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Innovation Award 2023 winners announced

Wed 12 July 2023

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