Trinity Laban’s Dance Summer School is the perfect induction into movement and physical theatre for aspiring actors. Struan Leslie, former Head of Movement at the Royal Shakespeare Company, tells us why.
‘A dance summer school is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a number of areas of physical knowledge and expression,’ Struan explains. ‘In particular, I think the sheer diversity of the classes offered is what makes Trinity Laban’s Summer School so unique.’
Struan (pictured inset), who has taught on the Trinity Laban Dance Summer School for around a decade, has a wealth of teaching experience across some of the country’s best-loved theatre institutions. He has lectured at RADA, Rose Bruford, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and internationally across the US and in Singapore.
‘On the Summer School, I lead workshops in physical theatre,’ Struan explains. ‘We explore the communicating body with rigour and specificity of intention.
‘Learning on this kind of programme allows participants to gain physical performance skills and techniques, enhancing rehearsal and creative contexts, from ensemble and devising to physical theatre,’ he adds.
Struan’s training began in the early 1980s at London Contemporary Dance School among pupils of world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Doris Humphrey. A prime example of the fundamentality of dance as a platform for any arts career, he now works as a movement director and choreographer in the creation of productions in all areas of theatre and opera.
‘My dance background has meant I can apply the principles of choreography and technique to collaborative, movement-based work with urban designers, architects, visual artists, designers, writers and composers,’ he comments.
Trinity Laban’s Dance Summer School offers a unique opportunity for people of all dance levels aged 16+ to experience training of the highest quality in state of the art facilities, while making new friends from all over the world. Participants can create their own timetable, selecting from a broad range of sessions from contemporary technique to contact improvisation.
‘I think the biggest learning curve for performers on the Summer School, is to learn the day to day experience of what it is to be a performer full time – the energy and focus that requires,’ Struan says. ‘It helps participants discover whether they have the drive to pursue performance work professionally.’
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To find out more about the Dance Summer School, visit the Trinity Laban website.