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Guide to CoLab 2018

Mon 12 February 2018

Trinity Laban’s annual two-week cross-faculties festival is back for 12 – 23 February 2018.

Over 1000 students, staff and visiting artists will once again join forces in a spirit of experimentation and collaboration for CoLab 2018. They will create, develop and rehearse over 90 diverse projects encompassing numerous styles, formats, and settings and explore themes such as ‘belonging and identity’, and the different meanings and interpretations of ‘HOME’. 

Ever varied, CoLab 2018 explores multiple genres. Femi Koleoso, recent alumnus and member of the award-winning Ezra Collective, returns to lead music and dance students in UK Grime Classic & Urban Dance. Several of the CoLab 2018 projects are inspired by Afro-Cuban genres that see instrumentalists, dancers and actors come together to form high-energy bands (La Conga! Cuban Carnival and Cuban Music & Dance) and create evocative scenes (Havana 1930). The final night of CoLab at Blackheath Halls sees a performance from the Motown Orchestra. 

Other relevant highlights include Dr Sophie Fuller who takes students on an important exploration of little known works by female British composers of the 20th Century in project Maconchy & Friends

This year, CoLab has evolved to include several new elements. The ChamberTwist initiative, with guidance from visiting Movement Director Struan Leslie, celebrates the wealth of knowledge and experience held amongst Trinity Laban teaching staff. The new Laurie Grove Skills Hub features projects geared to engage and challenge Musical Theatre students. 

CoLab 2018 also sees community-based projects, such as the intergenerational Liquid Crystal (part of theTATE Exchange programme), which connect students with people in the wider community. Hospital Extravaganza offers the opportunity to perform music in care giving environments, in partnership with the Lewisham & Greenwich Trust and mentored by specialist organisation Pulse Arts CIC.

Now in its seventh year, CoLab’s unique approach to learning and teaching has attracted international attention and acclaim. For 2018, we look forward to welcoming 65 students and 21 leading educators from international institutions across the globe who will be participating in CoLab projects alongside Trinity Laban. These include: Brexchange Jazz, an ensemble uniting students from across Europe; Shudder, a new operetta by Jakub Kaczmarek and TL Composition student Caitlin Harrison which features students from Łódź in Poland; and Percu & Strings, which brings together percussion and string players from Belgium and young musicians from Junior Trinity with special guest Jean-Sébastien Borsarello, Principal Timpanist at the National Orchestra of Toulouse. Students from Canada will be partaking in RIMS and visitors from Hong Kong will be taking part in multiple projects such as Soundpainting, OPERATION, Cabaret! and Unplugged.

We are also taking CoLab beyond London, with Trinity Laban mentors visiting Taiwan and twelve students travelling to the prestigious ‘Amor de Dios’ Academy in Madrid to study the Bulerias flamenco style.

Head of CoLab Joe Townsend commented –

“As seismic shifts change our landscape, the performing arts become a vital and expressive force to share and build our future. Through collaboration and creative practice, CoLab provides the opportunity for our students to build bridges, not walls.”

The institutional-wide interdisciplinary event of exchange and discovery kicks off today, Monday 12 Feb.

For more information on all the projects and how to get tickets please visit our CoLab page.