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January Alumni Roundup

Wed 3 February 2021

A roundup of January’s news and projects from TL alumni.

Online performances from TL alumni entertained digital audiences throughout January.

Pianist Yuki Negishi streamed an online concert on the Absolute Classics YouTube channel, while musical theatre alum James Darch featured in West End Bares online, performing in the Discovery Channel segment.

Choreographer Maciej Kuźmiński shared a preview of his dance-theatre piece, Plateau. More TL alumni choreography was displayed in FKA twigs’ latest music video release, Don’t Judge Me, co-choreographed by Theo TJ Lowe.

Directed by alum Lydia Davidson, Armour: A Herstory of the Scottish Bard streamed as part of the Swallow Theatre Online Archive Season.

The Public Bungalow released a video of Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’, arranged by alum Toby Carswell and the Carducci String Quartet shared a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet No.7 III alongside drummer Cristián Tamblay.

Dance alum Jesse Kovarsky shared insights into the creative process of La MaMa’s Resident Artist Bobbi Jene Smith in a showcase of excerpts from her upcoming work.

Alumni featured on the big screen as Hollywood film composer John Powell scored Doug Liman’s new HBO film, Locked Down and musical theatre alum Daniel Smales starred in the feature horror film No Reasons, now available to stream on Amazon Prime.

TL alumni were also featured in print and digital media throughout the month.

Betty Acorsi uncovered how exploring Greenwich inspired her Cutty Sark Suite in an interview with Morning Star, while fellow alum Ayanna Witter Johnson discussed the release of her new EP Rise Up with The Voice.

The Guardian outlined their top picks for culture in early 2021, featuring TL faces Oona Doherty, Sir Matthew Bourne and Made Kuti, alongside Rosie Kay Dance Company’s work with dance alumni Mayowa Ogunnaike and Patrick Webster.

Vince Vurr appeared on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, discussing his work teaching and choreographing for the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe.

Jazz alum Moses Boyd delved into Miles Davis’ Nefertiti in an episode of My Classic Album, while Nubya Garcia uncovered her artistic process in a short film that kickstarted the My Process series and spoke about her inspirations and upbringing with Gregory Porter on his podcast, The Hang.

Dance alum Emily May interviewed dance film director Alla Kovgan for the fourth episode of her Terpsichore podcast, released in January.

Max De Lucia shared his predictions for the sonic branding sector this year, outlining the tech trends to watch, while fellow alum Lucy Drever also shared career insights in an interview with Varsity, discussing her experiences as a workshop leader in prisons and care homes.

Heloise Werner’s Coronasolfège for 6 was commissioned by The Gesualdo Six who performed the work on BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show.

Jazz vocalist and alum Emilia Martensson was featured in The Look of Jazz, a collection of 90 photographs and exclusive interviews with musicians taken by photographer David Harvey, while BBC Sounds’ Freak Zone Playlist featured saxophonist Mark Lockheart.

Alumni continued to share their knowledge and teach via digital platforms in January.

Sarah Golding taught a professional dance class as part of South East Dance’s Mind The Gap 2021 programme, while fellow dance alum Dr Imogen Aujula lead a One Dance UK CPD session for dance teachers in schools. Matthew Harding and Urban Interface Dance UK launched their online hip hop classes for juniors and teens.

A creative workshop inspired by Luca Silvestrini’s The Little Prince was made available online, providing entertainment for families and a way to keep children active in lockdown.

Countertenor Alexander Pullinger received funding from Sound Connections to research and write an article exploring the challenges faced by transgender vocalists in the classical music industry.

We were delighted to see our alumni receive awards and commissions last month.

Robbie Synge’s dance film Forest Floor, filmed in The Cairngorms and exploring physical access challenges in a rural setting, was named as one of the Dance Camera West Drive-In’s Best of the Festival.

Co-founder of Levantes Dance Theatre Eleni Edipidi was selected for a Jerwood Circus Residency, during which she will develop a new ensemble piece exploring society’s fascination with true crime.

Fellow dance alum Joss Arnott received a commission to develop new work as part of Greenwich Dance’s ArtsUnboxed initiative, launching in the spring, while HOME’s Push Festival commissioned Holly Rush to develop her work Superhero Alter Ego.

Saxophone alum Rhiannon Jeffreys won a Young Innovators Award, supporting her online music theory tutoring service Starling Academy of Music. Sahra Gure, Héloïse Werner and Sheila Maurice-Grey also received funding to support their music projects, awarded by the PRS Foundation. Percussionist and Irish music specialist Kieran Leonard received financial support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to purchase his own timpani.

Coming up:

Catch Emilia Martensson’s concert on 15 February, streaming live from Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

The Carducci String Quartet will perform as part of the LIVE from London Spring festival on 28 February.

Dance alum Vanessa Michielon is launching her online yoga course for stress relief at the beginning of February, running for five weeks.

All-female dance collective MassHysteria present a newly commissioned digital work as part of V&A’s Friday Late series on 29 February.