Italian Luca Silvestrini arrived at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London at the age of 28 to pursue a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies. Today, he is the founder and sole artistic director of Protein, a National Dance Award-winning company with over two decades of presence in the UK contemporary dance scene. Silvestrini himself has accumulated numerous accolades, having choreographed for the Royal Opera House, the English National Opera and the Royal Court Theatre, among other notable names.
“During my two years at Trinity Laban, I had the chance to mature and nurture my passion for dance making and performance. The inspiring teaching and the opportunities at Trinity Laban have been central and essential to my development as both an artist and a future artistic director,” he says.
The UK’s only conservatoire of music and contemporary dance, Trinity Laban was formed when the Trinity College of Music and Laban Dance Centre joined forces in 2005. Its campus in the creative heartbeat of south east London brings together a buzzing international community of artists, facilitating new collaborations and performances during and beyond each dancer’s time at the institution.
One such collaboration brought together Matthew Sandiford, who graduated with a BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance in 2012, and Maxine Doyle, who received her MA in Choreography in 1992. Doyle choreographed “Deluxe” which celebrated the 20th anniversary of BalletBoyz — a dance company Sandiford toured with in the UK, Europe, the US and Australia.
Doyle found the dancers “inspiring and hungry,” commenting, “BalletBoyz are famed for their beauty, grace and generally gorgeous dancing. I was interested in a different physicality and edge. I wanted to connect their theatricality to moving and had a desire to see the dancers as people in the piece.”
This approach differed vastly from what BalletBoyz had done before. “She works very theatrically in terms of having a story and an idea of what she wants to tell the audience. She works a lot with improvisation and these seven states that the body goes through, so that’s been a challenge to understand her way of working, but it has been really fulfilling to improvise and learn to come into her world and her way of creating,” Sandiford shares.
Kickstart your professional dance career
The undergraduate degree programmes at Trinity Laban equip students with the technical and expressive skills to pursue their creative endeavours. You can choose from the BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance, BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance with Foundation Year, BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance with International Foundation Year, each of which provides a learning environment that nurtures reflection, critical thinking, and an innovative mindset. Not only do these courses help develop strong technical, creative, and choreographic skills, but they also teach the diverse knowledge of historical and socio-cultural contexts to future visionaries of our time. The international foundation year also features intensive English language tuition.
Besides that, Trinity Laban offers awards for international students enrolling in the BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance. The awards are designed to help talented young dancers pursue world-class conservatoire training as part of Trinity Laban’s vibrant community, which has artists from over 60 countries. The six awards – one totalling £30,000 and five totalling £15,000 over three years – will be awarded on merit. “We are proud to be able to offer support to emerging dance talent in what is a particularly challenging time globally, and to help sustain an exciting future for the next generation of dance artists and innovators,” comments Director of Dance Sara Matthews.
Elly Braund joined Richard Alston Dance Company after graduating in 2011. Since then, she has toured both nationally and internationally, performing works by renowned choreographers such as Joseph Toonga, Martha Graham and Mark Baldwin OBE.
She says “Trinity Laban was such a great learning environment for me. The energy around the building, the work ethic of the people I was surrounded by and the variety of options and fantastic teachers made it a very special three years. The foundations were solidly laid to support my career.”
Though most educational programmes focus on the art of dance, Trinity Laban also explores the science of it through the BSc (Hons) Dance Science programme. Introduced in Sept. 2019, it combines the study of biomechanics, exercise physiology, performance psychology, fitness, and wellbeing to understand how the body works. This feeds their study of movement, thus improving dance technique and creativity in collaboration.
Rachel McCoy came to London from the USA for the course, and says “I came to Trinity Laban to study dance science because I wanted to understand dance technique from a more scientific approach and how I can apply that to my future training. I have really enjoyed being able to learn dance science principles alongside my training because I can see the connection and apply it to my own learning and body.”
At Trinity Laban, the world is your stage
The setting for the cutting-edge education and opportunities offered at Trinity Laban? London. From the traditional to the avant-garde, this is the city to find an ever-changing repertoire to inspire the senses. Whether it’s a visit to the opera or a stint with a local dance company, to live here is to be exposed to rich experiences and industry connections on- and off-campus. Let’s not forget that it’s incredibly well-connected to other parts of Europe and their respectable dance scenes too.
As a microcosm of London, Trinity Laban is the perfect launchpad for your dance career. Prospective students are encouraged to apply from anywhere in the world as the conservatoire has embraced a blended learning method which begins with online auditions.
If you aspire to explore a career in dance, Silvestrini offers this advice: “Just follow your heart, do the things you want to do and be your person. Nothing is impossible if you have the desire or vision. All you need is a space and some key people to share the journey with you.”
Like Silvestrini, your journey could begin at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Apply now to find your space.
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