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LSC Alumni Profile; André Francis

André graduated from London Studio Centre in 2014 after touring with our Jazz Dance Company. Since graduating he has gone on to have a wonderful career, currently performing as the Ribbon Boy in Wicked on the West End, working with other LSC alumni Hannah Toy and former Jazz Dance Company artistic director, Petra Siniawski; following performing for 3 years in Disney’s The Lion King in Hamburg Germany. André’s other credits include Ensemble (Cover Maurice) and Silks Artiste in Beauty and the Beast (Oxford Playhouse); Seaweed in Hairspray (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre); Featured Dancer, Singer and Dance Captain in Circus of Dreams (The Peacock Theatre); Vox Pops in Viva Forever (The Piccadilly Theatre)

As part of our Alumni Profiles André shared some words of advice

What is your Favourite memory from your time at LSC?

My favourite memory has to be our first contemporary class in Third Year as the 2013/2014 Jazz Dance Company; I had just that week returned from training at The Ailey School in New York. At the end of class my teacher Buddy calls me over and says to me "André it's clicked". Buddy is a man of few words, so this moment stands-out to me because I respected him as a teacher, an artist and a role model and he had noticed the growth I'd felt within myself.

Being taught by Denzil Bailey, Paul Liburd and Buddy Watkins during my time at LSC was inspiring. These 3 men of colour were more like me than any other members of staff and I just remember thinking: “If I can be half as successful as any of them, then I’ve achieved something great! Then it will be my turn to inspire the next generation, just like they inspired me!”. 

How do you feel your time at LSC prepared you for your career?

I was blessed to have some truly great teachers and lecturers who REALLY knew their craft and helped prepare me. Jane Sanig made me fall in love with ballet; Alison Desbois made me fall in love with Matt Mattox Technique; alongside Denzil (Ballet) Paul and Buddy (Contemporary: Graham Technique) who I've already mentioned.

 

I also must not forget lecturers like Julia Gleich, Mark Harris, Josephine Leask and Lise Uytterhoeven; who all reminded me that along with my practical talents, I was also incredibly academic & theoretically talented and could really use these as transitional skills to support my practical work and thus, my career. It was a privilege to be taught by and in turn inspired by all of them and this further supported my decision to leave second year early and go to New York and train at the renowned Ailey School before returning to complete my third year in order to obtain my degree.

If you could give one piece of advice to our graduates what would it be?

Join EQUITY, think long term, stay in contact with contacts and do what makes you happy! (That's 4 pieces of advice but they are all equally important)

What's one piece of advice you would give to current LSC students?

Blind them with your "strengths" while you're working on the things which maybe aren't where you want them to be or aren't where they need to be - this also applies to graduates!

LSC Alumni Profile; Luke Brown

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Ahead of his UK tour with his dance company, LSC alumnus, Luke Brown spoke to us to discuss his time at LSC.

Luke Brown graduated from London Studio Centre in 2012, having specialised in Contemporary Dance and toured with INTOTO dance company. Since graduating he has worked as both a dancer and choreographer for companies including Frantic Assembly, English National Opera, Junk Ensemble, Ben Wright and Lila Dance Company. In 2014 Luke formed Luke Brown Dance with the aim to create emotionally charged and accessible performances, combining dance, text and storytelling. This autumn Luke Brown Dance are undertaking on their first tour with their piece For You I Long The Longest funded by the Arts Council, which includes a performance on home turf here at artsdepot. Luke explained the importance of bringing a piece of his professional work back to LSC saying “Performing at LSC, where my love for making was ignited, is a beautiful thought and to have support from staff and alumni would be the absolute best”. Ahead of his performance at artsdepot he also shared some advice for our students and graduates.

How do you feel your time at LSC prepared you for your career?

LSC prepared me in many ways for a career in the arts. The main factor being that I graduated with a well-rounded knowledge of numerous disciplines. I have been able to utilise my training in my own work and in other roles as a performer. My work is moving towards dance theatre and I am able to make this new discovery thanks to the skills I was taught at LSC.

If you could give one piece of advice to our graduates what would it be?

You are now the master of your craft, fine tune it, refine it and most importantly look after yourselves. It’s a fun journey on the other side of LSC, you are finding your way. Always ask for help and advice if you need it. LSC will always be there to support you, use that support network. Discover what it is that you enjoy and focus some time on it. Join professional open classes, see work and try and get along to some company classes.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to current LSC students?

Soak up every single opportunity that is given to you. Know who it is that is teaching you or leading your lectures. My first couple of professional jobs immediately after graduating were with guest practitioners and teachers that I met during my time at LSC. Mostly enjoy yourselves, don’t forget why you wanted to pursue a career in the arts - it was because you loved it.

