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Trinity Laban Students' Union Freshers logo on an orange background.

Trinity Laban Students’ Union Freshers 2023!

Trinity Laban Students’ Union presents FR*SHERS, their take on the classic university welcome week.

The TLSU team is cheeky, wild and packed with fun, so they’ve created a welcome week that matches that, with exciting activities that are definitely something to write home about.  Just like the name, this year’s freshers week is big, bold, and a little bit naughty. Expect live music, dancing, games, delicious food, DJs, Drag and lots of glitter!

Find out more about Trinity Laban Students’ Union Freshers 2023 and book your tickets here.

Find the TLSU team at these locations on the following days and times to collect your wristbands and goodie bags!

  • Saturday 9 September – 10:00 – 17:00 at McMillan Student Village
  • Sunday 10 September – 10:00 – 15:30 at McMillan Student Village
  • Monday 11 September – 10 – 17:00 at KCC SU Office
  • Tuesday 12 September – 10 – 16:00 at Freshers Fair
  • Please note this is collection for both Full Wristband and Boat Party Wristbands. Additional Boat Party wristband collection dates will be announced soon.
Philip Carne MBE and his wife Christine cut the ribbon to the new Philip Carne Room.

Announcing Trinity Laban’s Philip Carne Room

Trinity Laban’s newest performance space is also one of its oldest – The Philip Carne Room, officially opened with a ceremony earlier this summer, has its beginnings in 1664.

The room is one of the most prominent in beautiful King Charles Court, Trinity Laban’s music campus. It has been named in honour of Philip Carne MBE and his wife Christine, prominent philanthropists, and tireless supporters of the performing arts, in recognition of their unwavering support for Trinity Laban over many years.

To officially name the room, permission had to be granted by Historic England, as it is part of one of the nation’s few and precious scheduled monuments.

Philip and Chris’ contributions to Trinity Laban over the years include support for the biennial Carne Chamber Music Competition, over 20 Carne Artists in Residence, over 44 Carne Junior Fellows, and a major donation to a capital campaign which also unlocked a vast amount of trust and foundation support.

Chair of Trinity Laban’s governors, Alan Davey, said: “Arts institutions like Trinity Laban simply wouldn’t survive without the support of people like Philip and Chris. Their extraordinary generosity in supporting TL students to realise their talent is a wonderful thing and, I hope, seen as a shining example for others to follow.”

Principal of Trinity Laban, Anthony Bowne, said: “I feel optimistic about the future when I think of Philip’s dedication to us, and to the performing arts generally. Philip is so determined to help us support and nurture talented musicians, and we are eternally grateful”.

Trinity Laban’s Head of Strings, Nic Pendlebury, said: “Chamber music at Trinity Laban simply wouldn’t be the same without Philip and Chris’ support. It is and will remain at the heart of our training here, in no small part thanks to them. They are true patrons”.

The Philip Carne Room will be used for practice, masterclasses, and public concerts for generations to come.

Philip Carne MBE, Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban, was awarded the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy in 2013; his MBE, in 2015; the Robert Maskrey Award for Philanthropy in the Arts in Wales, in 2018; along with many other honorary fellowships, honours and acknowledgments.

Alumni Round Up July 2023

In this month’s Alumni Roundup, we have a variety of news about performances, festivals, album releases and podcast episodes across both music and dance.

To start off, Dai Fujikura’s Wondrous Steps was amongst the great music featured on Modern Notebook with Tyler Kline in celebration of the 200th episode of the show.

TL jazz alum Reuben James recently released his debut album Champagne Kisses. Listen to Champagne Kisses or read about James.

Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin gave a CDR Artist Talk about their new album Archetype, their creative processes, and diverse careers at Corsica Studios on 11 July.

British saxophonist Camilla George performed “the perfect opening for jazz in the North Sea” at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2023 opening night, which celebrated its 46th year.

Xhosa Cole Quartet performed at INNtöne Jazz Festival in Austria which was held between 21 and 23 July.

The Waldstein Quartet comprising Greta Papa (violin), Daniel Pukach (violin), Natalia Solis Paredes (viola) and Miguel Villeda (Cello) performed a programme of English music at Mary the Virgin, North Stoke on 29 July.

