TRINITY LABAN AT RESOLUTION: HOPES AND FEARS

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Image: Emmeline Cresswell Company

Week 3

This week I will be focusing on ‘hopes and fears’, two things that are inherent to sharing work and are often one and the same.

On Tuesday I went to watch a night at Resolution including a performance by Jannick Moth and Company titled Cold Mountain. The piece was performed by alumni Jannick Moth, Ben King and Samuel Pimm, crashing, tumbling and play fighting through the space. There were a number of Trinity Laban alumni in the audience and there was a really supportive atmosphere.

After each performance there is a short interval where the audience can chat to the performers in the bar and leave their thoughts on feedback cards. This is a really great way to get to know what audience members think, to see if your intentions came across and to receive constructive feedback. You can keep up to date with Resolution reviews on The Place blog.

I caught up with Jannick about his experiences of Resolution which you can read in full on the Trinity Laban blog. Often times I find that my hopes are also my fears, just as nerves are also excitement. I had a quick discussion with co-artistic director of Bite Dance, Zoe Bishop:

 

With a few days to go before we premiere Still Laughing, I am hopeful that we will give an impactful performance which portrays a distinct concept. I had feared having a negative reaction from the audience – but actually this would be much better than receiving indifference. Our work is stylistic and confrontational and I hope we provoke a strong reaction in the audience, be that positive or negative! You can find out more information and book tickets on The Place website.

Wednesday saw Awake Dance Company perform Lost and Found, led by Artistic Director and alumnus Roxy Bryant. The company was set up in 2016 with the intention of contributing to positive social change. Their distinctive choreographic style is an unconscious synthesis of Roxy’s training in hip-hop and contemporary dance. Producing a delicately intricate and highly dynamic vocabulary, delivering a powerful visual experience, alongside its impactful visceral one.

On Thursday, alumnus Gordon Douglas Raeburn performed a solo choreographed by Jayne Port titled Pibroch Tales. The solo evoked the ancient art of storytelling, moving from adventure to tale and interlacing age-old songs. Alumnus Emmeline Cresswell Company also performed on Thursday with Emmeline’s piece Goat Song. Inspired by a love of existential musings, surrealism and goats, three performers took the audience on a journey exploring the possibility and potential benefits of realising the self as a goat.

Check back next week to read about the journey of Resolution from application to performance. In the mean time I will be preparing for a laughter filled performance next week..

 

For more information on Resolution visit The Place website.

Alice White

Graduate Intern – Press & PR

JANNICK MOTH ON RESOLUTION 2017

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Cold Mountain Promotional Image

Your piece Cold Mountain was originally created in your second year at Trinity Laban, how has it developed since?
The piece is completely different, the research and ideas are the same; developed onwards, but the piece itself looks completely different! We spent a lot of time at Trinity Laban working on the ideas, the working methods and on finding ways to embody the work. When we got back in the studio for resolution, we worked on getting back the language and spent time developing the concepts and qualities – but the piece itself is almost unrecognisable from before.

 
What have you found the most challenging about being a part of Resolution?
I think the hardest part was trying to fit everything in. I found that once I was in the studio I could relax a bit and get on with working but outside things just kept on turning. I was still working a day job, training and trying to fit in all the admin and producing in-between (as well as trying to work on other projects!). There were a few weeks where I would wake up early and put a few hours into emails, go to work for a shift and then once I was finished come straight back and pick up the emails from where I left off! I think it really pushes you in terms of time management and resourcing; you’re in it for a long time so I found it really useful to pace and plan everything so that I didn’t end up having to cram everything into one week.

 
What advice would you give to somebody thinking about applying for Resolution?
Go for it! It’s been a great experience and I learnt a lot from it. There’s so much that you could get from resolutions that it’s a good idea to go in knowing what you do want. There’s probably too much to do it all and get it in a good amount. The Place offer lots of support in terms of workshops and advice so pretty much anything that you could want to get from it you will probably find. It’s definitely been a good experience.

