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Alumni Round-Up November & December 2019

Mon 6 January 2020

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

The last couple of months have been full of great achievements and exciting new projects for Trinity Laban’s alumni.

The EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 saw a whole host of alumni performing, including Cherise Adams-Burnett, Emma Jean Thackray, Camilla George, Cassie Kinoshi’s SEED ensemble, Laura Jurd, Jake Long, Rosie Turton, Emilia Mårtensson, Ms MAURICE, Daniel Casimir, Samuel Eagles, Peter Edwards, Shane Forbes and Mark Kavuma. Faculty staff and celebrated jazz artist Cleveland Watkiss celebrated his 60th birthday at the festival with a performance featuring alumni including Sahra Gure and Ayanna Witter-Johnson. Saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi led the performance project ‘She Is Jazz’, celebrating performers who identify as female or non-binary.

Alumni have continued to be celebrated for their talents and achievements. Hollywood film composer John Powell has been nominated and won multiple awards for his score for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, including a Hollywood Music in Media Award and a World Soundtrack Award.

Sir Matthew Bourne and Shelley Maxwell were both recognised at the BroadwayWorld Awards, with Sir Matthew winning for Outstanding Achievement in a New Dance Production for Romeo + Juliet. Shelley Maxwell was also celebrated at the Black British Theatre Awards, winning Best Choreography for her work on Equus.

The One Dance UK Awards also celebrated many Trinity Laban alumni successes. Dance faculty member and alum Khyle Eccles was named the Inspirational Lecturer at College, University or Conservatoire and Professor Emma Redding was decorated for excellence in Dance Science. Alum Jody Morgan won the Dance Healthcare Practitioner Award while Sanjoy Roy won the Dance Writing Award.

The British Jazz Awards celebrated tenor saxophonist Leo Richardson and featured Ezra Collective in the Best Small Group category. They are currently touring the USA with their new album, You Can’t Steal My Joy.

Work from Laura Jurd and Mark Lockheart was recognised at the Ivors Composers Awards and the Paul Hamlyn Awards, with Laura winning alongside fellow alum Dai Fujikura at the Ivors Composers Awards.

Award-winning international concert pianist Iyad Sughayer became one of six musicians named as the City Music Foundation (CMF) Artists 2019. At the beginning of November, BIS Records released Iyad’s debut album, featuring Khachaturian’s solo piano works.

The Guardian listed its Top Ten Dance Shows of 2019, featuring Oona Doherty’s Hard to Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer at number 1, a glowing review of Matthew Bourne’s Romeo + Juliet and other alumni who performed in the top ten dance shows include Dylan Crossman (Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Four Quartets’) and Elly Braund (Night of 100 Solos).

A number of alumni have recently joined dance companies. Mirabelle Gremaud embarked on a UK tour of a dance theatre adaptation of Enid Blyton’s classic Malory Towers. After dancing for Polski Teatr Tańca (Polish Dance Theatre) for many years, Maciej Kuźmiński returned to the company to choreograph new work Fabula Rasa, pushing the boundaries of physicality and composition.

Sir Matthew Bourne’s iconic and subversive adaptation of Swan Lake travelled to LA, with alumni Jack Parry and Cameron Everitt among the cast. Also from New Adventures, The Red Shoes has been enjoying a sell-out run at Sadler’s Wells before it continues on its UK tour on 28 Jan 2020.

Jazz alum Moses Boyd announced an upcoming album release for February 2020, accompanied by an international tour including several UK dates. Sahra Gure released her EP Love Me With Me alongside a launch gig at Tileyard Studios. Jazz septet Nérija, featuring alumni Cassie Kinoshi, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Rosie Turton, Nubya Garcia and Lizy Exell, have also released their album Blume.

Soumik Datta launched his new album Jangal at Oslo Hackney earlier this month. Read about the album and his influences in his interview in India’s The Sunday Guardian.

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience won the Outstanding Achievement award for ‘Connected Immersive’ at the Thea Awards, along with Best Innovation at the British Youth Travel Awards. Check out Metro’s review.

November saw the return of Bite Size Pieces at Trinity Laban, a platform for alumni to share and receive feedback on dance works in progress. Presenting their work at this session were Liwia Bargiel, Antigone Gyra, Panayiotis Tofi and Laure Fauser.

Malik Nashad-Sharpe recently choreographed for the new production Fairview. The play, currently at the Young Vic, comes to London after a sell-out run in New York.

Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance brought their production of The Little Prince to The Place this December and will continue with a UK tour in the New Year.