Grammy award-winning, Emmy and BAFTA nominated composer, Lorne Balfe composed the music for The Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning opening titles. Read about how Lorne used over 555 musicians and recorded over 14 hours of music across Europe to put together the score for the movie. Lorne has since been back at AIR Studios finishing recording the score for Argylle, an upcoming spy action thriller which will be out in 2024.

Elliot Galvin released a new album policepolice with another TL alum, Martin Lee Thomson, on the euphonium. Listen to policepolice here.

Oscar Jerome led a guitar masterclass for Day 3 of Tomorrow’s Warriors Summer Runnings 23.

Here is a video of Stjepan Hauser the cellist from 2CELLOS playing his cello on fire. Read more about Stjepan and his career.

TL alum Nivanthi Karunaratne joined Queen Charlotte’s Orchestra, a 70+ member orchestra made of women of colour, to record and perform Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You, on the song’s 20th anniversary. This orchestra was created by Netflix, Shondaland, and Alicia Keys to celebrate the release of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Nivanthi recently performed Poliuto with Teatro Nuovo at the Lincoln Center Debut.

Ezra Collective‘s Where I’m Meant To Be was nominated for the 2023 Mercury Prize with FREENOW. Watch what they have to say about “representing cool jazz” below.

Onto some Musical Theatre news, May Tether will be playing Jessie in Halls the Musical which premiered at the Turbine Theatre in Battersea at the end of July.

At the beginning of July, acclaimed director and choreographer Susan Stroman’s much-lauded revival of Crazy for You celebrated its official opening at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre. Completing the company was Musical Theatre alum Jason Battersby.

Operation Mincemeat has extended its limited run in the West End yet again up until 4 November with Christian Andrews as part of the cast. They have now introduced a new loyalty scheme for repeat attenders where anyone who has watched the production at the West End twice or more can apply for £10 off per ticket when booking in groups of six, while stock lasts.


Moving onto some dance news, Sarah Hirsch and Philip McDermott, the duo are working on Magnetoreception and have collaborated with TL staff member Florence Meredith on the costume designs for their performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Dance Science alum, Kendall Baab, founder of BodyKinect explains how different muscles in the body serve various purposes in this reel on Instagram.

Dr. Gemma Harman’s ResDance podcast is now third in FeedSpot’s list of the 15 Best UK Dance Podcasts.

Dance alum Vince Virr has performed in three countries over the past three weeks and will be performing in two more. Have a look at his aerial spectacle as part of BD:Festival.

Wayne McGregor talks about his latest premiere for the Royal Ballet, his programme for the Venice Biennale and his game-changing collaboration with ABBA in RAD’s podcast, Why Dance Matters.

Elena Alava Hilgert speaks to RAD about her dance teaching experience and how dance benefits her physical and mental wellbeing.

Amy Dalton-Hardy facilitated Season 5: People Focused Producing on 31 July on the topic Start with the Why – A Value-led Approach to Producing.

Thomas Page worked with Rambert School students on a process and dance research, Connectivity towards Commonality.

Alum Kate Scanlan, who is the Creative Director and Chief Executive of East London Dance, spoke on David Watson’s new podcast, Before the Applause about navigating the evolving world of creative arts. Listen to the episode here.

Dance Movement Therapy alum Ana Sanchez-Colberg will once again serve as Artistic Director for VisionAI.R-e, which will take on the production of Festival Videodanza de Puerto Rico. Ana says they have expanded their reach to include choreographic work in VR, AI and XR. For more information click here.

Read what Zinzi Minott had to say about making art about the Windrush scandal in The Guardian.

Iris Athanasiadi collaborated with Olga Ntenta, Carolina Cury and Konstantinos Damianakis combining her love for architecture, dance and performance-making to present Witching, an immersive performance at Theatre Deli London. Witching is an ode to the mysterious, fierce, and magical creatures; women. Throughout history, women have been demonised and portrayed as witches, bringers of misfortune and evil. This performance aimed to change this narrative and celebrate the superpowers of the female body.


Coming up:

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is coming to Sadlers Wells Theatre, from 1 August until 2 September. Book your tickets to this passionate and heartbreaking performance by New Adventures.

Dance theatre alum James Pett will be choreographing and performing In The Absence at BALLET NIGHTS 2023, organised by former Scottish Ballet principal turned ballet producer Jamiel Laurence. This six-night extravaganza presents huge names in ballet this September, October, and November. Book your tickets here.