 
How did Trinity Laban aid your development as a choreographer? Any ‘eureka’ moments?
I think 2nd year was my ‘eureka’ year. It was an intense year for choreography and theoretical practice so I was exposed to so many new ideas. We were really given space and time to try things out; I spent a lot of time trying, failing and trying again. There was one choreography class that stands out for me; I remember it was during a heavy week of classes so I wanted to try and find a way to investigate not moving. I ended up setting up a camera to record me while I took a nap. I woke up quite suddenly in the middle of the class and starting watching it back to see if there was anything interesting in the video. I couldn’t really find anything to begin with so I started fast forwarding to see if there was anything else and suddenly I was moving all over the place. The camera had picked up all my micro movements that I hadn’t noticed when I first watched it. I think that was quite a ‘eureka’ moment for me – I hadn’t fully realised the potential for how much movement there could be in a body. I also really appreciated the community we had at Trinity Laban, I took a lot of inspiration and advice from the others training in the building. Also the one to one contact we had with our choreography tutors was great, it really allowed contemplative and fertile ground to grow and I learnt a lot from them.

 
What are your plans for the future with Jannick Moth and Company?
Having done resolution we now have all that we need to try and take it to a few other places. I really feel that the skeleton of the work is complete so it would be great to be able to find time to be develop and evolve some of the structures furhter. I try to be as nomadic as I can at the moment, to be able to take many different influences, and I think the rest of the dancers are in quite a similar place. We are definitely looking to do a bit more with the company. I suppose we will see where it takes us!

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Image: Jannick Moth

 

Alice White

Graduate Intern – Press & PR

Post-Exercise Muscular Soreness

Feeling like you’ve gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson for a day or two after you’ve done a serious workout?

We all know the feeling- stairs? Not a chance.

But why do our muscles hurt so much when we’ve been working so hard?

Post-Exercise Soreness explained.

The DOMS

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: refers to the potential reaction our bodies have when we take up a new exercise plan, adapt an existing exercise plan or alter the intensity or duration of regular physical exertion. This may happen regardless of our fitness levels and although often unwelcomed, it can be the sign of a Physiologically Positive Reaction.

DOMS usually develops between 12-24 hours after the activity itself. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘that’ll hurt tomorrow’ but the truth is the greatest discomfort is often experienced between 24-72 hours post-exercise. Although DOMS can be associated with a positive reaction, is often a sign that you need to take a rest, this is useful feedback from your body.  If you are experiencing symptoms associated with DOMS, to include muscles soreness ‘tender to touch’ and reduced joint mobility, this may lead to instability if not well rested. Instability and weakness combined with muscle soreness and fatigue can lead to injury.

What’s happening?

There is some controversy surrounding the cause of DOMS, however most believe that DOMS is the repair process that develops as a response to the microscopic damage of our muscle fibres likely stemming from novel stresses that were experienced during the exercise.

A common misconception is that DOMS is due to lactic acid build up however it is generally believed that lactic acid is not involved in the DOMS process.

Activities which are thought to result in DOMS are ones which cause muscles to lengthen whilst a force is being applied, also known as an eccentric muscle action. There are three main actions; Concentric, Isometric and Eccentric- The notion of a concentric chest press evokes a much more stressful loading onto the muscles than let’s say a handstand where an Isometric action is seen. However eccentric movements such as the lowering phase in a bicep curl are considered structurally, to cause a higher stress level on muscle fibres than the aforementioned. Try and work your way gradually into a new exercise program to help reduce the severity of DOMS!

 There is a fine line between positive, and injury provoking muscular ‘pain’.

Every body is different and you must remember to listen to yours.

As performing artists we should not be working towards ‘pain’. We should only push our bodies to a certain level, and DOMS is a welcomed indication that we have pushed our bodies a little beyond their normal comfort zone. If you do experience pain during an exercise this could be an underlying factor of over intensified exercise or incorrect form, you should consult a medical practitioner if pain persists and exceeds regular DOMS symptoms.

