimed singer, songwriter, pianist and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson graduated with a first-class honours degree in composition from Trinity Laban in 2008, and has established a celebrated career as a performer, orchestrator, composer and musical maverick.

Now she will join Nicola Benedetti CBE, YolanDa Brown, Jess Gillam, MBE and Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE as an Ambassador for London Music Fund (LMF).

Established in 2011 by fellow music alum Chrissy Kinsella, the Fund is an independent charity that works in partnership with London’s 32 Music Education Hubs, and with other education and music providers, to enable children to access high-quality music education.

Ambassadors play a significant role within the charity, both promoting its work and as inspiring role models for young musicians.

In her new role, Witter-Johnson will be joining young musicians at a LMF workshop at on Sunday 3 July.

In addition, LMF have announced that she has been appointed to the charity’s Board of Trustees, led by Chair, Baroness Fleet, Veronica Wadley CBE.

The announcement comes shortly after London-born Witter-Johnson, who is celebrate for crossing the boundaries of classical, jazz, reggae and R&B music, was appointed to the Board of Awards For Young Musicians.

In LMF’s press release, Witter-Johnson commented –

“As a Londoner myself, I fully understand the importance of supporting young musicians in the capital on their musical journey. The LMF is undoubtedly creating life-changing opportunities for young musicians to thrive so I am truly honoured to be joining as an Ambassador and Trustee and look forward to being part of the organisation’s fantastic work in our city.”

LMF CEO Chrissy Kinsella commented –

“We are thrilled to have Ayanna joining us both as an Ambassador and Trustee. As one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative young musicians, she brings a new voice to our work. Her personal experience as a young London musician will be integral to our future plans as we develop and grow as an organisation, and I am certain that she will inspire the young people we work with, through her immense creative talent.”

Find out more about Trinity Laban’s programmes nurture creative entrepreneurs and future changemakers on our Study Pages.



Matthew Bourne

Multiple nominations for Sir Matthew Bourne OBE at National Dance Awards 2022

The TL alum and his company New Adventures have been shortlisted for a total of seven accolades

The UK’s Critics’ Circle has announced nominations for its annual National Dance Awards, and Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell tops the list of individual productions with five nominations.

The celebrated choreographer completed his BA at Trinity Laban before going on to do the Graduate Diploma in Dance Performance (Transitions Dance Company) graduating in 1986. Matthew launched New Adventures in 2002.

The company has now secured seven nominations at this year’s awards including the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company.

The Royal Ballet’s The Dante Project, by Trinity Laban Visiting Professor of Choreography Wayne McGregor, has also secured four nominations.

The winners will be announced at a live ceremony in London on 13 June 2022.

Image credit: Hugo Glendinning

TL dancers are finalists for BBC Young Dancer 2022

Two alumni of the conservatoire’s CAT scheme will compete in Saturday’s Grand Final

The ultimate talent show for young UK dancers, BBC Young Dancer showcases some of the best up-and-coming performers from ballet to contemporary, street to tap and South Asian.

The competition is overseen by TL alum and former Chief Executive and Artistic Director of London’s international festival Dance Umbrella, Emma Gladstone OBE.

To adjudicate this year, Emma is joined by some of the industry’s best talent including Hip Hop dance phenomenon Gianna Gi, South Asian choreographer Geetha Sridhar, independent dance artist Annie Hanauer and award-winning multi-disciplinary artist Ivan Blackstock.

They will be judging the talents of 10 dancers, including 19-year-olds Hannah Joseph and Robert Dunkley-Gyimah, who trained as part of Trinity Laban’s Centre for Advance Training.

The innovative scheme offers young people with exceptional talent and potential in dance the opportunity to access high quality dance training. The programme of classes provides intensive and rigorous dance training taught by a highly experienced team of professional dance teachers and artists.

Robert discovered his passion for dance aged 12, and has trained in street dance, ballet and contemporary, while Hannah started in a local ballet school at six before joining the CAT scheme and is now a member of National Youth Dance Company.

They will compete to be crowned BBC Young Dancer 2022 in the Grand Final at London’s Roundhouse, broadcast on Saturday 7 May on BBC TWO and on iPlayer.

BBC Young Dancer 2022 – The Final | Trailer – BBC Trailers – YouTube

Discover more about studying dance at Trinity Laban.

Alumni Roundup April 2022

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

Alumni took the spotlight in many performances over the course of April. John Savournin joined Oxford Opera in their first performance since the pandemic. He also featured in English National Opera’s 2021 production of HMS Pinafore, which was broadcast on Sky Arts at the end of April.  

Ezra Collective performed at 6 Music festival, and Joe Armon-Jones played a Jazz FM session.  

Alumni also featured in new releases this month. Moses Boyd joined Quinn Oulton for his new single Clashing Colours. 

Deschanel Gordon features on Rowan Flack’s new single, The Calling. 

The soundtrack for the new Downton Abbey film, featuring Cherise Adams-Burnett, has been released. 

Diphonon Duo, of whom Michael Iskas is one half, have released their new album Emerging Voices. 

Malcolm Earle Smith’s album, Vocal Intent, features alumni Leo Richardson, Chris Eldred, Conor Chaplin, and Douglas Marriner. The release has been described by London Jazz News as ‘a brave album full of unexpected rewards’. 

Reviews and features covered alumni, their works, and their performances this month.  

balletLORENT’s production of The Lost Happy Endings at Sadler’s Wells, directed and choreographed by Liv Lorent, was described as ‘an introduction to the magic of storytelling through dance’ by The Reviews Hub. 

Nardus Williams’ appearance with the London Handel Orchestra garnered this review in the Guardian. 

Limon Dance Company, led by Dante Puleio, was reviewed in the New York Times for their performance in the Joyce Theater. 

Punchdrunk has received coverage for its new immersive theatre piece The Burnt City, including reviews in the Guardian and the Evening Standard, and an appearance on Channel 4 featuring Associate Director and Choreographer Maxine Doyle. 

Doyle’s choreography is also featured alongside Cassie Kinoshi’s music in BalletBoyz’ Bradley 4:18, which was praised by the Guardian . 

Parallax Orchestra featured in Kerrang! this month. Alum and founder Will Harvey talks about how the orchestra became “rock’s indisputable go-to group for all things orchestral”. 

Candoco Dance Company, which includes alumni Olivia Edington and Megan Armishaw, were featured in the New York Times, ahead of their New York debut. 

Xhosa Cole was interviewed by London Jazz News, ahead of his April 30 concert for International Jazz Day. It was also announced that he would be part of this year’s Take Five talent development programme from production company Serious. 

Alumni were also the subjects of awards and announcements in April. Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance Company announced dance workshops for refugees and asylum seekers this month. 

Louise Balkwill won the Vocal Jazz prize at the Riga Jazz Stage 2022. 

Ayanna Witter-Johnson has been cast as Snake in Amazon Studio’s upcoming series Anansi Boys. 

The Critics’ Circle Dance Award nominations have been announced, with Matthew Bourne featuring among the nominees. 

Heloise Werner has been commissioned by Radio France to write two new works for their upcoming season. 


Coming Up: 

Many TL dance alumni will be appearing at Resolution Dance Festival 2020, The Place’s celebration of new choreography and performance works. These will include Innovation Award winners Laura Engholm (2020) and Tough Boys Dance Collective (2021). 

Konrad Jaromin has been cast in Opera Holland Park’s rendition of Eugene Onegin, premiering May 31.