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Alumni Roundup August 2019

Mon 16 September 2019

Our monthly roundup of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

Sheila Maurice-Grey and her eight-piece Afrobeat collective Kokoroko have been playing events across the continent this summer, and most recently  performed at London’s Southbank Centre, as part of the Meltdown season curated by Nile Rogers of Chic.

This month vocal alum James Newby’s performance of Debussy’s settings of three poems by Verlaine at the Hay-on-Wye Festival was broadcast on Kate Molleson’s second BBC Radio 3 programme in a summer series celebrating the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists

Alum Peter Edwards conducted jazz, gospel and Broadway music inspired by Duke Ellington for BBC Prom’s event Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music on 29 August. You can watch again on BBC iPlayer.

John Savournin performed in Wolf-Ferrari’s delicious 1909 farce of marital mistrust and modern manners for Opera Holland Park. Daily Mail opera critic David Mellor gave the production 5 stars, commenting “with John Savournin in fine form as Susanna’s dumb waiter, this was first-class entertainment”.

Sam Jewison took over the late night shows at the The New Generation Festival in Florence at the end of the month, celebrating of some of the greatest legends of swing and jazz. Watch Sam’s interview with Sky News about the event.

Also in August, Musical Theatre alum Duncan Sandilands joined G4 as their new bass. He’ll be performing alongside fellow alum Lewis Raines.

August saw awards and nominations for our alumni with composition alum John Powell nominated for Best Film Composer of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards 2019, Ezra Collective and Cherise Adams-Burnett nominationed for Parliamentary Jazz Awards, and alum Steve Rubie, who runs the 606 Club, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the The Musicians’ Company.

It was announced that dance alum and Popping For Parkinson’s founder Simone Sistarelli will continue to turn symptoms into strengths supported by Red Bull Amaphiko UK, a global programme which champions social entrepreneurs who are driving positive change.

Dance graduate Sara Houston published Dancing with Parkinson’s, a book which explores the experience and value of dancing for people living with the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease.

In August, several dance alumni joined new companies: 2016 dance graduate Sophie Page is an Apprentice Dancer with Motionhouse, founded by alum Louise Richards, joining fellow alumni Rosie Macari, Bryn Aled and Beth Pattison already dancing with the company. Benni Pohlig recently joined Swedish contemporary dance company Cullberg Ballet, appearing onstage at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank. Paula Drera has won a contract with HimHerIt company that begins later this year. Hannah Connor joined Phoenix Dance as an Apprentice Dancer.

Also in August Jenny Reeves has set up About Time Dance Company. Based in Lancashire they company creates memorable experiences for communities with dance, exploring time, place and heritage.

As of this month two dance graduates are in Istanbul – Kate Haughton is presenting research whilst Umut Ozdaloglu is beginning a PhD programme.

Gianluca Vincentini has commissioned Transitions 2018/19 company member Wilhelmina Ojanen to make a piece for his Leeds-based company Mobius Dance.

Don’t Miss

Matthew Sandiford returning the Laban Stage this season with Ballet Boyz for Them/Us Wed 24 & Thurs 25 Sept. For more info and to book tickets visit our what’s on pages.

Gothic Opera, a new company founded by alumni Béatrice de Larragoiti, Charlotte Obsorn and Alice Usher, curates performances of rarely-seen 19th-century operatic works that take inspiration from the uncanny and eerie atmosphere of Gothic fiction. Their first production is Marschner’s Der Vampyr which they will be performing at different venues in Oct and Nov. Find out more.