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TL Teaching and Supporting Learning Awards

Teaching and Supporting Learning Awards 2021

TL staff honoured in annual scheme recognising outstanding contribution

The Trinity Laban Teaching and Supporting Learning Awards scheme recognises staff members who have made an outstanding contribution to the conservatoire’s innovative and nurturing environment.

Each year our community is invited to nominate any colleague or team who has positively influenced student experience through an activity or initiative over the past three years. This includes innovative teaching, championing collaborative approaches and the enhancement of TL’s learning culture.

The 2021 recipients are:

  • Ann van Allen-Russell for developing online seminars and discussion groups to promote student engagement, using videos to aid students’ understanding of assessments and for progressing the decolonisation of the Music History curriculum.
  • Tessa Gillett for contributing to a culture of inclusion and diversity at the conservatoire through her leadership of its Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign and contribution to the BLM working group, which enabled Trinity Laban to gather and respond to students’ concerns.
  • Richard Henry for leading contribution to the BLM working group and public action plans and playing a crucial role as Black Lives in Music relationship manager and Black Culture 365 producer.
  • James Hitchins for transforming the learning experience for students with additional needs and supporting teaching staff to design and adapt learning teaching and assessment to be accessible.
  • Richard Metcalfe for creating a safe environment for learning and teaching in the conservatoire’s buildings during the pandemic.
  • Gill Munro for supporting student engagement and wellbeing by providing excellent individual service to those booking space and other resources.
  • Lucy Nicholson for enhancing student progression into professional practice through the development of the Faculty of Music’s Voices from Industry Series, the Innovation Award, and both the GoDigiTL and TL Ignite micro grants.
  • Stephanie Schober for contribution to inclusion and diversity in learning and teaching through leadership of the ‘Asking Queerer Questions’ CoLab 2021 project.
  • Byron Wallen for community building in the Jazz dept during lockdown including contributing to a weekly listening club and using innovative approaches to the digital delivery of Jazz Music History.

The winners received their Awards at a celebratory outdoor event in September.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

William Byram

Progressing the Future of Contemporary Dance

Dedicated to deconstructing gender in the classical arts, Mississippi-born Will Byram has begun his MA/MFA in Choreography at Trinity Laban as the Fulbright-Trinity Laban Postgraduate Scholar 2021/22.

Exploring how male fragility and aggression manifest in the body, Will’s degree will culminate in the creation of a movement theatre work with a narrative adapted from a 1999 Human Rights Watch interview on men’s experiences with sexual assault.

Before arriving in London, Will completed his BFA in Dance in 2020 at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, New York where he choreographed the mainstage production of Purcell’s opera Dido & Aeneas. The first large-scale collaboration between the university’s Conservatories of Music and Dance, the show won second place in the 2020 National Opera Association Competition.

Will’s work has also been performed at Dancers Responding to AIDS, Jazz Choreography Enterprises and most recently, Battery Dance Festival in New York.

Will plans to use his postgraduate training as a foundation to launch a career in higher education that champions access and exposure to the arts in the American South. He also hopes to learn about British etiquette and discover the similarities between his Southern upbringing and culture.

His first project at Trinity Laban will be choreographing opera scenes this December in collaboration with the vocal department.

On joining the Trinity Laban community Will says –

“Trinity Laban has such a distinctive place in the dance history canon. I’m honoured to study at an institution dedicated to innovation and progressing the future of contemporary dance. I’m also excited to learn and absorb all that London’s creative theatre and dance scene has to offer.”

Sara Matthews, Director of Dance, comments –

“Trinity Laban is thrilled to welcome William Byram to the Faculty of Dance as this year’s Fulbright Scholar, continuing a rich tradition of cultural exchange and innovation. The international community Will is joining will help support his development as a change-maker, as he continues to take exciting steps to advance the art form of dance.”

Trinity Laban Principal Anthony Bowne comments –

“Trinity Laban is proud to continue its longstanding partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission by being part of this next stage in Will’s artistic journey. He is an exceptionally talented individual doing extraordinary work that advocates for equity and we are excited to see the transformative impact he will no doubt have on the Conservatoire and wider arts industry over the course of his tenure.”

