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Congratulations and good luck to the class of 2016!

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Today is the final graduation day for our third year students as they collect their degree certificates from Middlesex University this afternoon. Last Saturday we celebrated the work and achievements of our graduating year group in a ceremony at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Staff, students, family and friends gathered together first to watch Dance Overture, a first and second year performance; before third years were called up to the stage to collect their award certificates. This year the students were greeted and received their awards from LSC alumni Daniel Crossley, who is known for his roles in Singin’ In the Rain, Hello, Dolly! and Mary Poppins to name a few.

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[LSC Graduates: Daniel Crossley, right (Cosmo Brown) Scarlett Strallen, centre (Kathy Selden) with co-star Adam Cooper, left (Don Lockwood) Singin' in the Rain, Stage Entertainment. Photo © Manuel Harlain]

 

As well as being presented with a certificate of their achievements, the following students also received special awards:

Terilee Christiansen – Most outstanding performance in INTOTO Dance

Michelle Rose – Peter Brinson Award (awarded for achievement in Contemporary Dance)

Jessica Keable – Lia Williams Cup (most outstanding performance in Seedtime)

Gabrielle Pemberton – Sheila O’ Neill Award (awarded for achievement in Music Theatre and Dance)

Jacqueline Back – Most outstanding performance in Images Ballet Company

Demi Aldred – Founders Cup (awarded for achievement in Classical Ballet)

Nolan Robba – Most outstanding performance in Jazz Dance Company

Emma Cooke – Gillian Lynne Award (awarded for achievement in Jazz Dance)

Hannah Tunnicliffe – Vic Ray Shield for Tap (awarded for achievement in Tap Dance)

Heidi Dilley – Espinosa Award (awarded to the most accomplished student of the year)

Georgia Homewood – Hilda Coleman Trophy (awarded for the most progress achieved)

 

Congratulations to all third year students on your achievements. Remember to check out our Alumni Association page, keep in touch with us and up to date with your all endeavours.   

LSC alumni soar into the wizarding world of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child artwork

The frenzy around Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is beginning to rise as the productions cast and creatives work on the finishing touches before opening night in less than a month's time. Based on an original new story by J.K.Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne will receive its world premiere in London's West End at the Palace Theatre this Summer. The play is based 19 years later after the original well-loved story finished and will be the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. 

The cast brings together a mix of actors from various performing pathways and includes two LSC alumni; Nuno Silva and Joshua Wyatt.

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Above: Nuno Silva (left) and Joshua Wyatt (right) 

Nuno's career has credits from a wide spectrum of theatre; including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for Birmmingham Rep, The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare's Globe, Little Shop of Horrors at the Royal Exchange Theatre. He has been in The Light Princess at the National Theatre, Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre, Maria De Buenos Aires at Cork Opera House. As well as appearing as a dancer in Dr. Dee at Manchester International Festival and the ENO, The Crane Maiden in Yokohama, Japan, An Anatomy in Four Quarters and The Most Incredible Thing at Sadler's Wells and God's Garden at the Royal Opera House. 

Joshua graduated from LSC and went straight into the emsemble of Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, London. Later appearing in Tommy at Blackpool Opera House and Loserville at Union Theatre, London. Joshua is making his debut in his first acting based role in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

We recently caught up with Joshua to see how excited he is about his new venture:

Joshua: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has undoubtedly been completely different from anything else I have done since leaving college. However, at the same time, the sheer scale of the production makes it feel like a hybrid, almost a brand new genre of theatre altogether.

What has made your experience in this rehearsal period so different from other productions?

J: When in the cast of a musical theatre production I was used to a patterned process, a dance warm up and a singing warm up, then onto learning and rehearsing the production numbers. In my previous jobs, the productions were mostly set and only varied slightly during the rehearsals. In one day of rehearsals we would learn a whole song and dance number and then the creativity involved was more concentrated to an individual putting their unique spin on a character. At the moment each day is different for me, we still have a physical warm up in the morning, but because this is the premier of the play, there is an infinite creative process going on. The challenging part for the whole cast  is keeping up with the huge amounts of changes and rewrites, constantly learning new adapted lines and cutting old ones, it really tests you as a performer.

What have you enjoyed the most about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child so far?

J: Being able to observe the progression and development of the production is one of the most appealing parts of doing a piece that is brand new. Compared with a musical where you can have a text, song and dance to convey the storyline to the audience, this is one of the first times I have gone into so much detail with a script and character. You bring your body, character and ideas with as much detail as you can to rehearsals and the director works with you once you have interpreted the text. It is a very interesting process and I enjoy the flexibility and freedom it brings. You get to use so much of your imagination; it's very exciting.

