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Sara Matthews

Director of Dance


 Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Dance
Laban Building


Sara Matthews


Sara studied dance and piano alongside her mainstream education before going to The Rambert Academy at age sixteen to undertake professional study in ballet and contemporary dance techniques. After graduating, Sara danced with Theater Im Revier, Gelsenkirchen for one year before coming back to the UK to join Rambert Dance Company in 1985 where she stayed until 1996. At Rambert Sara worked with three Artistic Directors - Robert North, Richard Alston and Christopher Bruce - and with numerous choreographers including Siobhan Davies, Lucinda Childs, Merce Cunningham, Sir Frederick Ashton, Mark Baldwin, David Gordon, Ashley Page and Ian Spink.

Sara learnt her teaching skills whilst at Rambert and over her many years there, taught classical ballet, Cunningham-based technique and creative work at all levels. Sara also undertook a number of choreographic commissions during this period including collaborative projects with composer, Julian Anderson and artist, David Ward. Whilst a dancer with Rambert Dance Company, Sara was accepted onto the Gulbenkian Course for Composers and Choreographers on four occasions, three as a dancer, the fourth as a choreographer working with Directors, Alwin Nikolais, Robert Cohan, Richard Alston, Sarah Rudnor, and also with composers Geoffrey Burgon and Nigel Osborne. On leaving Rambert in 1996 Sara established the post of Choreographer in Residence at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where she devised site specific work with the College Musician, harpsichordist Giulia Nuti, and enabled student performances within and without the university.

Meanwhile Sara continued teaching and choreographing for various organisations including Central School of Ballet, Ballet Central, Rambert, Richard Alston Dance Company, the Royal Opera House, English National Ballet (with Dame Gillian Weir at Westminster Abbey) and London Contemporary Dance School.

In 1998 Sara became Head of Dance at Central School of Ballet, a school of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD). She became Assistant Director in 2002 and then Director in 2009. In these roles Sara has been key in developing the school’s place within Higher Education including embedding the Foundation and BA (Hons) Degrees in Professional Dance and Performance and initiating and developing the MA Choreography (with a specialism in ballet). As Director at Central for seven years Sara has been a member of the CDD Leadership Board and Chair of the CDD Joint Artistic Committee and has also continued to teach and choreograph both at Central and on a freelance basis. Throughout her eighteen years at Central Sara remained passionate about ensuring the training and education of dance artists remains informed, current and relevant.

Sara has continued to undertake choreographic and creative commissions, many in collaboration with composer Philip Feeney. Further recent highlights include leading on a programme of dance performances within the London 2012 Olympic venues, two productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a joint performance with the Southbank Sinfonia at St John’s Waterloo and most recently, the ‘Nutshell Nutcracker’ presented at Theatre by the Bay, Weston-super-Mare, a venue better previously known as Banksy’s Dismaland! 

Sara is delighted to have been appointed Director of Dance from January 2019, having previously served as Dean of the Faculty of Dance since January 2017.