TL scholar Simone Tavoni is the Artist Director and founder of The Paisajes Piano Festival which will be taking place in Spain between 12 and 16 August. Carolina Cury, TL 2021 Gold Medal winner will be performing music by Sofia Gubaidulina, Bach, Ligeti, Brahms, and a world premiere piece by Helen Ottaway on 14 August. Find out more about the festival here.

Banner image credit: Alex Brenner

Paul Hamlyn Teacher Development Fund awarded to TL and partners

Trinity Laban, Lewisham Education Arts Network and Peoplescape Theatre have been successful in a bid of support from Round 6 of the Paul Hamlyn Teacher Development Fund. The project Moving Stories: embedding dance and drama in SEND teacher practice was one of eight UK-wide projects chosen for support.

We will be working over two years with six Lewisham-based schools: Watergate, Brent Knoll, Drumbeat, New Woodlands and the Resource Bases at Tidemill and Athelney Primary. Artists from theatre and dance will collaborate with teachers to develop a unified learning journey for everyone, with the goal to improve communication skills of young people facing high levels of disadvantage.

Communication skills are the key to unlocking young peoples’ ability to thrive as active, engaged and connected members of their communities, and combining dance and drama will ensure the activities are fully inclusive for children with a wide range of complex needs. Teachers and artists will learn from each other and spread good practice to colleagues, ensuring young people with special needs have access to a rich and exciting arts curriculum which supports their life skills.

More about Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.

Their mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.

They have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts.

Dr Ji Liu stands against a black background. He is wearing a dark suit, tie and white shirt.

Dr Ji Liu appointed as Head of Piano and Keyboard at Trinity Laban

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Ji Liu as Head of Piano and Keyboard. Ji Liu combines a distinguished and multifaceted career as a pianist, composer, scholar and educator.

As an international soloist, he has performed at venues and festivals including Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Auditorium du Louvre, Royal Concertgebouw and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing. At Classic FM‘s 25th anniversary, Ji Liu performed for His Majesty King Charles III and other distinguished guests at Dumfries House. 

Ji Liu says:I am thrilled to join Trinity Laban’s thriving keyboard department and excited to work towards our shared goal and mission in this historical and forward-thinking institution. Accepting this appointment is a great honour for me. Trinity Laban’s existing commitment to mentoring the next generation of musicians and creative leaders aligns with my long-term commitment to music education and my vision of integrating artistic pedagogy with innovative and collaborative research insights. Together with the Director of Music, Dr Aleksander Szram and all my exceptional colleagues, I aspire to foster a learning environment of excellence, progressiveness, innovation, collaboration, equal opportunity and contemporary relevance through teaching and artistic activities. I want to lead our keyboard department as an inspirational and cohesive place for national and global creative talents, developing the sustainable success of the department and the Trinity Laban community for many years to come.”

Director of Music, Dr Aleksander Szram says: We are delighted that Dr Ji Liu will be joining the international team of trans-disciplinary artists here at Trinity Laban. Ji has a multi-faceted career as a soloist, collaborator and performer-composer and will provide great inspiration to our students as they build their own fulfilling and authentic careers.”


More about Dr Ji Liu:

Ji Liu has worked with orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Beijing’s NCPA Orchestra, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, etc. He gave the world premieres of Ludovico Einaudi’s Piano Concerto Domino with RLPO and Boris Bergmann’s The Richter Scale and China premieres of Philip Glass’s Complete Piano Etudes and Frederic Rzewski’s People United Will Never Be Defeated! Variations.  

As a published composer, Ji Liu has written for orchestras, chamber ensembles and solo instruments. His 18-hour Sonata Fantasy was certified as “The Longest Ever Released Instrumental Work” by the Guinness World Record. His discography encompasses repertoires from the Baroque period to the 21st century.  

His research has been presented at institutions such as the University of Oxford, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Orpheus Institute and the University of California 

Ji Liu studied Piano Performance with Professor Christopher Elton and Composition with Professor Ruth Byrchmore at the Royal Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music (supervised by Professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson) from King’s College London and received the Forrest Creative and Performance Leadership Fellowship. Shanghai FM94.7 appointed him the Inaugural Music Ambassador. Since 2018, Ji Liu has served as the Head of Performance at the Kent International Piano Course and is a visiting professor at Shenzhen University. 

To visit Dr Ji Liu’s website click here.

The 5 Innovation Award winners sit on stone steps, with the river Thames to their right.

