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Trinity Laban March Alumni Round-Up

Fri 5 April 2019

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

March was a month of high-profile successes for our Dance alumni. Cameron Everitt joined fellow alumnus Jack Perry in Sir Matthew Bourne OBE‘s company New Adventures for their UK and international tour of Swan Lake, a production that has won over thirty international accolades including an Olivier and three Tony Awards. Sir Matthew Bourne OBE, himself an alumnus, was the recipient of 2019’s Special Olivier Award in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in dance.

Meanwhile, The Swallowsfeet Collective, a group of five dance alumni, curated Oops Festival in Brighton, a weekend of contemporary dance and film screenings from around the world. The group formed to produce performance events while in their final year of study at Trinity Laban. They are Rosa Firbank, Jessica Léa Haener, Jessica Miller, Gordon Raeburn and Sivan Rubinstein who presented her work Maps, centred on a large map of the world made from 50kg of salt. Hear more from the collective in this Crosscurrent Spotlight podcast.

Our jazz alumni have been receiving mainstream press attention. Saxophonist Nubya Garcia received a 5-star review in The Guardian for her performance at London’s Village Underground venue with fellow alumni Moses Boyd (drums) and Joe Armon-Jones (keyboard), described by critic John Lewis as ‘the apotheosis of a scene that is making history, reinventing jazz in a London accent.’

Garcia also spent March touring Italy’s jazz festivals with her quartet and Moses Boyd performed at South Africa’s 2019 Cape Town International Jazz Festival with his group rePercussions which melds free-flowing jazz with the infectious dance rhythms of South African Gqom music.

Eight-piece Afrobeat group Kokoroko, featuring alumni Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Cassie Kinoshi (saxophone, composition alumnus) and Oscar Jerome (guitar), released their self-titled debut EP on Brownswood Recordings. Their sound is influenced by West African groove, highlife and jazz styles that bandleader Maurice-Grey believes ‘shouldn’t stay within our parents’ generation.’ Kokoroko will be playing a string of European tour dates and jazz festivals throughout April and May to promote their release.

Cassie Kinoshi wrote the music for the National Theatre’s production of Top Girls, an innovative play about a nation divided by its own ambitions, playing at the Lyttelton Theatre until 22 JUN. Meanwhile, further afield, guitarist Oscar Jerome was in the line-up of the 2019 SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas playing his original music which sits at the intersection between hip-hop, improvisatory jazz and introspective soul.

Our vocal graduates are also working at the pinnacle of their field. Soprano Nardus Williams has been cast for her English National Opera debut as Micaëla in Bizet’s iconic opera Carmen early next year. She joins fellow vocal alumnus Keel Watson who takes on the bass-baritone role of Zuniga.

There have been successes for our Musical Theatre alumni as well. Jochebel Ohene Maccarthy began rehearsals for her new ensemble role in in the Curve Theatre Leicester & Birmingham Hippodrome co-production of The Colour Purple, a family chronicle set in the segregated Southern USA. The production opens 28 JUN and runs until 11 JUL.

Musical Theatre alumnus Tom Brandon played Hard-Man in The Choir of Man, a new feel-good show featuring popular songs from the likes of Paul Simon, Adele, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Queen. The show toured Australia and North America. Reviewed in Adelaide’s In Daily, it is described as ‘everything you could want from a night out at your local pub, with a serious upgrade on the karaoke’.

Our Composition alumni have been busy this March. Alumnus and composition tutor Soosan Lolavar’s aria I’m Not Exactly Who I Say I Am from her opera ID, Please was performed by countertenor Jamie Hall as part of Trinity Laban’s lunchtime Venus Blazing concert, celebrating International Women’s Day. It was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Nicholas Morrish is one of seven composers participating in Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s National Composers Intensive 2019. He spent March in New York workshopping a new piece with the International Contemporary Ensemble to be performed at the Noon to Midnight new music festival in Los Angeles.

Composition alumnus Max De Lucia has co-founded new international sonic branding agency DLMDD. He commented, –

“The audio and voice market is booming, but there aren’t many agencies claiming ownership of the sonic branding space. … DLMDD aims to become the number one agency to help [brands] navigate that arena.”

De Lucia is also a long-time supporter of The Choir With No Name – a UK-wide collective of choirs for people who have experienced homelessness. He has led performances for The Royal Family and The Mayor of London across venues including the Royal Festival Hall and Wembley Arena.

For his work on the Star Wars spin-off film Solo, composer and alumnus John Powell was presented with the International Film Music Critics Association Awards for Score of the Year and Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film.

Alumni from our specialised Dance programmes have been making significant contributions to their respective fields. Dance Science alumnus Nefeli Tsiouti wrote an article about injury prevention in breakdance, published on the 4Dancers blog. She has created the Breakalign Method to enable hip-hop dancers to practise safely with minimal risk of injury. She commented, –

“I will not stop writing articles until I get all hip-hop dancers away from injury!”

Community Dance alumnus Juan Ignacio Serradilla represented the Atubarukeke Dance Group of Valladolid at the annual inter-university seminar of Body Expression and Dance Groups in Spain. He led a contact workshop at the Zamorano Studies Institute.

Finally, our piano alumni have been giving performances around the globe. Postgraduate piano alumnus Bernardo Santos gave a piano recital with the Chamber Orchestra of Amazonas at Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil and Zina Asfour performed at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, showcasing her latest project Tricoter. Inspired by colourful Oriental fabrics, the work brings together Western and Arabic influences, from Classical to Levantine and Andalusian.


DON’T MISS . . .

Cellist and Composition alumnus Ayanna Witter-Johnson released a new single, Nothing Less, on International Women’s Day in advance of her debut album Road Runner, set for release FRI 26 APR.

SUN 28 APR 19.30h
Road Runner Revealed
Omnibus Theatre, London, SW4 0QW