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Wins for TL at ODUK Awards 2020

Fri 27 November 2020

Friday’s ceremony saw wins for Trinity Laban staff and alumni, including the Jane Attenborough Award.

The annual One Dance UK Awards celebrate excellent work across the vibrant UK dance sector, and this year in particular they shine a spotlight on the resilience, innovation and creativity of the industry.

Following strict Covid-19 guidance, the awards were filmed in advance on location at The Courtyard in Hereford and streamed on Facebook and Youtube on Friday 27 November in a ceremony hosted by Akosua Boakye BEM.

With over a thousand public nominations and over six thousand public votes for the People’s Choice Award, the 2020 ceremony was one of the widest reaching yet and saw Trinity Laban staff and alumni winning three awards including the prestigious Jane Attenborough Award.

Now in its 18th year, the Jane Attenborough Award is presented in memory of the founding Director of Dance UK and honours an exceptional individual who has made an outstanding contribution to how dance is created, supported and seen, enabling the art form to thrive. This year it was given to Valerie Preston Dunlop, in recognition of her remarkable career as a dancer, educationalist and leading specialist on the life and work of Rudolf Laban.

At the age of 16, Valerie began her training with legendary dance practitioner Rudolf Laban at the Art of Movement Studio in Manchester: the predecessor of the Laban Centre and, later, Trinity Laban. This proved to be the catalyst for her lifelong dedication to developing and interrogating Laban’s expressionist dance practice. In 1967 she opened Beechmont Movement Study Centre. For almost 75 years Valerie’s expertise has been in demand. With an artistic outlook defined by an adaptive and progressive attitude, Valerie has had immeasurable impact on both Trinity Laban and the world of dance. The Jane Attenborough Award celebrates this enduring legacy.

On receiving the honour Valerie comments –

“I am just glad that something in my 70-year long career has touched people. Rudolf Laban looked me in the eye and said ‘yes you can’ and I suppose that’s been my mantra ever since. To young dancers I say ‘believe you can’.”

Head of Dance Sara Matthews comments –

“We applaud Valerie for her inspirational dedication to the art of dance and thank her for her continual support of Trinity Laban over the years.”

Other wins for Trinity Laban staff and alumni were the Applied Dance Science Award, won by BSc Programme Leader Sonia Rafferty in recognition of her significant positive impact on dancers’ health, wellbeing and performance, and the Dance Healthcare Practitioner Award, won by TL Lecturer in Dance, physiotherapist and alum Katy Chambers in recognition of her exceptional clinical practice.

With over thirty years experience as a performer, teacher, choreographer, director, mentor, researcher, consultant and author, Sonia Rafferty believes wholeheartedly in the application of dance medicine and science and the pursuit of research-informed practice. An established dance technique teacher, she regularly delivers workshops and masterclasses in the UK and internationally, and is passionate about the and art and science of dancing. Sonia happily straddles theory and practice and is unafraid of challenging old teaching habits to provoke debate, change and excellence.

Katy Chambers provides dance specialist physiotherapy to student and professional dancers and leads modules and lectures on the BSc Dance Science degree and MSc/MFA Dance Science programmes. Her specialist subject areas are biomechanics, injury prevention and injury management and rehabilitation. Her combined interest and experience in education, research and clinical practice results in high-quality research-informed practice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Katy continued to offer injury support (triage and physiotherapy) and supplementary training through online platforms including conditioning studio classes.

Trinity Laban now has five One Dance UK national award winners on the BSc Dance Science teaching faculty, including Professor Emma Redding (Dance Science Award 2019), Khyle Eccles (Inspirational Lecturer 2019) and Rosemary Brandt (Inspirational Lecturer 2018).

Also nominated this year were Dance Science alumni Shantel Ehrenberg (Inspirational Lecturer at College, University or Conservatoire for 2020), Manuela Angioi (Applied Dance Science Award),  Lucie Clements (Applied Dance Science Award) and Sofia Ornellas Pinto (Dance Healthcare Practitioner Award).

Reader in Choreography at TL and curator of London International Screen Dance Festival, Charles Linehan was nominated for the Research in Dance Award.

Friday’s digital ceremony also featured a section of alum mateo dupleich rozo’s short dance film hola casita as part of a showcase of what the dance industry has achieved during the pandemic. Commissioned earlier this year by Trinity Laban as part of the conservatoire’s #SelfIsolationCreation campaign, hola casita welcomes the viewer into moments of intimacy between a home and its inhabitants and portrays part of the process of mateo’s home-coming to La Paz, Bolivia after studying abroad for five years. Mateo completed their BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance in 2019.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Watch the ceremony again on One Dance UK’s Youtube.

Image: Valerie Preston Dunlop (credit James Keats)