MA Dance Performance

MA Dance Performance

  • Duration 1 year (full-time)
  • Start date October 2022
  • Apply by July 2022
  • Funding Available

Overview

This one-year Masters programme provides a route for the development of specialist skills in classical ballet, contemporary dance, jazz dance or musical theatre.

Applicants must demonstrate the skills and aptitudes necessary to work in a ‘professional’ context, as the course aims to provide aspirant performers with relevant experience and a portfolio of performance work, so that on graduation they can audition successfully for professional companies.

Students join one of LSC’s four performing companies Images Ballet CompanyINTOTO DanceJazz Co. or Seedtime, working with industry professionals to create a full-length production that is performed at major London venues and across the UK.

Each company is engaged with established professionals in their respective chosen fields as well emerging new talent, furnishing students with invaluable connections as they progress into their professional careers.

The programme is designed to help students explore and inform themselves about performance opportunities and shape their own professional futures. The programme will offer a nuanced and contextualised understanding of the dynamics that shape career development for graduates, whether as independent dance artists or as employees within a company structure.

The theoretical components culminate in a dissertation born out of a creative and critical enquiry that will require independent research supported by a seminar programme and individual tutorials.

This programme is validated by Middlesex University.

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All applicants are required to complete an application form and pay the £45 audition fee, this fee covers the processing costs for your entire application.

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Structure

Information about the structure of this programme can be found in the programme specification.

Pathways

The MA Dance Performance offers four distinct pathways, spanning the breadth of dance.
Classical Ballet

This Masters course provides the intensive training and performance experience that is required by advanced classical ballet students who wish to pursue a professional career. The current programme builds on the original course which was developed by Margaret Barbieri in consultation with Dame Alicia Markova. It aims to prepare students to meet the demands of performing in a range of work on the ballet stage today, fostering a critical awareness of the choreographic movements in classical ballet, deep understanding of the form and nurturing each dancer in their unique gifts/talents as an artist.

The work in Images Ballet Company emerges from current approaches to classical ballet, while valuing its heritage. In addition to daily ballet classes, specialist courses in repertoire, virtuosity, pas de deux and pointe work are included in the curriculum. These are complemented by other disciplines considered essential for a career as a professional ballet dancer, including contemporary dance and a programme of Individual Physical Development sessions which provide students with physical grounding in strength and conditioning in support of growing their individual artistic practice. Master classes and weekly workshops with leading figures in dance are organised to enable further creative exploration, artistic development and professional networking. Career management and audition techniques are also studied during this final year of training, ensuring that the students receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for professional career.

Classical Ballet
Contemporary Dance

On the Contemporary Dance pathway, your time in our contemporary performing company INTOTO Dance concentrates on creative, individual interpretation in performance and the enhancement of students’ technique and command of the stage. It aims to foster an intelligent dance artist – one who has the technical skills, creative artistry and physical and emotional maturity to work successfully in a professional environment.

In addition to a daily ballet class uniquely created for the contemporary dancer, third year students on the contemporary dance professional option study Graham and Cunningham-based technique, contact improvisation, release technique and choreography, as well as taking classes that encompass current commercial dance styles. Students can also take advantage of voice technique training and singing for dancers.

Technical training is enhanced by research and development sessions, workshops and masterclasses with artistic directors and leading practitioners across the field of contemporary dance and dance theatre. Sessions are designed to expand and nourish the students’ creative practice, and recent visiting companies have included Phoenix Dance Theatre and Richard Alston Dance Company. Professional development opportunities for third year students also aim to foster entrepreneurial and networking skills, invaluable for a portfolio career path after graduation.

Contemporary Dance
Jazz Dance

This pathway offers a challenging and exciting opportunity for the serious jazz dancer to train, rehearse, perform and tour as part of our dedicated performing company Jazz Co. This environment develops the resilience, physical skills and stamina required by today’s emerging professional performer, as students are exposed to the latest trends and ever-increasing technical demands of today’s workplace. Care is taken to ensure training is balanced and provided to the highest standards and that the particular gifts and interests of each student are valued and nurtured in the context of professional standards and goals. The year’s syllabus builds towards a final term largely committed to performances in public.

Emphasis is placed on the concept of isolation technique as a feature common to all the different and personal characteristics of jazz dance. The vocabulary of the different jazz styles – ballet, tap, contemporary dance, singing and drama – are combined to create the comprehensive yet balanced training required to equip students for a successful career in commercial dance. Essential skills such as focus, projection, interpretation and style, linked to the ability to absorb and memorise choreography are also developed.

Jazz Dance
Musical Theatre

This pathway embraces all of the theatrical disciplines that contribute to the production of musical theatre. It is designed specifically for students aiming at a professional career in this aspect of theatre, which demands a high level of practical expertise in a wide variety of skills; these skills will be put into practice during your time in Seedtime Musical Theatre Company, our acclaimed touring company.

The curriculum is comprised of intensive courses in acting, improvisation, singing, voice, speech, stage fighting and music theatre repertoire. These are supplemented by the dance techniques that are required by musical theatre students, such as ballet, jazz and tap. Students have contact, throughout their time at London Studio Centre, with potential employers through studio-based workshops and masterclasses.

Specialist singing courses build on the students’ knowledge of the musical repertoire for popular theatre, including composers such as Ivor Novello, Noel Coward, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The classwork ensures that the students have their own natural skills developed and that they have the technical foundations to sustain a professional career. Regular private coaching means that students are fully prepared for public performances and auditions.

