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Trinity Laban October Alumni Round-Up

Tue 30 October 2018

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

The nominees for the 16th annual Urban Music Awards were announced this month, with a healthy crop of Trinity Laban alumni nominated for Best Jazz Act: Ezra Collective (including Femi Koleoso, Joe Armon Jones and current student Dylan Jones), saxophonist Camilla George and drummer Moses Boyd with his sax and drums duo Binker and Moses

Alumnus and Trinity Laban board member Rebecca Allen appeared at number 7 on the Woman’s Hour Power List 2018 – Top 40 Women in Music. An inspiring leader, Rebecca is one of the few women at the very top of a UK record label.

Several Trinity Laban alumni have been shortlisted for the 2018 One Dance UK Awards. Multi-media show Charge by Motionhouse, whose founder and executive director is alumnus Louise Richards, has been shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award, while Möbius Dance (whose Creative Director is alumnus Gianluca Vincentini) are in the running for the Leeds Dance Partnership Award. Trinity Laban Honorary Fellow Judith Mackrell has been nominated for the Dance Writing Award and Kim Hutt for the Dance Healthcare Practitioner Award. Two of our professors who are also alumni have been nominated for awards, Rosemary Brandt for the Inspirational Lecturer Award and Emma Redding for the Research in Dance – Impact Award and the Dance Science Award.

Also shortlisted was Karen Gallagher MBE (Jane Attenborough Award) who has launched this year’s suffrage-themed LEAP Dance Festival which runs from 2-12 November in Liverpool. The festival will include a series of panel discussions entitled Cultiv8. Trinity Laban alumnus and founding Artistic Director of IRIE! Dance, Beverley Glean MBE, will be one of five women on the panel discussion Empowered Pioneering Black Women in Dance.


October has also seen a raft of significant new professional appointments.

As well as recognising Trinity Laban alumni in its annual awards, sector support organisation One Dance UK has appointed alumnus Laura Nicholson as its new Head of Children and Young People’s Dance. She is “thrilled to join the team” and feels “privileged to be able to advocate and share my passion for dance in education and the youth sector.” Laura will lead on the strategic planning and delivery of programmes for children, young people and teachers. She will be a champion for dance in education and a strong advocate for the value of dance in government and political arenas.

Recent dance graduate, Giordana Patumi, who performed last year at Resolution Dance Festival, has been appointed guest teacher of BA Dance at the Catholic University of Murcia in Spain.

In Musical Theatre news, alumnus Molly Osbourne has been cast for her professional debut as Tzeitel, the eldest daughter in Fiddler on the Roof at Menier Chocolate Factory near London Bridge. The production runs from 23 November 2018 to 9 March 2019.

Meanwhile, composition alumnus Cassie Kinoshi has been named the next Cameron Mackintosh composer in residence as the scheme is rolled out in Scotland for the first time, run jointly by Mercury Musical Developments and the Musical Theatre Network. She will be placed at the Dundee Rep Theatre for 2019, a venue with a strong emphasis on storytelling through song and the development of new music theatre. Kinoshi is currently developing a musical based on African-American sci-fi author Samuel R Delany’s 1968 novel, Nova.


Trinity Laban are at the cutting edge of the discourse on contemporary dance in the UK and abroad.

Dance alumnus Roos Van Berkel received a development grant earlier this month from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts to create compositional scores for dance and technology based on scientific themes. Previously, Roos has devised 2 of a Kind, a duet for a dancer with a humanoid robot from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and (Un)focussed, in which the EEG brain-scan data from two performers is compared and translated into laser movements and sound.

Wilhelmina Ojanen, alumnus and member of Transitions Dance Company 2017-18, was interviewed earlier this October in The Guardian about her work as a young associate at Sadler’s Wells Theatre and her thoughts on controversial issues in contemporary dance. She lamented what she perceives as a current trend in choreography towards technical complexity for its own sake:

“Subtlety, for me, is something that makes me go ‘wow’, the focus on detail not spectacle. I feel like it’s rebellious to show emotion on stage and make audiences feel something. We need more empathy and connection. I want, through my work, to make a case for hope.”

Dance alumnus and therapist Vangelis Legakis, founder of Unity Space, an organisation for the promotion of interdisciplinary arts festivals and events in Hong Kong, is running his 7th No Borders Project from 17 December 2018 – 5 January 2019. The project, this year taking place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, aims to bridge encounters between dance, music, photography, film, sculpture, conceptual arts and philosophy to create an environment for free expression and creation


Our musical alumni continue to make a name for themselves professionally.

Jazz drums alumnus Lorraine Baker is embarking on a 19-date UK tour in support of her debut album Eden, funded by the Jazz Services Recording Support Scheme along with a successful crowd-funding campaign. The album ranges from afro groove-infused progressive rock to hard driving swing. Renowned jazz drummer Jeff Williams is quoted as having said that Lorraine’s drumming style “does not sound like anyone else”.

Piano alumnus Harriet Stubbs has just released her debut solo piano album inspired by the philosophy of William Blake. Heaven & Hell: The Doors of Perception was produced by three-time Grammy award winner Russ Titelman and features a reading from Blake’s work by singer-songwriter and actress Marianne Faithfull. Stubbs last week gave a performance at the West Coast album launch event at Blue Whale in Los Angeles and will give another this week at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. She also gave an interview for the Trinity Laban website.

Run by alumnus and double bassist John Henry Baker, Baroquestock is a festival of music, period instruments and home-made food. As part of the festival, four alumni, Emily Gray, Hilary Cronin, Alexander Pidgen and William Branston played the lead roles in a series of performances of Haydn’s opera Lo Speziale at Heath Street Baptist Church in Hampstead earlier this month.

Finally, a new Key Stage 1 teaching resource created by Warwick Music Group was awarded Five Stars in the Teach Primary Awards 2018. The music for the resource was composed by Trinity Laban alumnus Kay Charlton. pBuzz introduces music to Years 1 and 2 through lesson plans, assessment trackers, teacher support videos, specially composed music, teacher development materials and cross-curricular activities. The resource is specifically designed for use by non-specialist teachers who may lack confidence in teaching music.




Moving as a thought process: studio development and creative encounters

Through investigative practice involving stillness processes and relational moving, this artistic research, conducted by three alumni, Naomi Lefebvre Sell, Tara Silverthorn and Lucille Teppa, over an eleven year period, has provided a framework for the consideration and examination of dance-making from a mindfulness perspective.

Naomi, Tara and Lucille will present a new film,developed in collaboration with Jason Brooks, which captures this work. The film exposes the research at a point in time, as well as revealing some of their engagement with various groups (Cando2, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Centre for Advanced Training). The presenters will share some of their current concerns, inviting questions and dialogue surrounding their practice.

WED 21 NOV 17.15h – 18.15h
Faculty of Dance, Lecture Theatre
Followed by drinks in the Laban Bar


Sophie Webber, Lunchtime Cello Recital

Trinity Laban alumnus Sophie Webber returns to present a recital of solo cello repertoire including music by Gaspar Cassado, Britten and Bach.

“In Webber’s case it’s as if she were playing in an intimate setting, perhaps for someone special, in which every note has meaning rather as a look or a touch does; the resulting conversations she has with the music are endlessly absorbing.”
Laurence Vittes | GRAMOPHONE June 2018 Escape CD Review

“an exceptional and creative musician”
Maureen Buja | INTERLUDE Classical Music Magazine

FRI 23 NOV 13.05h
Old Royal Naval College Chapel
Admission free, no ticket required