Trinity Laban dance students cast in Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet

Wed 21 Nov 2018

Two dance students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance have been cast in a new production from choreographer and Trinity Laban alumnus Sir Matthew Bourne OBE, while both are still in the early stages of their conservatoire training.

A search began in April 2018 to find the finest emerging male and female dancers from around the UK aged 16-19 to join leading dance company New Adventures for the world premiere of Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet.

After more than 1,000 applications and a UK-wide audition tour, 81 ‘Young Cast’ members were selected.

Trinity Laban’s Kayleigh Oborka-Letman and Ashton Hall will perform in the production, which opens in May 2019. The show will have a four-week summer season at Sadler’s Wells in August, and then tour to 13 other UK venues.

Second year BA Contemporary Dance student Ashton Hall is one of 12 young dancers who will join New Adventures at Sadler’s Wells. He will appear in half of the performances at the venue between 7 – 31 August.

Kayleigh Oborka-Letman, a first year BA Contemporary Dance student, is one of six Young Cast dancers appearing in the production at Theatre Royal, Newcastle from 9 – 12 October.

Ashton and Kayleigh

Both will continue their studies while rehearsing for this large-scale production.

Ashton, 19, from Dereham in Norfolk, initially trained at City College Norwich, gaining a Level 4 diploma in Performing Arts and Production Arts (Dance) at distinction level before joining Trinity Laban. He performed with New Adventures in 2014’s Lord of the Flies and was offered a place in the National Youth Dance Company where he worked with choreographer Damien Jalet and toured Tarantiseismic across the UK. He then collaborated with other NYDC alumni and Sadler’s Wells’ Silver Routes company, to create and perform Prelude, a pre-show for the Lyon Opera Ballet at Sadler’s Wells in 2017.

Ashton says –

“Although I have had a lot of performance and training experiences in the professional world, I believe my time at Trinity Laban has allowed me to further develop my technique and general ability as a dancer; allowing me to grow and flourish as an artist. I would like to personally thank all of my teaching staff as well as the support staff who have pushed me every day to get the best out of me and nourish my development.” 

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is a passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, bursting with youth, vitality and Bourne’s trademark storytelling.

Director and choreographer Matthew Bourne says –

“As we enter our fourth decade as a company I’m finding the development of young talent ever more important and fulfilling… This time we have focused on nurturing young male and female dancers, and I have been overwhelmed by the talent that we have had to choose from throughout the UK.

I’m particularly happy to be working alongside my Young Associate Choreographer, Arielle Smith, an exceptional young dancemaker of great maturity and vision. In turn, after 30 years as a professional choreographer, I look forward to being refreshed and inspired by what this team of young artists will bring to Shakespeare’s classic tale of tragic conflict and young love.” 

Sir Matthew Bourne OBE completed his BA at Trinity Laban before going on to the Graduate Diploma in Dance Performance (Transitions Dance Company) graduating in 1986. He has previously described his experience with Transitions as a direct influence on creating New Adventures as a touring dance company. Bourne’s choreography includes The Car Man, Edward Scissorhands and Lord of the Flies as well as re-workings of ballet classics like Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, which is the world’s longest running ballet production.

Full information and tour dates for Romeo & Juliet can be found on the New Adventures website.

 

(Image credits: Main image - Ashton Hall by Alex Harvey-Brown. Second image - Ashton Hall by Trinity Laban student Moses Ward, Kayleigh Oborka-Letman courtesy of New Adventures)