Innovation Award 2023 winners announced

Congratulations to the winners of our 2023 Innovation Award: Ọlá, Lizzie Fletcher, Chiara Martina Halter, Aimée Ruhinda and Katlo. Each winner has been paired with a mentor who will help them develop their projects over the course of the next year. Find out more about the winners and their projects and mentors below.


Ọlá – Àwa

Ọlá is a Nigerian musician currently in his final year of BA (Hons) Music Performance at TL. His parents wished to enrol him for music lessons as a child but couldn’t afford the fees. Over a decade later, Ọlá decided to pursue his passion and took up the clarinet at age seventeen.

Now a Beryl Searls and Trinity College London Scholar, Ọlá founded The Amalgam, after leading a project at Trinity Laban’s CoLab Festival 2021 and they’ve since enjoyed performing in London and nationally.

He is currently trailing a career that transcends genres as he regularly performs in the Classical, Afro and Popular Music circles.

Ọlá says: ‘I’m feeling thankful as this award will help me put my creative ideas in motion.’

Lizzie Fletcher – Vibrations

Lizzie Fletcher is a trained classical singer, with a particular interest in arts and wellbeing. With a passion for singing in a variety of choirs and solo settings, she has also been actively involved in a range of community outreach projects, including Music and Theatre for All‘s Urban Opera project and Singing for Parkinson’s.

With Vibrations, Lizzie aims to research and curate musical workshops for Deaf children, exploring how we can experience music with our full bodies rather than just through our ears. Her goal is to provide this field of work with the recognition it deserves, while helping others to heal and enjoy the benefits of music.

Lizzie says: ‘I am very grateful to have won this year’s Innovation Award. I’m excited to continue developing and creating more accessible opportunities in music, and working towards changing the stigma surrounding music for the Deaf.’

Chiara Martina Halter – Stomach Aches

Based between London and Switzerland, dance artist Chiara Martina Halter creates contemporary multidisciplinary works that merge live performance with screendance and installation art. She is particularly interested in creating immersive, multisensory spaces that offer high performance and entertainment value while efficiently communicating topics of social relevance.

Alongside her education at Trinity Laban, she joined the ensemble of the interdisciplinary art collective PR•SMA to create multifaceted site-specific performances. She also began training in a variety of hip-hop styles and dance theatre with Avantgarde Dance Company, and created and performed her own work outside of an academic context.

Chiara says: ‘It is incredibly reassuring to know that there are people who want to support my work and give it a platform. For that I am utterly grateful.’

Aimée Ruhinda – Rituals in Chaos

Aimée Ruhinda is a London-born performance artist of Ugandan and New Zealand heritage. Her work explores contemporary art through movement, choreography, and digital media. Aimee purses the creation of immersive installations that engage the viewer on a visceral and emotional level. Her practice is influenced by the Gothic genre, acknowledging its commitment to non-conformity, embracing the dark side of the mind as a voice for societal rebellion and transformation. Through her art, Aimee strives to challenge traditional notions of beauty, disrupt social identity expectations, and dismantle stigmas surrounding mental health.

Aimée says: ‘I’m so excited to receive this award and feel grateful to have Trinity Laban’s support to further my research project out into the world.’

Katlo – My Medusa

Katlo is an international student from Botswana. My Medusa, is an African feminist re-telling of the classic Greek myth. It explores the intersection between race and gender known as misogynoir during the Apartheid of South Africa. The story follows Medusa in the early years of her career as a jazz singer from Botswana trying to make her way in South Africa.

Katlo says: ‘It means so much that Trinity Laban is pushing for work like this to hit the mainstream. This story means so much to my family and my heritage.’


  • Rob McNeil – As a performer, Rob has worked across theatre, opera, dance & film, in the UK & internationally. Rob’s artistic interests combine curation, choreography & direction. He led a large scale EU arts collaboration City Noises between 2011-14 and recently was engaged by the EU Commission as an expert to assess applications to the EU Culture Fund in 2022.
  • Tina Krasevec (TL lecturer) – Tina Krasevec decided to pursue her passion for contemporary dance after reading Sociology and Philosophy at the University in Slovenia. Tina has a BA (Hons) from The London Contemporary Dance School and a MSc in Dance Science. She has performed nationally and internationally with a variety of companies.
  • Joyce Gyimah – Joyce’s training began at Lewisham College followed by degree level study at Trinity Laban. Since graduating in 2002, Joyce has worked as a freelance dance artist, educator, choreographer, manager and consultant. She has undertaken work for a range of dance institutions and organisations including Trinity Laban, Greenwich Dance Agency, Greenwich Musical Theatre, Union Dance, UK Foundation for Dance, Tavaziva Dance and more.
  • Caroline Heslop – Caroline has many years’ experience as a music journalist, composer, FE lecturer and pianist. In 2019 she founded NW Live Arts to offer communities access to dynamic concerts, bringing together creative musicians and community storytellers from different cultures to explore a rich mix of sounds and genres with an under-lying theme of social and cultural significance.