US-UK Fulbright Commission Executive Director Maria Balinska comments –

“Will is a testament to the Fulbright Programme’s commitment to civically engaged artistic excellence. We’re excited to see the outcome of his creative exchanges with the dance community at Trinity Laban and proud to be partnering for a sixth year with the only Conservatoire of Music and Contemporary Dance in the UK.”

The US-UK Fulbright programme is the only international education exchange to go both ways across the Atlantic and whose vision is a world in which there are no obstacles to learning, understanding and collaboration.

Previous Trinity Laban recipients include US Marines veteran and Artistic Director of Exit12 Dance Company (New York) Roman Baca, who was awarded the Fulbright Association’s Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture Award, and Washington-born pianist Garrett Snedeker who won a Barzun Prize for Youth Engagement to pioneer a music project to engage under-served teenagers in Southeast London.

Find out more about the Fulbright Scholarship, including how to apply for 2022, on our Fees and Finance pages.

Image: Will Byram

Emily Jenkins holding National Lottery Award

Alum Wins National Lottery Award 2021

Emily Jenkins has won the Art, Film and Culture category for her work supporting women affected by cancer.

The National Lottery Awards celebrate the UK’s favourite national lottery funded projects. This year, TL graduate Emily Jenkins’ organisation Move Dance Feel has been selected as the winner from 1500 nominations.

Emily graduated from Trinity Laban in 2016 after studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Dance and an MA in Creative Practice. She founded community project Move Dance Feel in the same year to help women living with and beyond cancer. The organisation supports them to rediscover their bodies and find joy through free weekly dance sessions.

During the pandemic, the project saw a huge upsurge in engagement after developing ‘Move Dance Feel Online’, aided by National Lottery funding of £9880.

Emily comments –

“It feels very special to be recognised for a National Lottery Award, particularly as it was the participants themselves who nominated me. I started Move Dance Feel as a way to simply offer a creative means of support to women in need, and now after give years it has evolved into something quite extraordinary.

“Dance in this context gives rise to multiple benefits, and the community of women we dance with are wonderful. It’s a real pleasure to dance alongside them, as they navigate through the incredibly difficult challenges associated with cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. I find myself in awe of their strength.

“Winning this award has given me further encouragement to keep pushing forward, with the aim of making dance available to all women affected by cancer, worldwide.”

Discover postgraduate dance at Trinity Laban.

Images illustrative of the autumn season of performances at Trinity Laban

Autumn Events 2021

Encounter intriguing and inventive moments of music and dance in our three-month programme of live events championing new creations.

Running across September, October and November, our autumn season includes film and music festivals, concerts and gigs, as well as more from our Black Culture 365 series.

Celebrating the experimental integration of movement, choreography and the moving image on screen, the biennial London International Screen Dance Festival returns to Laban Theatre to open the season (Wed 22 – Fri 23 Sept). The dynamic event will showcase 26 films from across five continents, including four World Premieres from the USA, South Korea and the UK and 11 UK premieres.

Highlights include: Douglas Rosenberg’s Song of Songs, a “deeply personal evocation” of the poetry series from the Old Testament; John Degois’ “life-affirming” one-take short film Birds; and Hadi Moussally’s Bellydance Vogue, an eclectic mix of childhood VHS footage and solo lockdown birthday celebrations.

In collaboration with Screen Dance International, Detroit, the 2021 Festival will also present Second Warning In memory of Marcus White (May 17, 1988 – May 14, 2020). Marcus created the film for the 2017 Moving 24 fps, a week-long festival in Detroit for dance-makers and filmmakers that he co-founded and directed with Carlos Funn.

Alongside the screenings, there will also additional Q&A events and talks, and the announcement of the Festival Award for Best Film.

In October, audiences can journey to new sonic worlds and join a community of experimenters at the Rude Health Composition Festival (Mon 25 – Wed 27 Oct).

Orchestral highlights from the Great Hall at Blackheath include Side by Side with Aurora Orchestra (Thu 7 Oct 18:00), which brings together student talent with professional mentors to perform Schumann’s Symphony no 1 op 38 ‘Spring’, Symphonic Winds & Sinfonia Strings (Fri 15 Oct 19:30), showcasing a new work by Nneka Cummins alongside pieces by Debussy and Grainger, and Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra (Thu 28 Oct 19:30), featuring 2019 Soloists’ Competition winner, cellist Talia Erdal.

