London Contemporary Dance School celebrates the success of its recent graduates
International conservatoire London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS) is celebrating the accomplishments of its recent alumni and 2017 graduates. The varied achievements include: dancing with companies such as Company Wayne McGregor, Compagnie Thor, Cullbergbaletten, Requardt & Rosenberg, Vincent Dance Theatre and The National Theatre; taking part in DEBS: Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme; freelance film making; teaching sport at secondary school level and setting up their own dance companies. With students having success nationally and internationally the conservatoire is producing the next generation of dance professionals who will shape the art form.
This year alumnus Jordan Bridge joined Company Wayne McGregor. After graduating from London Contemporary Dance School in 2014 with a First Class BA Hons in Contemporary Dance, Jordan joined Alexander Whitley Dance Company and performed with Tavaziva and Michael Clark Company. Alongside this performance work, Jordan has received commissions for youth projects including: Berkshire County Dance Company Youth (BCDCY) (winner of U.Dance ‘Best Performance’ award 2016), Centre for Advanced Training in Dance (CAT) scheme at The Place and Creative Academy in Slough, as well as delivering various dance workshops across London.
Jordan credits his success to his training in Gaga and Improvisation at London Contemporary Dance School, as well as visiting lecturer, Kerry Nicholls. Talking about his professional experiences so far he said, ‘it is not just about the training that you are given, it’s most definitely what you do with it. I think it is important to take the tools that you are given and use them intelligently’.
Jordan’s most recent achievement was joining Company Wayne McGregor. He says, ‘As long as I can remember I’ve wanted to dance for Wayne McGregor. I am most excited about gaining knowledge from Wayne himself’.
Jordan’s advice to this year’s graduating class is to stay confident in who you are, be inspired by those around you, be an individual and email everyone. ‘There is no harm in emailing and expressing your interest in something, whether that be to join class, watch rehearsals, teach, choreograph, anything. The worst thing is they can say ‘No’ and you will have lost nothing’.
The 2017 graduating cohort comprises 50 BA (Hons), 13 Postgraduate Diploma and 16 Masters students. Each year, over 80% of London Contemporary Dance School graduates go on to work professionally in dance within six months. Several of this year’s graduating BA (Hons) students have already secured professional dance contracts, have been accepted onto postgraduate performance programmes or are in the process of setting up their own dance companies.
Heather Birley, who will be moving to Stockholm to join Cullbergbaletten as an apprentice, was the recipient of the new David Steele Choreography Award for a graduating LCDS student. Sarah Bateman will also be going abroad to complete an apprenticeship in Switzerland with Theater St Gallen. Aine Reynolds will be a postgraduate apprentice with Maresa Van Stockert’s Tilted Productions. Undertaking the Postgraduate Diplomas in graduate companies are: Hayley Gash and Samuel Costello with EDge (the postgraduate company of London Contemporary Dance School) and Ruby Portus, Maggie Vannucci, Anders Engebretsen and Alethia Antonia joining Verve (the postgraduate performance company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance). BA graduate Ania Jurek will be working as an apprentice with The Place’s resident company Richard Alston Dance Company. Alicia Pírez Curell will complete her PGDip apprenticeship with Scottish Dance Theatre.
Charlotte Mclean will be mentored by Al Seed as part of the DEBS: Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme at Dancebase, which also includes free professional technique classes and a two week residency. Ruben Brown will be working in a professional capacity with Requardt & Rosenberg in their upcoming production Deadclub. Alternative pathways for BA 2017 graduates of LCDS include: Isobel Ripley and Zunnur Sazali who will continue to create their own work in performance, improvisation and film, starting with their Arts Council funded film for Random Acts. Reece McMahon will be venturing into Arts Management in a position with the Theatre and Artist Development department at The Place before embarking on an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University of London. Hannah Mattinson will be working at Mill Hill School in London as a Graduate Sports Assistant as well as taking part in competitive triathlons.
“We are incredibly proud of all our graduates’ successes. At London Contemporary Dance School we have a nurturing and rich environment to help students prepare for their diverse careers. This environment,not only creates the next generation of arts professionals, but means that we have long standing relationships with our alumni. I wish the best of luck to all our 2017 graduates for the future. I very much look forward to seeing them pushing the boundaries of dance and putting their mark on the dance world.”
Professor Veronica Lewis, MBE, Principal, London Contemporary Dance School