To find out more about previous TL Innovation Award click here.

Photography credit: Juno Snowden
Hannah Horton holds up her Jazz Award certificate. She is wearing a black top and has short curly hair.

Hannah Horton wins Parliamentary Jazz Award

Congratulations to TL alum Hannah Horton who won the Jazz Education Award at All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards!

Hannah Horton is a melodic maverick, visionary jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and journalist. Star of UK jazz, her music is rooted in jazz, folk and funk. Her established individual and sophisticated sound is edging through boundaries and creating waves worldwide.

An official Henri Selmer Artist, graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Trinity Laban, and member of award-winning Women In Jazz Media, Hannah works the jazz world in her own authentic way. Her most recent album Inside Out has received critical acclaim worldwide and she continues to wow audiences with her creative playing, alongside her charming personality on stage.

Today Hannah provides inspiration of her own by running J Steps – a new band initiative designed to nurture the talent of musicians who identify as female or non-binary with its main aim being to balance a historic lack of representation of women in jazz.

J Steps is a jazz ensemble for female and non-binary improvising musicians based at the Saffron Centre for Young Musicians. The players are Grade 6 and above and are taught jazz harmony and improvisation, playing standards and originals. J Steps have performed at EFG London Jazz Festival and Saffron Hall foyer and invite new players who want to learn more about jazz in a comfortable and supportive setting.

A round of applause also for Janine Irons of Tomorrow’s Warriors, who was awarded the Services to Jazz Award. It could not be more deserved!


See the full list of award winners here.

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Elaine Delmar

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Gary Husband

Jazz Album of the Year: Jo Harrop and Paul Edis, When Winter Turns To Spring

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Ubunye

Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Sultan Stevenson

Jazz Venue of the Year: Jazz at the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen

Jazz Media Award: The Jazz Rag

 PizzaExpress Live Jazz Photographer of the Year: Monika S. Jakubowska

Jazz Education Award: Hannah Horton, J Steps, Saffron Centre For Young Musicians, Saffron Walden

Services to Jazz Award: Janine Irons

Special APPJG Award: Tony Haynes and the Grand Union Orchestra

TL music students perform in front of an illuminated multi-colour background.

Alumni Round Up June 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 

Valerija stands in front of Carnegie Hall, before her performance as Laureate Gala winner. She has long blonde hair and wears a red dress.

TL student wins Laureate Gala

Trinity Laban student Valerija Iljinaite recently made her Carnegie Hall debut as a winner of the Laureate Gala by Progressive Musicians

Valerija is a Lithuanian spinto lyric soprano currently studying at TL with Joan Rodgers CBE and Janet Haney, and is also a Morag Noble scholar. In September 2023 Valerija will be continuing her studies at the Royal Academy of Music with a full scholarship. She is also a young artist at Manhattan Opera Studio and the winner of many international competitions and festivals in Europe and USA. Valerija has performed with various orchestras including Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, ‘Trimitas’ Orchestra, Panevezy’s Musical Theatre Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas Big Band, Belarus State Academic Symphony Orchestra and Polish National Symphony Orchestra.

In 2019 Valerija was awarded a bachelor’s degree in theatre studies from Vilnius College and London College of Music; she has also studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and played in the operetta Gondoliers production directed by David Henson. In May 2021, Valerija has developed roles of Susanna and Emma in Mussorgsky’s opera Khovanschina at Bolshoi Theatre working with the creative team – Simon McBurney OBE, Gerard McBurney and Leah Hausman.

