Contemporary Dance Professional Year
Course Consultant: Ben Duke
Course Director & Artistic Director, Intoto Dance: Sue Booker
The contemporary dance professional year 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 specially geared towards 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.
"...nourish imaginative and creative abilities"
The second half of the third year is devoted to working with a touring company, INTOTO Dance. The company was formed in 1992 to provide final year students with performing experience and the opportunity to work with established choreographers. INTOTO Dance is fortunate to have attracted some of the foremost choreographers in the country, as well as emerging talents, who have created new works especially for the company.
This is reflected by the company’s innovative and diverse repertoire, which includes works by: Liz Aggiss & Billy Cowie, Jose Agudo, Lea Anderson, Mark Baldwin, Rafael Bonachela, Laurie Booth, Kim Brandstrup, Neville Campbell, Jorge Crecis, Malgorzata Dziernon, Ben Duke, Darren Ellis, Séan Feldman, Yael Flexer, Javier De Frutos, Antonia Grove, Shobana Jeyasingh, Steve Kirkham, Gary Lambert, Martin Lawrance, Ana Luján-Sánchez, David Massingham, Cameron McMillan, Stephen Mear, Vivienne Newport, Kerry Nicholls, Henri Oguike, Ramón Oller, Wayne Parsons, Arthur Pita, La Ribot, John Ross, Luca Silvestrini, Darshan Singh Bhuller, Janet Smith, Yolande Snaith, Ian Spink, Melanie Teall, Lisa Torun, Dam van Huynh, Fin Walker, David Waring, Anna Williams and Yolande Yorke-Edgell.
London Studio Centre has extensive contacts within the professional industry and is delighted to see graduates working in a range of diverse and exciting careers across the field of contemporary dance as artists, choreographers, dance managers and more. Recent graduates can be seen working with national dance companies such as Rambert, Richard Alston Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, New Adventures, Mark Bruce Company, Michael Clark Company, Punchdrunk, Yorke Dance Project, Rosie Kay Dance Company. INTOTO Dance also equips graduates for successful careers as independent artists and choreographers. Many found their own companies, such as Olivier and Critics Circle Award nominee Clemmie Sveaas (New Movement Collective), Anna-Lise Marie Hearn (Anna-Lise Marie Dance), Lucy Ridley and Lauren Bridle (The People Pile), Heidi Rustgaard (H2 Dance) and Luke Brown (Luke Brown Dance).
The breadth of training provided by London Studio Centre and throughout the contemporary dance professional pathway; leads to graduates pursuing thriving careers not just in contemporary dance, but in the West End as performers and choreographers, commercial dance, in high profile productions for the Royal Opera and English National Opera, and in films and TV programmes for BBC, Channel 4 and Sky. Longevity of careers is proven by graduates going on to work in arts management, teaching, lecturing in Higher Education and working as producers and associate choreographers.
This variety of graduate success demonstrates the high levels of technical excellence, creativity, passion and versatility that students develop within the contemporary dance professional pathway.