Celebrating creativity from across the Black diaspora, our Black Culture 365 series continues this autumn with a star-studded Mixed Bill (Fri 29 Oct 18:00) and a student-led Lunchtime Concert (Thu 25 Nov 13:00).

Our first cohort of popular music students will get the chance to shine in Life is a Song Worth Singing (Fri 5 Nov 19.30), a night of song writing talent presented in the intimate surroundings of the Hearn Recital Room.

Rounding off the season, Trinity Laban Brass Ensemble presents Big Fat Brass (Fri 26 Nov 19:30). The evening sees critically-acclaimed trumpeter, conductor and Trinity Laban alum Mike Lovatt lead the band in a live rendition of the iconic 1958 Billy May album, alongside Bizet’s Carmen Suite as you’ve never heard it before.

For full listings, ticketing info and booking visit our What’s On page.

Still from Song of Songs by Daniel Rosenberg

London International Screen Dance Festival Returns for 2021

The biennial festival returns to Laban Theatre this September to showcase 26 new independent short films from around the world.

Curated by Reader in Choreography Charles Linehan, the London International Screen Dance Festival champions the inventive and experimental integration of movement, choreography and the moving image on screen.

This year, there will be four hour-long programmes across two nights (23 & 24 Sept), featuring work from 5 continents, including four World Premieres from the USA, South Korea and the UK and 11 UK premieres.

Shortlisted from over 500 submissions, the 26 films include:

  • Douglas Rosenberg’s Song of Songs, described as a “deeply personal evocation” of the poetry series from the Old Testament. Shot in black and white with an original cello score, it evokes a cinematic space that is contemplative and austere, turning “ritual to art to performance”.
  • John Degois’ Birds, a life affirming 9 minute one-take film shot outdoors in black and white using slow motion. The film attempts to transpose live performance to film and breaks expectations of where the viewer should focus their attention, offering an antidote to the gloom of our covid 19 reality.
  • Hadi Moussally’s Bellydance Vogue, which mixes archive VHS footage from his childhood in Lebanon with contemporary footage, in response to celebrating his birthday alone during lockdown.

In collaboration with Screen Dance International, Detroit, the 2021 Festival will also present Second Warning in memory of Marcus White (17 May 1988 – 14 May 2020). Marcus created the film for the 2017 Moving 24 fps, a week-long festival in Detroit for dance-makers and filmmakers that he co-founded and directed with Carlos Funn.

Alongside the screenings, there will also additional Q&A events and talks, and the announcement of the Festival Award for Best Film.

Charles Linehan says:

“London International Screen Dance Festival is a dynamic event celebrating a diverse range of films from the international community. It gives lesser-known artists a platform alongside artists with international profiles, creating a level playing field where quality is prioritised over status, ensuring the audience can enjoy an exciting and surprising mix of experimental films.”

Discover the full programme listings and visit our What’s On pages to book your tickets.


Massimo Monticelli in nude t-shirt under illuminated archway

Alum premieres work at Gender Bender International Festival

Dance artist, teacher and 2018 graduate Massimo Monticelli interrogates truth, gender and representation in new solo.

2018 graduate Massimo Monticelli has choreographed new contemporary dance solo Cassandra, or, the Truth in response to the current abundance of fake news and lack of faith in science.

In the work, Massimo performs as Cassandra, the cursed Trojan prophetess. By overlaying the male body on top of a female voice Massimo wants to encourage reflection on questions about gender and representation. Through the contrast he also explores how truth is told, listened to, accepted, or rejected.

The 35-minute work was developed by Massimo across a series of residencies earlier this year, with the help of fellow TL dance alumni Tommy Cattin and Giordana Patumi.

It has roots in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon and Christa Wolf’s work and features an original live score by Marco Pedrazzi, a young composer who was recently commissioned by the Venice Music Biennale.

Massimo will premiere Cassandra, or, the Truth on 13 September 2021 at Italy’s celebrated annual Gender Bender International Festival in Bologna.

The dance artist and creator comments –

“This is a wonderful opportunity as Gender Bender International Festival is one of the most important dance festivals in Italy.”

You can learn more about Dance at Trinity Laban on our study pages.

TLIA 2021 Winners group

Announcing our TL Innovation Award Winners 2021

The unique award sees final-year students pitch artistic and business projects to an expert panel and win professional development support and seed funding.

Launched in 2019 the Innovation Award forms part of the conservatoire’s strategy to help emerging artists develop their voice and innovate in the cultural industries, particularly important as they continue to navigate the ongoing challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year shortlisted applicants pitched their proposals to Nikki Tomlinson, Co-director at Independent Dance, Roger Wilson, Co-founder of Black Lives in Music and former Head of Professional Development at National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and Trinity Laban Principal Anthony Bowne in a bid to win one of six awards.

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 winners are:

  • Myra BrownbridgeBrilliant Corners
  • Laudine DardAlone, Together
  • Emily EdwardsMusical Theatre Masterclasses
  • Anna NichollsDeveloping Dance with HAC
  • Back on The Map Project (Emma Greene and Sunniva Rørvik) – The History of Dance of the African diaspora: A Festival for the young people of Deptford
  • Tough Boys Disco (Sula Castle, Roseann Dendy and Daisy Hingorani-Short) – Open Dancefloor

The diverse and innovative proposals 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 this year.

“The Innovation Award is one of the many ways in which Trinity Laban are nurturing entrepreneurial and project management skills in early career artists and strengthening our connections with the wider industry.”

Roger Wilson comments –

“This is an important platform for Trinity Laban students to push the envelope and grow as creators.  These are tomorrow’s professionals, encouraged to create and realise their ideas with a significant level of support. The impressive scope of creative and innovative ideas assured me that we can look forward to seeing great things from Trinity Laban students.”

Funded by our Higher Education Innovation Fund allocation, each winning project receives an award of £3,000 to use on development and will benefit from a specially tailored 10-month mentorship programme delivered by acclaimed alumni:

  • Japanese inclusive dance artist, performer, choreographer and dance movement psychotherapist, Takeshi Matsumoto(Transitions 2007)
  • London-based Polish/German interdisciplinary artist, performer, creative producer, activist, and a Purple Lady Dagmara Bilon (BA 2003)
  • Independent Arts and Events Manager and co-founder of Black Artists in Dance Joyce Gyimah (BA 2002)
  • Multi-award-winning saxophonist, conductor and arranger Phil Meadows (BMus jazz sax 2012)
  • Primary School teacher Annabel Langley (BA MT 2012)
  • Experimental composer, artist and performer Caitlin Rowley (MMus composition 2013 / MFA Creative Practice 2014)

Innovation Award Co-founder Lucy Nicholson comments –

“Trinity Laban alumni have hugely successful careers across the creative arts industry and over the past two years have given awardees valuable guidance and support as mentors. We are looking forward to welcoming back six more talented alumni to share their expertise with the 2021 winners. It is important for us to continue to strengthen the connections within our creative community to support the future of the performing arts ecology.”

Since its inception, the Innovation Award has already supported twelve 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 have 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.

Dance artist and choreographer Hannah Wallace used her 2021 award to create Groundmarks, a site-specific work supported by London Wildlife Trust exploring the experience of the moving, sensing body within a constantly evolving landscape. She comments –

“The TL Innovation Award was an incredible opportunity to receive at this early stage of my career – it gave me the freedom to take creative risks and supported me to gain valuable experience as an artist and a leader.”

Innovation Award Co-founder Joe Townsend comments –

“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.”

To find out more, visit our Innovation Award webpage.

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

Susan Kempster headshot

Residency at Sadler’s Wells for TL Lecturer

Award-winning choreographer, performer and teacher Susan Kempster to develop new work at the iconic contemporary dance venue.

Trinity Laban Lecturer in Dance Susan Kempster will enjoy a week’s research residency at Sadler’s Wells this summer to develop a new intergenerational duet. The project – working title Mother – will see Susan partnering with a recent dance graduate to explore identity and gender.

She explains –

“I kept thinking, ‘I don’t want it to look like a mother and son’. Then I had the idea to reverse the roles, so the young man will wear a dress and be the mother. Reversing the gender roles opens up all kinds of questions we might explore around identity and non-stereotypical relationships.”

Supported by the Foyle Foundation, Sadler’s Wells’ Artist Residencies programme is an investment in independent dance artists, giving them the opportunity to get back into the studio to think and play.

Susan, who has recently secured an Arts Council grant for her research, hopes to perform a version of the work in Italy at the end of August.

