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Trinity Laban January Alumni Round-Up

Tue 5 February 2019

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

As 2019 begins, Trinity Laban’s alumni are poised to make their mark on UK arts.

Performing arts publication The Stage has announced its list of the 100 most influential people working in the industry in 2019, which includes dance alumni choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne OBE and Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella Festival.

The University of Lagos in Nigeria held a three-day symposium and concert in honour of Nigerian musicologist and alumnus Akin Euba. A former member of MUSON, the Musical Society of Nigeria, Euba has devoted his professional career to promoting African modern compositions on the global stage through performances, research and creative work. His achievements in the field of classical music were described by the Lagos State Commissioner for Arts, Tourism & Culture as ‘legendary’.

Trinity Laban’s dance alumni have had a busy start to the year. Resolution Festival of new choreography runs at The Place, London between 11th January and 23rd February and features a host of Trinity Laban current students and alumni. Dancing and choreographing works for the festival in January were alumni Finetta Mikolajska, Amy Foskett, Coco Yeonsoo Do, Miia Makila, Chloe Brazinskas, Greta Gauhe, Ciara Lynch, Marta Polak, David Evans, Jay YuleThomas Page, Sara Green, Sara Kaspersen, Olly Bell, Steff D’Arcy, Orion Hart, Murielle Werthauer and Bakani Pick-Up.

Also performing in Resolution Festival in January is piano alumnus Mikaela Livadiotis while alumnus composer Andrew Marriott composed music for two different works. There will be more performances from our alumni as the festival continues into February.

At the beginning of the month, dance alumnus Susanna Recchia gave a 3-day seminar and workshop on Experiential Anatomy and Improvisation in Bologna, Italy. The sessions focussed on dynamic alignment and spatial orientation as resources and inspiration for improvisation. Recchia’s teaching activity is particularly focused on improvisation and the Release Technique. As a performing dancer, she has worked internationally with Candoco Dance Company.

Dance alumnus Kenny Shim, currently Head of Dance and Musical Theatre at the British Academy of Performing Arts in Malaysia, recently staged his debut production in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Triple Bill, a trio of contemporary pieces, explored the themes of society’s perception of sexuality, masculinity and the aesthetic of body movement. The third piece, which examined the passage from boyhood to manhood, was first choreographed while Shim was studying at Trinity Laban.

Trinity Laban alumni are blazing a trail in cross-arts performance. Multidisciplinary performance artist and alumnus Oberon White presented winegod at The Glory in London, a contemporary ritual for the ancient world’s suppressed queer deity Dionysos. Described as an invitation to engage with ecstasy, epiphany and liberation, winegod featured experimental electronic music, original text and virtuosic vocals.

Alumni from Trinity Laban’s thriving jazz department continue to dominate the London scene. John Fordham, jazz critic for The Guardian, named two albums featuring Trinity Laban alumni among his top 10 highlights of 2018: Alive in the East? by Binker and Moses, featuring drummer Moses Boyd, and Wonder Trail by Dinosaur, led by Trinity Laban jazz tutor and alumnus trumpeter Laura Jurd. Wonder Trail also features fellow alumni Connor Chaplin, Corrie Dick and Elliot Galvin.

Alumni saxophonist Nubya Garcia and drummers Femi Koleoso and Moses Boyd appeared in an exclusive short film made by Red Bull entitled The Current State of UK Jazz.

Laura Jurd and Femi Koleoso were also named among London Jazz News’ review of the best Musicians and Bands of 2018 alongside Ezra Collective (featuring Joe Armon-Jones, Femi Koleoso, and current student Dylan Jones). Also nominated by London Jazz News critics was the group Empirical, featuring alumni Lewis Wright and Shaney Forbes

The start of 2019 has seen a host of album releases from our alumni. Mark Lockheart, alumnus and current member of jazz teaching staff, released Days On Earth on Edition Records featuring a performance by saxophonist Alice Leggett. It received a 4-star review in The Guardian and was described as ‘ingeniously arranged’. The new music had its debut performance on 9th January at Milton Court in the Barbican. Saxophonist composer Duncan Eagles released his album Citizen with Ropeadope, a collection of ‘melodic, creative and highly personal music’. The album was launched with a concert at Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec in London at the end of January. The Elliot Galvin Trio’s album The Influencing Machine, launched with a concert at Kansas Smitty’s at the end of January.

Beyond jazz, there have been many successes for our musical alumni at home and abroad. Soprano Angela Hicks was featured singing in recent film The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Meanwhile, saxophonist Kevin Ling has been named a Yanagisawa Artist in Hong Kong where he is also a founding member of the Hong Kong Saxophone Ensemble. And finally, composition alumnus Chiya Amos has been appointed permanent conductor at the Buryat Opera and Ballet Theatre in Russia.



Richard Alston Dance Company – Brahms Hungarian
FRI 8 FEB 19.30h
Sadler’s Wells, EC1R 4TN

Featuring Trinity Laban alumnus Elly Braund, Richard Alston Dance Company’s tour comes to London’s Sadler’s Wells. Brahms Hungarian is choreographed to gypsy-influenced folk melodies from Hungary.


Ayanna Witter-Johnson – The Feeling is Mutual
FRI 22 FEB 20.00h
Hall 2, Kings Place, N1 9AG

Singer-songwriter and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson will give a bespoke one-off performance exploring the theme of love as part of Venus Unwrapped at Kings Place with a mix of newly commissioned songs and remixed classics in her unique style.