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TL announces parternship with Black Artists in Dance

Mon 19 April 2021

Trinity Laban and Black Artists in Dance (BAiD) will work together to address issues of diversity and inclusion for people of African and Caribbean heritages at the conservatoire and within the wider dance industry.

The new partnership with BAiD – an organisation who aim to bring greater awareness to the Black dance sector and showcase the contribution that Black dancers, artists and academics make to the development of dance – builds on the proactive steps Trinity Laban has made over the past year to address inequalities faced by its Black students and staff.

In close consultation with its community, London’s creative conservatoire has established a Black Lives Matter Working Group, held listening sessions with students, alumni and staff, created a mechanism for the anonymous reporting of micro-aggressions and more.

Within the Faculty of Dance, Trinity Laban has expanded the practical technique module on its BSc Dance Science programme to include Hip Hop. This is to enable students across the programme’s three years to engage practically and academically with a wide range of dance styles and genres and broaden the scope of dance science research.

The institution will work in consultation with BAiD to continue to work towards tangible culture change and meaningfully celebrate, encourage and ensure equity and diversity in its art forms.

As part of the partnership, Trinity Laban commits to:

  • an audit and review of the conservatoire’s Dance curriculum.
  • an audit and review of our public performance programming.
  • further expanding our delivery of dance genres and styles originating from the Global South across our programmes.
  • the establishment of bespoke and ongoing anti-racism training for all staff and students.
  • a review of staff recruitment and development practices.
  • the establishment of student and alumni engagement initiatives to address inequalities.
  • building our networks with Black artists within the industry.

Trinity Laban’s Director of Dance Sara Matthews comments –

“We are proud and excited to be partnering with BAiD to uphold our core belief in equity and offer a committed route to real change. We will continue to examine our institutional structure and work towards sustainable action. We look forward to working collaboratively and collectively with partners in the industry as part of this partnership.”

BAiD Directors Joyce Gyimah and Gerrard Martin comment –

“BAID is pleased to be working in partnership with Trinity Laban, in the drive towards diversity and inclusion. We acknowledge that real strategic and sustainable change takes action. The dance sector for many years has operated in an inequitable structure that has allowed generations of diverse communities to feel excluded, marginalised and underrepresented. Our partnership with Trinity Laban aims to re-address the balance by developing a programme of work, which allows for change, equality and accountability.”

The announcement follows Trinity Laban’s partnership with the newly launched Black Lives in Music, which will see the conservatoire work to achieve meaningful change that supports the creation of a truly inclusive, diverse and representative music industry.

About Black Artists in Dance

Founded in 2014 by Joyce Gyimah and Gerrard Martin, collectively BAiD represents 25 years of experience in dance management, producing, mentoring, educating, choreographing and performing. The BAiD vision is to build a sustainable and inclusive global dance environment where Black artists create, develop and thrive. BAiD aims to support individuals and organisations, empowering them to question dominant societal ideologies and perceptions of the dancing body, aesthetic and language.

About Joyce Gyimah 

Joyce is a freelance educator, choreographer, manager and consultant. She has worked with a range of dance institutions and organisations including Trinity Laban, Greenwich Dance Agency, Greenwich Musical Theatre, Union Dance, UK Foundation for Dance, Tavaziva Dance, National Portrait Galley and most recently The Arts Council. She began her training at Lewisham College before undertaking a BA (Hons) at The Laban Centre for Movement and Dance. Joyce is the founder of Dance Physics and Jazz Inc.

About Gerrard Martin

Dance artist, choreographer, movement director, dance educator and yoga teacher Gerrard trained at De Montfort University, gaining a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Performing Arts, before undertaking further studies at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Gerrard has performed in companies, such as Phoenix Dance, Ballet Black, Tavaziva Dance, Union Dance and for the West Ends’ Lion king. Gerrard is a guest teacher at the Place, RADA and Guest Associate lecture at the University of Northampton, he created his company Gerrard Martin Dance in 2011.