It is important to remember eccentric movements are to be treated as one ingredient within a well-tailored exercise plan, combining concentric and isometric movement will make for a well-rounded workout. Mastering technique, control and stability within movements will lower the risk of injury and in turn DOMS.

Does Massage Help?

Massage is an extensive physiological tool that eases muscle and joint stiffness. The hands on approach of massage works towards reducing tension within the body, combined with passive movements that not only stretch the connective tissues around our joints, but lengthens muscles and tendons too.  Sports Massage may help prevent the onset of injury, work as a tool to rehabilitate and in turn may improve performance. With classes, rehearsals, shows and tours on the horizon pushing bodies to outside of their regular comfort zone, Dancers, Musicians and Musical Theatre performers may consider seeking treatment in order to gain immediate relief for muscle soreness. It can also be applied post-event to remove waste products/toxins, speed up recovery time and de-stress after a performance.

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Don’t forget TL Health offers Sports Massage where TL Students receive a brilliant discount!

http://www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/trinity-laban-health/health-treatments/sports-massage

Jess Coleman: Graduate Intern, Health.

Musical Theatre alumni Zoe Rogers and Jack McCann

Our graduates perform in musical theatre productions in the West End, in international and UK touring productions, on film and TV, as well as within the wider entertainment industry. Many successful musical theatre artists, musical directors and pit musicians received their first experiences of Musical Theatre at Trinity Laban. We caught up with 2016 graduates Zoe Rogers and Jack McCann.

Jack is currently performing as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, for which he has been nominated for an Off West End Award for Best Male. Prior to this he achieved the lead role in Charles Miller and Glen Chandler’s new musical The Sins of Jack Saul, for which he received a BroadwayWorldUK nomination for Best Actor in a New Production of a Musical. He has previously performed as Val LaMar in a revival of the classical musical comedy Babes in Arms and as Dead Duck in The Homosexual Necrophilliac Duck Opera at the Natural History Museum.

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Image: Jack McCann

Zoe has been cast as a member of the ensemble in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Zoe has wanted to be in musical theatre ever since she can remember, getting involved in local performance opportunities from a young age. Zoe was overwhelmed to gain her role in 42nd Street, telling us: ‘I couldn’t believe it at first, but when it finally sunk in I just cried. I couldn’t stop the tears from coming!’

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Image: Zoe Rogers (William Rye Photography)

The Musical Theatre course includes carefully crafted performance opportunities which allow students to experience a diverse range of musical theatre performance settings. The experiences are modelled on real-life performance contexts, enabling students to apply and adapt their developing skills to meet the needs of a range of repertoire.

Both Zoe and Jack found their performance opportunities at Trinity Laban to be cherished memories. The final performance is a poignant moment for our Musical Theatre students as they come together one last time before making the transition into the working world. Jack felt he was ‘ready to take on the world’ and Zoe commented on how fortunate she was to have been given the opportunity to take on a leading role. Jack added:

‘I think Trinity Laban prepared me remarkably well for the industry. I had a very holistic training, not only gaining skills in singing, acting, and dancing, but I also learnt how to carry myself as a business person. It was great to perfect the practical elements whilst also gaining additional skills.’

Our musical theatre teachers are leading industry professionals, who coach and support students to prepare them for success in a highly competitive field. Zoe spoke of her gratitude towards her teachers, ‘not only are they incredibly established, they are willing to go above and beyond for all their students. Their dedication never wavers.’ Jack found that it was the pastoral support that really had an impact on him and helped him to grow on a personal level. He appreciated the focus on wellbeing as well as professional development, telling us:

‘The teaching staff were outstanding and I’ve continued my relationship with them. They were always willing to challenge me when I couldn’t challenge myself – when I couldn’t see my long term goal they helped me to grasp it again. They always had my best interest at heart. I made some very special relationships.’

Zoe and Jack are beginning to build prosperous careers in the musical theatre industry, and are both examples of Trinity Laban’s growing reputation for its Musical Theatre performance training. We distinguish ourselves by equipping creative practitioners with a wide range of skills applicable to a diverse range of musical theatre. We produce highly employable graduates who are thoroughly prepared for this competitive and increasingly popular branch of the British music industry.

RESOLUTION: WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE PROCESS

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Image: J7S Dance Company by Alicia Clark

Week 2

This week, I will share my own and fellow alumni’s experience of Resolution outside of the dance studio, as well as looking at the highlights so far.

With two weeks to go before my performance with Bite Dance, I wanted to share my experience of Resolution away from the creative process. As well as the exciting parts, there are also financial implications, contracts, timelines and important deadlines that make up the festival. There is a lot of planning and organisation that goes alongside choreographing a piece for Resolution, which is a really valuable part of the learning process for aspiring choreographers.

As part of the package, Resolution choreographers are invited to attend a range of workshops to help you maximise ticket sales and get your name out there. I have found that this has been a really crucial factor in making decisions with Bite Dance; having the deadlines forces you to make things happen and by doing so we have gained confidence in marketing ourselves and developed a distinctive image.

The Marketing and Publicity workshops help you to define your target audience and work out the best plan to reach it. It aids you in choosing the right images, helps you to write copy and gives you the confidence to talk about your work. You are also prepared on Production and Technical preparation, learning about the lighting rig, stage and sound set ups and it increases your assurance and vocabulary when dealing with technicians.

In order to help you meet collaborators, there is a ‘speed dating’ workshop, which offers the opportunity for Resolution choreographers to meet with lighting designers, sound/video editors, arts administrators and photographers – giving you the chance to see if you connect or share a vision with anyone. It was here that we met both our photographer and costume designer who we are wanting to continue a relationship with beyond the festival.

As well as all of this, you have the opportunity to meet so many fellow choreographers all going through the same process that you are. I would advise any aspiring choreographer to apply for the festival, and to be prepared for the pressures and challenges that come with it. However, these pressures are the reality of the profession and this is the perfect way to learn how to deal with them.

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Image: Bite Dance. Charlotte Levy Photography

Last week’s highlights:

Resolution Review features fantastic reviews for our alumni performances so far, which you can read on The Place blog. It also features a review by alumnus Fergus McIntosh, who is a part of this year’s emerging reviewer opportunity ‘Resolution Review’. Watch last week’s highlights on The Place facebook page.

We are now in to the second week of the festival and continuing to see our past and present students thriving. On Tuesday, J7s Dance Company’s Giulia Iurza choreographed on fellow 2016 graduates Anna Borini, Giacomo Pini and Selene Travalgia with current students Aaron Chaplin and Paola Drera. The piece, Shikishin Funi, focused on each of the dancer’s individuality, and was well reviewed.

I spoke to Giulia about her experience of the process:

“Resolution is a fantastic opportunity to show your work in a great venue with professional reviewers, but it also carries its challenges. I have had to fund the work myself and with donations, and been fortunate enough to collaborate with people who believe in my work. I have had to be determined and enthusiastic to drive this project. Working as a choreographer and co-ordinating lots of people is challenging – but very worth it!

On Wednesday, Andrew Race Dance Company (ARDC) and Clara Sjolin shared the stage.

ARDC’s piece To Resolve saw six female dancers physically investigating their own personal battles, discovering how these are overcome emotionally. Five of the six dancers are Trinity Laban alumni, made up of Martha Canning, Daisy Harrison, Emily Rutherwood, Katherine Whale and Leanne Oddy, with Daisy Cauty.

Clara Sjolin’s I want to keep the cake but eat it (too) looks at exposing the close affinity between two people. Cinematically choreographed, this work invites the spectator to the sixties monochrome world, to a revelation of the so often intangible human emotions, and to a futuristic place where two women can be the main characters.

Ondine brings 2016 graduates Laura Calcagno and Camilla Isola back for a second week. The piece focuses on the idea of meeting; ‘you meet someone, you feel it, and then you lose it’. The collaboration between Isola’s interest in visual arts and music composition and Calcagno’s passion for performance art started here at Trinity Laban, where the two started working together on various interdisciplinary projects.

Clelia Vuille graduated in 2013 and her work Saudade will be performed on Saturday 21 January. Exploring the sensation of absence, Saudade is a ride through memories, to relive the traces that people we cross path with eventually leave behind. The piece is danced by Clélia alongside fellow alumni Alistair Wroe, Alice Labant and Juliette Coturel.

Look out for next week’s blog where I will interview alumnus Jannick Moth and I will chat with the other half of Bite Dance, Zoe Bishop, about the interchangeability of hopes and fears.

To find out more information and to book tickets to Resolution, visit The Place website.

Alice White

Graduate Intern – Press & PR

TRINITY LABAN AT RESOLUTION 2017

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Image: Simone and Elizabeth

Alice White reports

From the 12 January – 25 February 2017 the UK’s biggest dance festival for emerging artists will return, bursting with Trinity Laban alumni and current students. Resolution is The Place’s annual, New Year festival of short live dance and performance. Resolution demonstrates the best of emerging talent, with previous participants including Trinity Laban alumnus Luca Silvestrini, who co-founded the incredibly successful Protein Dance.

There are a huge number of Trinity Laban music and dance artists involved this year – over 50 – made up of choreographers, performers and musicians – and I will be one of them.

Having graduated from Trinity Laban in 2015, I’m really excited to be sharing my new work in collaboration with Zoe Bishop (together known at Bite Dance). Our piece Still Laughing focuses on the act of laughter as a choreographic device, looking at laughter as ‘readymade’ movement material. I will also share my experiences as a performer with Watts Dance, who will debut WLA No.657005 in the final week.

Over the course of the festival I will be documenting and sharing the experiences of both myself and my fellow performers. For the next six weeks I will continue a rolling blog, letting you know what pieces to look out for, conveying behind the scenes info, giving advice for aspiring choreographers, and sharing personal experiences.

Week One

The opening week of Resolution 2017 sees Trinity Laban’s alumni and current students both presenting and performing in new dance works. Alumni Simone and Elizabeth will perform Impressing the Grand Duke on Friday 13th Jan with RAE Dance Collective presenting Unravel, le Bolero the following night.

2016 graduate Camilla Isola choreographs on RAE Dance Collective, which is jam-packed with Trinity Laban dancers, featuring 2016 graduates Giulia Avino, Clara Sjolin and Laura Calcagno with current students Theo Arran, Kieran Covell, Giordana Patumi, Phillip Hewitt and Viola Ranghino. Camilla works within the deconstruction of movement and sound, whilst always retaining a sense of humanity and compassion. Her new work Unravel, le Bolero interrogates what drives humans to desire contact. In a dark room where bodies tangle together, only the audience is allowed to see them losing control.

Catching up with Camilla ahead of her performance, she commented:

“I have been interested in the arts for my whole life, but found a particular curiosity with choreography. Last August I decided to challenge myself and apply for Resolution with the creation of a brand new work. Two weeks later, I received an email saying that my application had been successful and I had a place in the festival. When I opened the email I was overjoyed; it gave me the right energy to begin exploring and developing my ideas.

I feel proud of this achievement and lucky to have this opportunity. I am very thankful to all those who are supporting my work and also to Trinity Laban, who over the past three years have fully prepared me as a dance artist. Trinity Laban gave me the skills and space I needed to grow as a choreographer and equally as a person.”