Find out more about Dance at Trinity Laban.


TL Ignite graphic

Announcing the Recipients of TL Ignite 2021

Trinity Laban is supporting 24 emerging local artists to develop their entrepreneurial expertise and establish sustainable careers through one-off grants and bespoke professional support. The scheme strengthens Trinity Laban’s ties with the local creative community, building a vital network to help boost the post-pandemic recovery of performing arts in south east London.

Funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, TL Ignite has been specifically designed to reduce the financial barriers for artists entering the industry and help nurture creative innovation and life-long learning.

Selected from over 100 applications, the 2021 TL Ignite awardees are:

  • Cherise Adams-Burnett – jazz vocalist and composer
  • Layla Allen – clarinettist and educator
  • Marcus Alessandrini – dance artist
  • Laure Dubanet – dance artist
  • Ieva Dubova – pianist and composer
  • Chesney Fawkes-Porter – musical theatre podcast creator
  • Olivia Fraser – oboist
  • Greta Gauhe – choreographer and dancer
  • Olivia Graham – singer and composer
  • Linn Johansson – feminist theatre maker and facilitator
  • Nicolas Jones – trombonist and founder of The Reel Folks
  • Rachel Laird – Co-founder of Sliding Doors Collective
  • Megan Linnell – singer, composer and arranger
  • Mikaela Livadiotis – pianist
  • Martha Mitu – violinist and composer
  • Ewan Moore – drummer
  • Laura Marie O’Connor – musical theatre writer
  • Evie Oldham – dance artist
  • Calum Perrin – sound artist
  • Teresa Skamletz – dance artist
  • Shannon Latoyah Simon – classical guitarist, sound healer and multidisciplinary artist
  • Monica Tolia – multidisciplinary choreographer and visual artist
  • Jessica Walker – choreographer, movement director and dance artist
  • Annys Whyatt – theatre-maker

Through seed-funding and a curated programme of knowledge exchange, TL Ignite aims to empower these newly graduated and early-career creatives to identify and realise development opportunities, find new ways to connect with audiences, build their networks and monetise their work.

The recipients, who are all in the first five years of their careers, will use the award for project realisation, digital creation and professional development, enabling engagement with local communities and the creation of new work.

Recipient Jessica Walker comments –

“It means the world to me to know that Trinity Laban truly believes in the work that I want to produce. This award will provide me with the stepping stones to start my own dance company and provide opportunities for other Black contemporary dancers.”

Fellow awardee Annys Whyatt comments –

“Receiving this award is such an exciting opportunity for me and gives me the means to realise a project I have wanted to create for a very long time. I am looking forward to making new creative relationships with other local artists being able to show and share our work with each other.”

Trinity Laban Principal Anthony Bowne comments –

“These 24 early-career artists represent the exceptional wealth of creativity and home-grown talent thriving in south east London. As a world-leading performing arts institution, it is vital that we share our knowledge and expertise with our wider local community to help emerging creative professionals navigate an increasingly challenging arts landscape. TL Ignite provides an opportunity for these emerging artists to enhance their skills, resilience and adaptability so that they can continue to build and contribute to a vibrant post-Covid arts ecology.”

Olga teaching

The Instrumental Body

TL Summer School teacher Olga Masleinnikova authors chapter in newly published Body and Awareness book.

Edited by Sandra Reeve, Body and Awareness (Triarchy Press) is the third volume in the Ways of Being a Body series, designed as a guide for teachers, students, practitioners and researchers. It includes several contemporary approaches to the study and experience of embodied awareness, which is a transdisciplinary field of contemporary research and practice.

According to the new publication, embodied awareness is central to understanding everything from the creative arts to the psychology of health, from meditation to the psycho-ecology of climate change.

While the research-led chapters reveal a wide variety of interests, they share the common notion of ‘body as flux’ and support the being-becoming-being of each of us as a skilful creative entity.

Interdisciplinary creative, movement director, choreologist, creativity coach and lecturer Olga Masleinnikova is one of 20 contributing experts sharing their perspectives on Body and Awareness.

Using a practical session with actors as a case study, her chapter ‘The Instrumental Body’ explores the possibilities offered by choreology to initiate and expand sensorial awareness.