In 2022 Valerija was announced the winner of Roy Pleasance Competition 21-22 by Alec Crow, she was also announced as a Musical Odyssey 2022 Benslow Prize Winner. She attended Masterclasses and studied with Yvonne Howard, David Cowan, Geraldine Cassidy, Beatrice Penzi, Carmen Santoro, Sergei Leiferkus, Manolis Papasifakis, Ubaldo Fabbri, Dr. Pantelis Polychronidis, Lynton Atkinson, Alison Wells, Nomeda Kazlaus, Kristian Benedikt, Asmik Grigorian, Joy Robinson and others. As a recognized artist of Lithuania, she was invited to a special inauguration concert of the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda in 2019.

Progressive Musicians

Progressive Musicians is dedicated to helping musicians of all ages achieve their goals and advance artistically.

Their team is constantly working to develop new outlets that provide musicians opportunities to learn, improve, and celebrate milestones. Currently they are hosting online competitions that provide each contestant with the expert feedback from professional musicians, and prizes ranging from their world-wide online showcases, to performing opportunities in some of the most prestigious performance venues around the world.

Nathaniel Parchment dancing in a field of long grass. He is wearing a grey top and light blue trousers.

Nathaniel Parchment appointed Co-Director of Independent Dance

MA Creative Practice student Nathaniel Parchment has been appointed as the new Co-Director of Independent Dance.

Nathaniel Parchment is a London-based dance artist whose interests lie at the intersections of somatics, social dance cultures, global body-mind practices and performance. For the past 10 years he has worked extensively in India as a performer and teacher, as well as a facilitator of yoga retreats and dance education projects. More recently Nathaniel undertook the MA Creative Practice programme at Trinity Laban, which he will be graduating from this year, and has since presented his performance research at Fest en Fest, the international festival of expanded choreography initiated and curated by H2 DANCE. His experience includes co-direction of the Movement in Nature Gathering at Dragon Orchard, Herefordshire, with founder and long term friend and colleague Hugh Stanier. After a gradual transition with Independent Dance’s team this summer, Nathaniel will start formally in the role on 2 October.

Photo credit: Alessandro Sigismondi

Three new Governors join the Trinity Laban Board

We are delighted to announce the appointment of three new Governors to the Trinity Laban Board; Roger Wilson, Nicola Dandridge and Max Puller. All three bring an invaluable range of professional and personal experience to the position and we look forward to working with them.

Three headshots of the new board members. Nicola on the left, Roger in the middle and Max on the right.

From left to right: Nicola Dandridge, Roger Wilson and Max Puller

Roger Wilson

Roger Wilson is Co-Founder of Black Lives in Music, an initiative dedicated to addressing better representation throughout the music industry. He began working with us in 2020 to develop our inclusivity policies and improve the experience of students of African and Caribbean heritages.

His experience is on both sides of the stage as musician, educator, tour manager and administrator. As a conservatoire trained musician, Roger has worked extensively in the commercial, jazz and classical sector with a wide range of artists. As an instrumental teacher and lecturer, Roger has worked throughout the UK music education sector at all levels. In recent years his work has focused on the professional development of aspiring young musicians.


Nicola Dandridge

Nicola is professor of practice in higher education policy at the University of Bristol. Until 2022, she was Chief Executive of the Office for Students, the regulator for higher education. Before that she led Universities UK, the representative body for the UK’s universities, and first joined the higher education sector in 2006 as chief executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, established to promote equality and diversity for staff and students in the higher education sector.

Nicola originally qualified as a solicitor in both England and Scotland, specialising in industrial relations and equality law.

She is a trustee of Cara, the Council for At Risk Academics, and a member of the board of the University of Glasgow. She was made a Dame in 2023 for services to higher education.


Max Puller

Max is an experienced and innovative change management and corporate communications leader. He is currently Business Transformation Director at BCW Change, the organisational change and employee experience specialists at global communications agency, BCW. In this role, he works with clients to deliver successful, sustainable business change – from mergers and acquisitions and restructures to technology transformation and culture change.

Previous roles include Head of Colleague Communications and Engagement at Tesco Bank, Employee and Change Communications Director at Sodexo, and Chief Communications Officer at the UK Ministry of Defence.

Max studied Music at the University of Durham and has a Masters in Internal Communication Management and a Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Communication. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (FCIPR) and the Institute of Internal Communication (FIIC).

Max is a Non-Executive Director of the South East Coast Ambulance (SECAmb) NHS Foundation Trust, which he joined in February 2023. Prior to these appointments, Max spent five years as Non-Executive Director of the Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland.