Trinity Laban February Alumni Round-UpWed 6 Mar 2019
Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.
February saw an impressive array of new album releases from our alumni.
Composition alumnus Cassie Kinoshi released her debut album Driftglass with ten-piece group SEED Ensemble earlier this month on the Jazz re:Freshed label. The album was launched with an event at Kings Place that featured live performances from the band as well as DJ sets. SEED Ensemble includes alumni Joe Armon-Jones (keyboards), Chelsea Carmichael (saxophone) and Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet). Guest vocalist Cherise Adams-Burnett appears on two of the album’s tracks.
The new album includes a recording of Kinoshi’s composition Afronaut which won a BASCA British Composer award in December 2018.
Emmy award-winning composer, pianist and conductor Gavin Greenaway released Woven, ‘a love letter to the vinyl LP’. Hans Zimmer commented –
“A new album by my favourite composer! Beautiful music, beautifully performed. Gracious and elegant melodies draw you into a world all of its own. You’ll never want to leave.”
Greenaway has conducted over one hundred feature film and television soundtracks and produced and written for chart-topping artists including Bryan Adams, Daft Punk, George Michael and Sir Paul McCartney. His piece Reflections of Earth was played every night for 20 years to accompany the fireworks display at Disneyworld, Florida.
Peruvian guitarist and composer Andrés Prado released his new digital album Barranquino, inspired by the popular Latin American music of the Barranco district, Lima’s artistic hotbed. The album launches the new record label Quinto Pulso.
Cyprus-based Kostas Makrygiannakis released Fragments with Louvana Records this month. Makrygiannakis describes his debut record as a ‘musical mosaic’ as it features original compositions alongside transcriptions of François Couperin pieces, covering everything from French Baroque to Pink Floyd.
February was also a month of successes in award nominations.
Musical Theatre alumnus Ella-Jane Thomas has been nominated for 'Best Newcomer' at The Great British Pantomime Awards 2019. She made her professional debut as La Fool in Loughborough's 2018 Christmas pantomime Beauty and the Beast. The winner will be announced on 28 APR at The New Wimbledon Theatre, London at an event hosted by Christopher Biggins.
The nominations for the 2019 Jazz FM Awards were announced and include a host of Trinity Laban alumni. In the Breakthrough Act category, saxophonist and composer Cassie Kinoshi, trumpeter Emma-Jean Thackray and drummer Moses Boyd were shortlisted.
Steam Down, a weekly music event at Buster Mantis in Deptford run by Wayne Francis (also known as Ahnansé) is up for the Innovation Award and Live Experience of the Year (Public Vote) alongside composer and saxophonist Nubya Garcia. Garcia is also nominated for UK Jazz Act of the Year (Public Vote) alongside keyboard player Joe Armon-Jones.
Saxophonist Camilla George is up for Jazz FM Instrumentalist of the Year and Cherise Adams-Burnett is shortlisted for Vocalist of the Year. Among nominees for Album of the Year (Public Vote) is We Out Here, a compilation album largely comprised of recordings from Trinity Laban’s jazz alumni.
The awards ceremony will take place at Shoreditch Town Hall on 30 APR, International Jazz Day.
Our dance alumni have also been busy making their mark on the industry at home and abroad.
Dancing and choreographing works for Resolution Festival of new choreography at The Place in February were alumni Laura Rouzet, Alice Bonazzi, Wilhelmina Ojanen, Miia Mäkilä, Coral Montejano Cantoral and Alex Miklosy with an original score by composition alumnus Andrew Marriot. Also at The Place, Leila McMillan’s new work Honey, created in collaboration with students from London Contemporary Dance School was premiered.
The early February inauguration of Poland’s new Tanca Art Centre in Warsaw featured a solo contemporary dance performance by alumnus Liwia Bargieł. She performed her piece BODY BANK which attempts to deform the body and change its form, creating a sense of strangeness for the audience. Bargieł is a lecturer at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy in Warsaw.
Robbie Synge’s latest project Ensemble is a collaboration with choreographer Lucy Boyes and three performers in their sixties and seventies. It presents the strengths and weaknesses in the performers to try to answer the questions of what we are physically capable of, what we aren’t and whether it matters. The piece is ‘a political challenge to an ageing society and to the performing arts sector regarding the visibility, voice and profile of older people.'
Screensaver Series, a work by Janine Harrington that was first performed at Dance Umbrella in October 2018, was presented as part of Sadler’s Wells Sampled. The piece is a kaleidoscopic performance installation with a focus on neurodiversity. It explores the relationships between physical, virtual and abstract movement by emulating the patterns of a computer screensaver.
Also at Sadler’s Wells, dance alumnus Christopher Tandy performed with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in the second of their new works, Since She, a dream-like phantasmagoria of contorted and absurd creatures made through an incessant mingling of performers and primal materials.
Choreographer Yukiko Masui has been touring her new work, Falling Family, commissioned by DanceXchange, The Place and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The piece is a 35-minute ensemble show for 4 dancers, tapping into the conflicted emotional space accessed when encountering a loved one’s illness or death.
Dance alumnus Catherine Nueva España was appointed the new Executive Director of Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, USA where she plans to consolidate a comprehensive diversity, equality and inclusion plan and to strengthen fundraising efforts. Since moving to Seattle two years ago, she has served as Programme Manager for Arts and Development for non-profit organisation 501 Commons, as a grants panellist for the Washington State Arts Commission and as a board member of Khambatta Dance Company / Seattle International Dance Festival.
In Musical Theatre news, Molly Osbourne plays Tzeitl in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Fiddler On the Roof which is transferring to prime West End venue Playhouse Theatre on 21 MAR.
There have been noteworthy performances from our musical alumni in London and elsewhere.
Alumnus and drummer Shaney Forbes is currently playing in Arthur Miller’s The American Clock – A Vaudeville, at the Old Vic. A series of vignettes, the play follows the lives of one family throughout the 1930s with live musicians setting the scene and propelling the narrative. Writing about the Roosevelt inauguration scene in London Jazz News, Sebastian Scotney commented, “…the regular low thud of Shaney Forbes's magnificently metronomic drumming underpinned the scene, as if one was supposed to be feeling the heartbeat of America.”
An American Clock – A Vaudeville runs until 30 MAR.
Swedish Mezzo soprano Katarina Karnéus performed the sole singing part, Representative Women, in Arnold Schoenberg’s rarely-performed one-act monodrama Erwartung (Expectations) with Brno Opera in Czech Republic. An exploration of the human psyche, the piece depicts an unnamed woman who awaits her lover in a wood only to find his dead body.
Composition alumnus Made Kuti appeared on a double-cover feature of digital gazette Pop Culture. The grandson of celebrated alumnus Fela Kuti – whose life and music defined the Afrobeat genre – explains how after the former bassist in his father Femi Kuti’s band went missing, he stepped up to fill the role.
Finally, composer and photographer Raughi Ebert is giving an exhibition in Germany of collages combining his draughts of historical automobile designs with classical music scores. He commented –
“I thought about which composers suited which cars. I think Mozart goes well with the Porsche 911 and Bach's music with the Porsche 356.”
Car Design Meets Music is on display at the Classic Remise in Dusseldorf until the end of March.
FRI 22 FEB - SAT 21 APR
Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside SE1 9DT
Dance alumnus Yarit Dor is London’s only Israeli female fight director. She is choreographing and performing as a member of the ensemble of actors in The Globe Theatre’s all-women-of-colour production of Shakespeare’s Richard II. Dor is also a co-founder of Intimacy Directors International’s UK branch, choreographing safe, consenting scenes of intimacy in theatre, film and television, in the backlash of the #MeToo movement.