Luke Brown Dance will be performing in artsdepot on Thursday 8th November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available here. https://www.artsdepot.co.uk/dance/luke-brown-dance-you-i-long-longest

For more information about Luke Brown Dance and more tour dates visit their website below. https://www.lukebrowndance.com/tour/

LSC Alumni Profile; Jye Frasca

An interview with alumnus Jye Frasca, currently staring in Wicked on Broadway.Untitled 3

 

Jye Frasca joined London Studio Centre in 1997 and has since gone on to have great success in both film and theatre. After leaving LSC Jye went straight into his West End Debut, being cast as A-rab in West Side Story. Since then Jye has had a varied and diverse career. His credits include Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys (London Original Cast and Las Vegas), Natan Leopold in Thrill Me (London Original Cast), Robert Cohn in Fiesta (London Original Cast), Wicked (London Original Cast), Mary Poppins (London Original Cast), We Will Rock You (London), Anything Goes (London NT), Love’s Labour’s Lost (London NT), Mr Mistofolees in Cats (London), Pepper in Mamma Mia (London), A-rab in West Side Story (London Revival Cast).

Currently starring in Wicked on Broadway in the role of Boq, we spoke to Jye earlier this summer to find out more about his time at LSC and if he has any advice for our students and graduates.

What is your favourite memory of your time at LSC?

I have too many! But if I have to pick one, I suppose my favourite memory would be getting the opportunity to play the lead role of Claude in the Seedtime production of Hair! It fully prepared me for what I would have to do throughout my career, giving me the opportunity to really focus on refining my craftsmanship and getting to lead a company.

The course gave me the gift of working with the best teachers and I was able to put that all into practice doing that show. I then was fortunate enough to sign with my first agent and during the summer break landed my first West End show, West Side Story.

Looking back, How do you feel LSC prepared you for your career?

The level of focus one must have for their craft and to have a successful career is no small feat. It requires discipline, dedication, and a lot of hard work. The course at LSC gave me all the tools I needed to really guide me and it prepare me for a professional career in the theatre. Along with the amazing faculty at LSC we also got to work with guest teachers who were working professionally in the West End. You have a real opportunity to absorb so much information and put it all into practice.

If you could give one piece of advice to our graduates what would it be?

Follow your dreams and keep going - In this day and age of social media we are seeing peoples outward lives. Now, I love social media but it can confuse people into thinking that they are not doing well themselves which is simply not true. You are only seeing what people want you to see which can be slightly misleading.. but if you are smart you will never put anything negative on your own social platforms! I believe you need to really ask yourself "what is my dream?" Whatever it is, take the steps to fulfill it and stay focused. You can achieve anything you want but you must stay true to yourself and very focused. You will hear many no's throughout your career and it will be frustrating. I have been there and felt it. But keep going. Your dreams can be your reality with hard work and focus. There is no time limit and no rush. "Run your own race, that way you will always win and be happy for those winning around you"!

And do you have any advice for our current students?

You are your own teacher - You are at an amazing place that will give you all the tools you need to have the career you want but it is up to you, and you alone, to do the work. This is something that stays true not just at LSC but after in your life and in your career ahead. I still do endless hours of practice as I want to be the very best I can be and see how far I can go. Don't settle for great, be extraordinary. With hard work and dedication anything is possible and this is your time to put the work in and really excel.

LSC Alumni rock back into Bat Out of Hell for 2018

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LSC Alumni rock back into Bat Out of Hell for 2018

Jim Steinman’s hit musical Bat Out of Hell has returned to London’s West End. Based on the music of Meatloaf, Bat out of Hell is a loose adaptation of Peter Pan and Wendy, set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan, now called Obsidian. After winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical in 2017, and receiving 8 WhatsOnStage nominations this year, Bat out of Hell is currently booking at the Dominion Theatre, London until October 27th 2018.

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‘Enough electricity between the young lovers alone to blast the roof off this glorious theatre’. The Mail on Sunday

‘Loud, exhilarating and blows your socks off’. The Independent

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LSC Alumni are reprising their roles in Bat out of Hell having been members of the original cast last year.

Georgia Carling was on tour with Bat Out of Hell last year in the role of Valkyrie, and is thrilled to be returned to the show this April.

Georgia graduated from London Studio Centre in 2012, having been a member of Seedtime, our 3rd year music theatre company, winning the Dame Anna Neagle Award. Since graduating she has played the title role in the UK tour of Angelina Ballerina. Further credits include Hairspray (UK tour), Water Babies (The Leicester Curve theatre), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), and Beauty in Beauty and the Beast (Oxford Playhouse).

In 2017 LSC alumnus Isaac Edwards’ made his west end debut in Bat Out of Hell and he is currently in his second contract with the show. Since graduating

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Isaac has established a highly successful career, specifically developing his work in the commercial dance field.

Since graduating Isaac has performed as a featured dancer for the International Olympic Welcoming Committee at the London 2012 Olympics and has worked with renowned British hip hop dance company ZooNation, in their production of Groove on Down the Road (2014) and Into the Hoods London and UK tour (2016).

