This internationally famous flagship programme enables you to become the best dancer you can be, and to develop the advanced skills you need to work in today's professional arts environment.
Transitions Dance Company was the world's first graduate dance company and it has since acquired an outstanding reputation for technical excellence and originality; it offers you a bridge to the professional world while you study for a highly respected Masters. Your critical reflections and dissertation are embedded within the programme so that you achieve your MA within 13 months.
Why Choose the MA Dance Performance?
- Join a professional dance company, touring nationally and internationally
- Perform in three original new works over the year created by distinctly different choreographers, giving you three very different creative processes
- Reflect and contextualise your practice in the Masters
- Benefit from the challenge, influence and networking of professional active dance artists as well as excellent teaching staff at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
- Substantial one-to-one tutorial time with Artistic Director David Waring
- The dance theatre at Trinity Laban is one of the largest dance venues in London
Some choreographers choose to commission scores for pieces from Trinity Laban music students, creating synergistic experiences such as a live string quartet accompanying the performance. Transitions is constantly evolving to reflect changes in the dance scene, ensuring alumni are quickly employed.
The opportunity to study for a master's degree in dance performance gives students the chance to experience life in a dance company, where they will work with innovative choreographers and artists to create new work, touring their repertory in the UK and overseas. Reflection on their experience and performance practice, a crucial aspect of their studies, supports them in becoming future advocates for dance.
- Amanda Gough, Co-Programme Leader of the MA Dance Performance
You will collaborate with three professional choreographers to create a varied programme of work. Emerging and established dance makers are commissioned and previous makers have included Crystal Pite, Cristian Duarte, Daniel Larrieu, Lucy Guerin, Dog Kennel Hill Project, Lost Dog, Tsung Lung Chen, Angela Woodhouse, Lea Anderson, Rosemary Lee, Lauri Stallings, Martin Nachbar, Ben Wright, Aszure Barton, Fin Walker and Theo Clinkard. A UK and international tour of the programme offers the opportunity to explore your performance practice, enhancing your versatility and expertise as a performer in a repertoire company. Touring also supports you to develop a teaching practice through experience of delivering educational workshops.
Throughout the programme, you engage in daily class in various styles, with expert tuition towards an advanced technical practice. Collaborative skills are encouraged through your active engagement as learners in the creative process through discussion, reflection and evaluation. Your year culminates in an independent research-led project, enabling you to consolidate your skills and understanding of performance practice.
Incorporating your Transitions Dance Company year, the MA Dance Performance offers you the opportunity to go beyond that professional model experience: to critically reflect on your practice as a performer, to research and explore the role of the performer in the artistic process, and to deepen your understanding of both the artistic and technical complexities inherent in dance performance. The programme comprises a taught element of 4 modules plus an independent research project of 60 credits.
Year 1 for full-time MA students (Level 7)
Advanced Technical Practice
Performer in the Creative Process
For further detail have a look at our Programme Specification (correct for academic year 2016-2017).
A primary focus of the programme is to provide - through membership of Transitions Dance Company - a learning environment which closely resembles and prepares students for a professional company context. This is reflected in the emphasis on studio practice; on the structure of the working day, which routinely begins with a company class; on extensive touring and performing opportunities; and on the leadership and guidance of the Artistic Director of the company.
Technical skills are developed through daily technique classes. Through an investigative focus on three contrasting but complementary dance techniques, you are encouraged towards a commonality of experience and understanding. Following the initial guided exploration that contributes towards assessment, additional stylistic approaches allow you to further develop your technical abilities to support choreographed work in performance.
Three professional choreographers are selected to lead you in intensive creative processes which involve you in devising new works, and introduce you to a range of choreographic styles and working methods.
To prepare for the professional performance milieu, you normally undertake 15-17 performances over a three month period of national and international touring where you perform in a wide range of performance contexts - from small spaces with minimal production capacity, to well-equipped professional theatres. You are led in this process by the Artistic Director with support from professional production staff.
Reflection on both performance processes and individual development is encouraged in the studio and via seminars which relate closely to the phases of the practice being undertaken and the issues that arise from them.
Contextualizing studies in the form of a series of lectures from practicing artists, and supporting group seminars, place the performance practice developed in the Transitions Dance Company experience into a wider arts context.
- Overall number of learning and teaching hours is 2000
- Average contact hours: approximately 35 hours per week
- Other types of learning and number of learning hours required of students (e.g. for self-directed study/group study etc): 1050
Assessment is through a variety of modes which evaluate skill related to performance practice and research, and which prepare you for engagement with the various modes in which the processes of performance practice and creative dance making are realized and in which related issues are critically examined and disseminated.