Olga explains –

“In my chapter, I present a process where an intentional shift into the attitude of Instrumental Body allows movement tools to become an awareness map for the transformation of patterns, for the experience of new inner landscapes and for creative expansion.

“I also introduce the concept of choreological order, which I find very useful for performance and devising work. I particularly resonate with the work and the explanation of Trinity Laban Senior Lecturer in Choreology, Rosemary Brandt. She says ‘the choreological order is what holds our movement together, we don’t have to think about it, we haven’t been taught how to do it, we do it because it feels natural and comfortable’.

“I demonstrate a step-by-step process on how to break the choreological order to shift from naturalistic, to stylised movement, to dance. I find it such a useful tool and I can’t wait to share it with How Movement Work participants in July.”

Olga has previously delivered on Trinity Laban’s Specialist Diploma in Choreological Studies and is the lead tutor for the conservatoire’s How Movement Works summer school, a week-long choreology course for adult practitioners from different backgrounds and disciplines who are interested in exploring movement.

This year, Trinity Laban is running How Movement Works as a five-day digital intensive from 5 to 9 July 2021.

To find out more and apply, visit our Take Part pages.

Image credit: James Keates

John Chambers holding percussion instrument (left); John Darvell in action choreographing (right)

Alumni commissioned to create interactive digital work

John Darvell and John Chambers are part of creative team for The RIDDLE

Under the Artistic Direction of Trinity Laban alum John Darvell, NOCTURN collaborates with artists across genres to develop a unique blend of dance, accessible technology and interactive events.

Their latest creation, The RIDDLE, is a fun, interactive outdoor experience,  produced by Spin Arts, that focuses on society’s consumption of digital technology.

The experience is a commission for Greenwich Dance’s ArtsUnboxed programme, which is a new way to safely create, produce and tour work in 2021 funded by the Culture Recovery Fund.

Unlike a traditional production, there is no live event. Instead, audiences can download The RIDDLE for free and engage in the adventure at their own pace.

Participants help the central character Pæn re-engage with the wonders of the outdoors by hunting down QR codes, solving riddles and making and sharing their own dance moves. Audiences can even use NOCTURN’s Spotify playlist to add to the mood as they explore.

“Your mobile phone is part of the problem – and the solution!”, explains Darvell, who is the show’s Director and Choreographer.

He continues –

“This is our first outdoor work and a new exciting development for the company. It is also a work which responds to the restrictions and impact of COVID-19 and can be engaged with during these difficult times.”

Darvell’s professional journey into dance began at 37 when he decided to retrain in contemporary dance at Trinity Laban, leaving the security of day-to-day office work. He completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Community Dance in 2007 and has spent the last decade forging a remarkable approach to creating and choreographing work, placing community interaction and inclusion at the heart of his creative process.

The creative team behind The RIDDLE also includes fellow alum John Chambers, who wrote the music for the digital experience. The freelance composer, sound designer and lyricist graduated from Trinity Laban in 2008 with BMus (Hons) in composition. During his studies, he won the Daryl Runswick Prize, the John Halford Prize, and the Chappell Prize.

Chambers and Darvell first worked together while both studying at Trinity Laban, collaborating on Darvell’s final choreographic project ‘No More’. They have been collaborating ever since and Darvell describes Chambers as “the musical backbone” for many of NOCTURN’s pieces.

“He’s very talented in understanding the needs of a piece and creating a musical landscape which helps drive the narrative forward. He’s brilliant at marrying two opposing creative needs together which is no easy task.”

Chambers says –

“Over the years we’ve developed a good creative understanding of each other’s style, which means I was able to quickly compose the music for The RIDDLE – speed is crucial for a tightly scheduled project where the score has to happen in pre rather than postproduction.

“It’s been great seeing dance artist Tom Davis Dunn embody and respond to my score, and I look forward to members of the public being able to experience the work for themselves.”

The team received the commission at the end of 2020 and started work on the project in January.

On receiving the commission at the end of 2020 Darvell comments –

“It was amazing news for us especially as when everything else had gone back into lockdown. A bit of a lifesaving project to be involved in.”

The RIDDLE launches as part of ArtsUnboxed in May 2021.

Discover more about studying at Trinity Laban.

Image L-R: John Chambers (credit Pauline Chambers); John Darvell (credit Savannah Photographic)