Michael Naylor

Michael Naylor graduated from London Studio Centre in 2013 as a part of the INTOTO Dance Company and has gone on to work as a creative choreographer and performer.

2017 marked Michael’s debut in choreographing for the West End working as Resident Choreographer for Bat Out of Hell. His Outstanding prior performance role as a featured dance and dance captain for the show enhanced the creativity he was able to give to his choreography.

Michael has danced on various renowned street/hip hop theatre shows, Blaze dance company’s international tour. He creates his own choreography in between his performing commitments and has established a unique contemporary/hip hop fusion vision to his work, showcasing a lot of this internationally.

Michael keeps close connections with LSC and choreographed Hapori for Dance Overture at the New Wimbledon Theatre in 2016.

Third Year Company Tours 2018

Third Year Company Tours

 

Every final year student becomes a member of one of London Studio Centre’s four performing companies – INTOTO Dance (contemporary dance), Images Ballet Company (classical ballet), The Jazz Dance Company (jazz theatre dance) and Seedtime (music theatre). Students work with industry professionals to create their productions, alongside an intense programme of training.

Images Ballet Company

Through May and June, Images Ballet Company 2018 toured their diverse programme of work.

Having specialised in classical ballet, the students in Images Ballet Company worked with a team of industry professionals including choreographers, musicians, producers and designers. The dancers performed 4 pieces choreographed by Morgann Runcare-Temple, Erico Montes, Hubert Essakow and Bim Malcomson and accompanied by live musicians, Tom Ellis and Elliot Perks.

The creative process of each work and its choreographer was arranged by Artistic Director Jennifer Jackson, to reflect the professional and collaborative attributes of ballet performances in the industry today.

Music was central to this year’s show each ballet growing from a unique creative process to display the versatility of ballet.

A review of their performance at Didcot, Oxfordshire can be found at:

https://oxforddancewriters.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/images-ballet-co-cornerstone-didcot-13th-june-maggie-watson-reviews/

 

INTOTO Dance Company

     INTOTO Dance 2018 comprised of 20 of our third year students on the contemporary pathway, delivered a stimulating and entertaining dance  performance, reflecting the eclecticism of contemporary dance today.

 Working with highly experienced choreographers Dam Van Huynh, Abi Mortimer, Anthony Missen and Nuno Campos.

 Dam founded his own company in 2008. His work is known for being distinctive and having a ‘deep interest in redefining the body and its movement   capability’. Dam described the students of INTOTO as ‘hard working and dedicated’ and thoroughly enjoyed the creative process.

Abi Mortimer, who collaborated with the students to create Out Of Empty Arms, founded the Lila Dance company, with her work being showcased at renowned venues including Sadler’s Wells.

Anthony Missen, co-artistic director of Chameleon commented how ‘It was a treat to be amongst such hungry, inquisitive and committed students’. INTOTO were also delighted to work LSC alumnus and former Henri Oguike contemporary dance member Nuno Campos to create As We Are.

 

 

Jazz Dance Company

 

The Jazz Dance Company took audiences on a journey through the ‘Decades’, a performance that captured the essence of changing eras through dance and music styles. Audiences described Jazz Dance Company Tour as ‘uplifting and inspiring’.

Their showcase delivered a range of dance styles including hip hop, commercial, tap, music theatre, lyrical jazz, contemporary and technical jazz reflecting the versatile jazz dance training undertaken by the students.

The company worked with renowned choreographers for the pieces on the tour including Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy MBE (Olivier Award winning ‘Pied Piper’), Nikki Trow (X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Little Mix), Anthony Whiteman (Mack and Mabel, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation), Matthew Cole (Footloose, Flashdance) and Carrie-Anne Ingrouille (Zoonation, Hamilton).

 

 

Seedtime Musical Theatre

 

This year’s Seedtime musical theatre company took to the Pleasance Theatre in June to showcase their rendition of Legally Blonde the Musical.

Audiences saw the transformation of young Elle Woods brought to life by our committed aspiring professionals, who delivered a highly entertaining and energetic run of shows.

Throughout their final year of professional training, Artistic Director of the company, Matthew Shaw, provides the students with opportunities to work with performers in the industry through west end style workshops and an agent week in which students can start learning how to prepare effectively for auditions in their future career.

Seedtime work with a team of industry professionals, in order to experience performing in a professional production.

 

Even though their tours are now complete, the hard work and success of our graduates is continuing. Many have signed with renowned agencies including Boland and Reeve, Becky Barrett Management, Russell Smith Associates, FLP Management and Cowley Knox and Guy; Images Ballet Company member Anna Heery has gained an apprentice contract with Ballet Theatre UK working on ballets including Swan Lake and a new version of Beauty and the Beast and many students have even begun professional contracts already!