Assessment modes include: assessment of performance practice (e.g. technical skill, dance performance) a journal demonstrating the student’s ability to critically reflect on and contextualize their progress; lecture-demonstration, and a practice based research project, which test the student’s ability to critically reflect on, synthesize and apply knowledge and understanding across both theory and practice.
Taught modules: 40%
Taught modules: 100%
Graduates have gone on to work with choreographers and companies such as: Sir Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Akram Khan Company, Alias Campagnie, Siobhan Davies Dance Company, DV8, Rambert Dance Company, Random Dance Company, The Cholmondeleys, The Featherstonehaughs, CandoCo, Michael Clark, Fabulous Beast, Protein, Ballet Boyz, Punchdrunk, Sarah Michelson, Rosemary Lee, Tavaziva, Arthur Pita and Miguel Pereira. Graduates have also created their own companies and presented work as independent artists.
“Transitions helped strengthen me and my work in a healthy and challenging environment which prepared me for my professional life. David Waring (Artistic Director) gave me time and space to explore these ideas that were dormant within me for a long time.” - Brooke Smiley, MADP alumna, who went on to work with critically acclaimed Michael Clark Company
Here is just a small selection of our recent MA Dance Performance graduates and the company they are working/have worked with:
Adam Gain (graduated 2011) - Candoco Dance Company
Anna Finkel (graduated 2013) - Punchdrunk
Brooke Smiley (graduated 2008) - Michael Clark Company
Ed Warner (graduated 2012) - 2Faced Dance Company
Inn Pang Ooi (graduated 2000) - Akram Khan Company
Jessie Kovarsky (graduated 2011) – Punchdrunk
Lisa Rowley (graduated 2010) - Tavaziva
Robert Guy (graduated 2007) - Retina Dance Company
Saara Hurme (graduated 2015) - Protein
Sarah Golding (graduated 2013) - West End Production Stomp
Taylor Benjamin (graduated 2008) - DV8
Vince Virr (graduated 2008) – Barrowland Ballet
To view more of the impressive organisations that our alumni have worked with, visit Alumni Destinations.
For more information on the successes of Trinity Laban's MA Dance Performance graduates and what they have to say about the course, visit Alumni Profiles.
The programme, with a cohort of twelve, prepares highly skilled dancers for a career in today’s dance sector. The programme is open to recent graduates and more experienced performers who wish to return to study to gain a postgraduate qualification and applicants must demonstrate high-level technical, performative and creative skills as well as aptitude for study at Masters level.
In addition to acceptance into Transitions Dance Company (through audition), students will normally have successfully completed a UK undergraduate degree in an appropriate or related subject; or hold an overseas award of equivalent standard (e.g. USA degree - GPA 3.00 or above). Applicants without formal qualification are subject to the Institution’s recognition of prior learning (RPL) process. Decisions are made by the RPL Panel with delegated authority from the Assessment Board. An External Examiner may decide to scrutinise the evidence supporting a claim as part of the Assessment Board process.
Applicants for whom English is not their first language should demonstrate proficiency in English equivalent to IELTS 7.0. In addition, meeting external requirements of UK Visas and Immigration is essential.
Fees and Finance
For the academic year 2018-2019, the tuition fees are:
It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, as fee changes are linked to inflation and changes in government policy.
Accommodation and Living Costs
This information can be found on our Costs of Living page.
Read about financial awards and external funding opportunities in the Fees and Finance section.
|Duration||1 year (Full-time)|
|Start Date||September 2018|
Transitions Dance Company
Transitions Dance Company is a leading student training company, a space for choreographic experimentation and a touring programme of dance rolled into one.
Transitions Dance Company
Triple Bill 2017
MA Dance Performance students develop their repertory programme with three commissioned choreographers, before experiencing life on the road touring as part of Transitions Dance Company.
- 1 - Transitions 2011
- 2 - Transitions 2012
- 3 - Transitions photoshoot
- 4 - Transitions photoshoot
- 5 - Transitions 2012
What our students say
Rachel Tack / MA Dance Performance
£10,000 postgraduate loans now available for study at Trinity LabanThe UK Government has launched a new loan scheme for masters students starting full-time or part-time study in 2016.Thu 18 Feb 2016#Postgraduate
Transitions 17/18 choreographers announcedThe choreographers for the 2017/18 Transitions Dance Company will be Jarkko Partanen, Hagit Yakira and Richard Chappell.Thu 23 Feb 2017#Transitions Dance Company #Alumni