 

Here are the performances by and featuring Trinity Laban students and alumni to look out for:

Week 1:

13 Jan: Simone and Elisabeth

14 Jan: RAE Dance Collective

Week 2:

17 Jan: J7s Dance Company

18 Jan: Andrew Race Dance Company & Clara Sjolin

19 Jan: Laura Calcagno and Camilla Isola

21 Jan: Clélia Vuille

Week 3:

24 Jan: Jannick Moth and Company

25 Jan: Awake Dance Company

26 Jan: Jayne Port & Emmeline Cresswell Company

Week 4:

31 Jan: Orley Quick and the Hairy Heroines

1 Feb: Bite Dance & Thomas Michael Voss

2 Feb: Jan Lee

3 Feb: Laura Ganotis

Week 5:

14 Feb: Elisha Hamilton Dance & Natalie Sloth Richter

15 Feb: Scatterlings

Week 6:

21 Feb: Watts Dance

22 Feb: Zjana Muraro and Gianna Burright

23 Feb: Maria Lothe & Co

Keep up to date on Trinity Laban’s involvement in Resolution by following my weekly blog for news, reviews and more. For now, the rehearsals continue…

To find out more information and book tickets for Resolution, visit The Place website.

 

BRINGING THE PAST TO LIFE: ALEXANDER WALKER

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Image: Alexander Walker

Alexander Walker is a conductor currently undertaking a PhD at Trinity Laban as well as being a member of our teaching staff. Alexander’s research focuses on historical performance traditions in order to analyse his own practice.

Alexander has taken a particular interest in Ignatz Waghalter, who from humble beginnings became a major figure in European musical life as founding Music Director of the Deutsche Opera in Berlin before and after the First World War. Being Jewish, he was forced to flee Europe with the rise of fascism. Arriving in NYC in the late 1930’s, he immediately set about founding an orchestra of African Americans, an act of extraordinary bravery and single mindedness in 1939. Waghalter has been completely forgotten, so Alexander has been digging up his music and recording it.

The PhD explores how Alexander makes decisions in terms of performing music and recording old music for which there is no performing tradition. It helps him to analyse his own practice and understand ethically and philosophically how decisions should be made in terms of performance. Alexander takes an interest in investigating how the minds of old performers worked and how they came up with their own traditions, for example finding conductors who might seem old fashioned to us now and discovering more than what you might notice at first glance.

Alexander commented on his time at Trinity Laban:

I think practice as research is particularly strong here. As a conservatoire, I very much like both researching and teaching here as it is such a very creative place. Innovation is valued and it strikes me that there are many possibilities for developing ideas here.

As a musician, I’m used to analysing what I do, but I’m not used to discussing it openly with people. That’s a new thing for me but it’s a valuable challenge. At first I was afraid that maybe if you try and figure out what the magic is the magic might go away, but I’m not finding that to be the case. I’m finding it does enhance my practice.’

Alexander has just been honoured by the Elgar Society with its highest award, the Elgar Medal, for his work promoting the composer’s music especially in Central Europe and Russia. Previous recipients include Sir Andrew Davies, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Daniel Barenboim.

Alexander commented:

‘It’s a very great honour. I feel very passionately that Elgar is a truly great, world class composer. In fact, in many of the places where I work he doesn’t regularly feature on programmes, if at all. I saw that as an opportunity to introduce people to this amazing music. I’ve given many national premieres of the music of Elgar and I’ve had the opportunity to really try and search into how it should be performed. I’ve found that the passion of the music is very compelling for players and for audiences. The orchestras that I work with abroad have no expectation of performance traditions, which relates to my PhD.

In my opinion nobody orchestrates better than Elgar and nobody writes for strings better than Elgar. When I take these works to orchestras for whom they’re new, they absolutely love playing it. They give very committed performances. It’s been a very meaningful forum for me and one of profound experience.’

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Image: Edward Elgar

Alice White

Graduate Intern – Press & PR