Luke Walsh joined the cast of Chess for its Tokyo production, running until 9 February 2020.

The Swallowsfeet Collective, consisting of alumni Jessica Miller, Sivan Rubenstein, Jessica Lea Haener, Rosa Firbank and Gordon Raeburn, presented an evening of work at the Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey.

Claudia Palazzo recently finished her year-long dance residency at Grow Tottenham with her performance event, This Foreign Mansion.

Empirical, a jazz ensemble which includes alumni Shane Forbes and Lewis Wright will be Wiltshire Music Centre’s Nimmo Artist in Residence for 2020. Empirical, who were Trinity Laban Golubovich Ensemble in Residence 2011, will bring their unique pop-up jazz lounge to Bath and work on new music to be premiered at the end of the residency.

Created by classical guitar alum Francesco Rocco, Lilium SoundArt conducted a project involving musicians performing in historical venues in Padova, Italy, exploring the venues’ 14th Century artwork through music. Zephyros, the ensemble with which Francesco plays, have released recordings and videos of their work on the project.

Transitions Dance alum Takeshi Matsumoto was selected by South East Dance as part of their new initiative Little Big Dance, pioneering dance with and for under 5 year olds in Suffolk and Norfolk.

John Savournin’s new production The Nativity Panto opened at the King’s Head Theatre, London at the end of November. The show will run until 11 Jan 2020 – find out more on Charles Court Opera’s website.

Musical theatre alum Shobna Gulati will reprise the role of Ray in the Everybody’s Talking About Jamie 2020 UK tour following her performance in the West End production earlier this year.

Soho Cinders, currently featuring alumni Lewis Asquith, Natalie Harman and Thomas Ball, has announced that its run at the Charing Cross theatre will be extended until 11 Jan 2020. A modern retelling of classic fairy-tale, Cinderella, the pantomime has been met with high praise from critics. Read this great review of Soho Cinders.

Also on this season’s pantomime scene, Kate Hume has been starring as Maid Marion in Robin Hood at the Camberley Theatre, Surrey, which ran from 13 to 31 December. Gary Hind has been Musical Supervisor and Orchestrator at the London Palladium production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which continues until 12 January.

Close-harmony vocal trio The Puppini Sisters performed at Christmas in Leicester Square, singing jazzy reinventions of pop hits as well as their own original songs.

Distinguished trumpeter Mike Lovatt performed jazz standards and holiday favourites with the San Francisco Symphony at the Davies Symphony Hall alongside writer, actor and singer Seth MacFarlane on New Years Eve.


Don’t miss

Resolution will be at The Place between Thurs 9 Jan and Fri 21 Feb 2020 and will feature a whole host of Trinity Laban alumni. Performers and choreographers will include Mass Hysteria, Shivaangee Agrawal, Monika Blaszczak, Rebecca Piersanti, Darren Payne, Jacob Elliot Roberts, Luke Birch, Bakani Pick-Up, Greta Gauhe, Dylan Poirot Canton, Matthew Harding, Petronella Weihahn, Clara Cowen, Rachel Laird, Julia Costa, Yanaëlle Thiran, Vanessa Abreu, Jessica Walker, Marcus Alessandrini, Diamanto Hadjizacharia, Marlen Pflueger, Willa Faulkner and Vasiliki Papapostolou. Read the full programme and find out more about the performances.

Sadler’s Wells 2020 season features many familiar Trinity Laban names including Eleanor Perry (Thick and Tight), Alexandrina Hemsley (Project O) and Matthew Sandiford (Ballet Boyz). Find out more about Sadler’s Wells’ upcoming shows.

Moses Boyd will embark on an international tour beginning in Copenhagen on 24 Feb and arriving in the UK on Weds 4 March for several performances across the country. Read about Moses’ music and get your concert tickets here.

If you’re in Belgium this month don’t miss SEED ensemble with Cassie Kinoshi and Nubya Garcia on Sat 18 Jan 2020 in Ixelles. Visit Cassie Kinoshi’s website for SEED’s full performance schedule.

Cassie Kinoshi will also provide the music for Inua Ellams’ adaptation of The Little Prince from Fuel Theatre, opening at Stratford Circus Arts Centre on Sat 17 Jan 2020. Read more about Fuel’s adaptation of this classic tale here.

The Puppini Sisters and Reuben James will be at the Hastings International Piano Festival 2020 alongside artists and composers such as RufusWainwright and RachelPortman. See the Hastings International Piano Festival website for the full festival line-up.