Drama studies naturalise acting technique, so that it becomes undetectable in performance. The course aims to promote the technical skills, intellectual grasp and the physical and artistic maturity that are required to work successfully in the professional theatre. Voice and speech coaching are also an important part of the course . This ensures that each student has a flexible, well-modulated voice and is able, therefore, to tackle a wide variety of roles and possesses the strength and skill to project in large auditoria.

These different disciplines are united in the rehearsal and performance of the musical theatre repertoire, which commences in the 1920s and proceeds via Rodgers and Hammerstein to the most recent rock musicals. This work promotes an awareness of both the content and style of these different forms of musical theatre.

Classical ballet continues to provide a basis for sound dance technique, emphasising the secure performance of the basic vocabulary. Isolation jazz technique adds interest, style and flair to the performance and staging of songs and dances from music theatre, with its emphasis on coordination, fluency and presentational skills. Dance and tap for musical theatre are essential skills for students seeking employment in the commercial world.

Musical Theatre

Staff

Larissa Bamber

Artistic Director and Principal Ballet Teacher, Images Ballet Company

Sue Booker

Head of Department, Contemporary Dance and Artistic Director, INTOTO Dance

Robbie O’Reilly

Artistic Director, Jazz Co.

Matthew Shaw

Artistic Director, Seedtime

Nicola Bowden

Head of Department, Classical Ballet

Alison Desbois

Head of Department, Jazz Dance

Entry requirements

Applicants will be expected to audition for entry onto the course in one of the following pathways: Classical Ballet (Images Ballet Company), Contemporary Dance (INTOTO Dance), Jazz Dance (Jazz Co.) or Musical Theatre (Seedtime).

The general entrance requirement for postgraduate study is a relevant UK Honours degree classified at 2:2 or above, usually in dance or a related field. Overseas qualifications equivalent to a UK Honours degree classified at a Lower Second Class or above, will be considered. Applicants should be able to demonstrate the following through the application, audition and interview process:
• An advanced level of practical knowledge in dance
• Good communication skills, written and verbal
• A capacity to work at postgraduate level, e.g. engage with complex
matters in the field; demonstrate creativity in the application of knowledge

LSC welcomes applicants from the profession who may not have traditional programme entry requirements but who may be able to demonstrate their ability to engage in postgraduate study through a diagnostic task upon application. Applicants who have non-standard qualifications (or who wish work or life experience to be taken into account as part of their application) will be considered on an individual basis, in line with the general aims and principles of Middlesex’s Admissions Policy and within the terms of the Accreditation of Prior Learning policy (APEL).

For applicants whose first language is not English: Average IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum achievement of 6.0 for all components, is required.

We are unable to accept applications for deferred entry or defer offers for this course as applicants must retain a high level of fitness prior to enrolment.

Audition

All Applicants applying for the MA Dance Performance will be required to submit a video audition. Applicants who are attending an audition in-person must submit their video prior to the audition.

International applicants who are unable to attend an audition in-person will attend an interview via Zoom in addition to the video requirements listed below.

When completing the application form applicants should select either the MA Dance Performance in-person audition or Video Application. On receipt of a fully completed application form, applicants will be contacted to arrange a suitable date to attend an audition or an interview. Home applicants will need to submit the video requirements listed below in advance of the audition.

The video audition should contain a ballet audition, plus one other dance technique that supports the application to the selected pathway and demonstrates technical competence. For contemporary dance this should include release and floorwork practice. More than one additional technique should be shown if the applicant is applying for more than one pathway.  See below for further details.

In addition, a solo should be included:

· Classical Ballet solo, performed on pointe

· Contemporary Dance solo

· Jazz solo; e.g. but not limited to musical theatre jazz, lyrical, hip hop, tap or Latin

· A song and a monologue

All video applications must also include the physical assessment which can be found here.

Applicants able to attend an audition in person will also complete the following:

Classical Ballet

Ballet class with Images Ballet Company, followed by the presentation a classical solo performed on pointe and a contemporary or neo classical solo.

Contemporary Dance

Contemporary class with INTOTO Dance, followed by two contrasting contemporary dance solos.

Jazz Dance

Jazz technique class with Jazz Co., followed by two contrasting jazz solos. One solo can be a song, if desired.

Musical Theatre

Jazz technique class with Seedtime, followed by the presentation of a song and monologue.

All solos should be a maximum of 2 minutes in length.

International applicants should note the requirements for each pathway when preparing their video.

Following the audition, all applicants will attend an interview with the Programme Leader.

Annual Fees

Tuition fees per annum (Academic Year 2022/23): £15,531 (full-time) £19,413 (International students)

Student Finance

A Postgraduate Master’s Loan is available from Student Finance for eligible students.

Additional Costs

In addition to the Tuition Fees advertised above; students may incur additional costs such as dance equipment (including clothing), travel and maintenance.

Optional additional costs include health insurance/cash plan, Spotlight/Equity membership, LSC merchandise, discounted offers, open classes, production recordings, IPD equipment, LSC performances (discounted), printing costs, stationery costs, TOTUM membership (formerly NUS), TFL discount card, reading list (all available in LSC’s library), sheet music, physiotherapy, massage, Library fines, theatre trips, headshots and graduation costs.