How did London Studio Centre prepare you for different genres of theatre?

J: LSC provided me with the skills to be able to adapt to pretty much all scenarios and jobs out there. The training was intense with a heavy dance schedule. In a normal day we could be running from ballet in your tights straight into a singing lesson; still glistening in sweat, then throwing on your tap shoes before being given some papers on how to do a northern accent for your acting class. The training was so diverse, which is what attracted me to LSC in the first place.

What advice would you give to other eager performers?

J: LSC instilled in me the idea of being a 'thinking dancer', which is such a valuble message for when I was out auditioning in the industry, it reminded me to not fall into the habit of being a clone. If I could give any advice to others it would be to never turn down opportunities and if none come your way, create some! Keeping your skills and talents at an employable level is one of the hardest tasks when you've finished college because as soon as you stop doing class everyday it's like an hour glass, unless you keep going, improving and maintaining skills, then when the time comes you won't make the grade. Treat everything like a muscle. It needs to be worked to be maintained and strengthed. And always be polite!

Alumni have found their 'Golden Ticket'

London Studio Centre alumni have started in the new cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London's Drury Lane Theatre. Alexander Bartles, Katrina Dix (assistant dance captain) and Rebecca Hodge (swing) join existing alumni Georgia Carling in the ensemble of the Roald Dahl classic tale; as it enters its final year in the West End.

We caught up with two of the new cast members before opening night to see how they were getting on: 

Q: How does it feel to be getting closer to opening night? Are you getting excited?

Katrina: It's very exciting, but of course there's some nerves in the mix too. We've been very fortunate to have quite a long rehearsal process to prepare us, however I still can't believe how fast it has flown.

Alexander: Very excited to be getting closer to the big day! I think everyone at this point knows the show inside out; it’s just a matter of running the pieces and practicing with wigs and costumes. Because the costumes are so elaborate and heavy, it does change the choreography somewhat; so we are just adapting and making our bodies ready for the opening night.

Q: How have you found the rehearsal process? What skills had LSC given you to prepare for this?

K: The rehearsal process has been challenging. With this particular show there are a lot of prop and costume elements to contend with and such a wide range of styles vocally and physically. At London Studio Centre, the training is so diverse you really are prepared for any styles that are thrown at you!

A: The rehearsal process started really fast and hard, we learnt a routine everyday and almost all the songs by the end of week one. By having all the information and material as soon as possible, it allowed us to spend more time developing our characters and get as strong as possible in the dance routines ready for the costume runs. In general though the rehearsal process has been physically and emotionally quite tough. This cast change over has been quite large however so there were a lot of us in the same boat who could lean on each other for support. The rigorous training we had and became accustomed to at London Studio Centre really made me aware and knowledgeable about what my body can do. This meant I could push through the first few weeks of rehearsals confident of my capabilities and not become overwhelmed by the workload.

BackstageCharlieBackstage Photo collection, featuring alumni Alexander Bartles, Katrina Dix and Rebecca Hodge.

What skills had LSC given you to be able to audition, rehearse and perform successfully?

K: At London Studio Centre, the schedule was very rigorous and demanding, which helped me to develop the strength, stamina and technique needed to sustain me through the rehearsal process. Also throughout our training we were presented with multiple audition and performance experience opportunities, so upon graduation I felt well prepared for audition scenarios.  

A: LSC really helped me learn how to conduct myself in auditions. I graduated from Seedtime (LSC's Musical Theatre professional third year company) directed by Matthew Shaw. Within the company I learnt advanced audition etiquette and our weekly repertoire sessions gave me a strong portfolio of material to use in auditions. The first two years of LSC provided me with a stable foundation; the technique classes made me feel comfortable in all auditions. I have a strong understanding of jazz and ballet technique, which is what you really need to rely on in all auditions. LSC’s continuous focus and development on precision and attention to detail, within barre work and jazz technique has helped me enormously in auditions and jobs so far.

What skills have you had to learn/develop through the rehearsal process?

K: Learning to tap dance on my hands is something I can definitely say I have never done before this contract!! It was so enjoyable and exciting to learn a skill that none of us could have imagined doing prior to this show. There are so many things I have enjoyed about this process so far, but one thing in particular has been the extremities to which you can push your performance and character - there is no such thing as too much, especially with the Oompa Loompas! Every move has a detailed thought process attached to it; which really stimulates you mentally and enables you get lost in the story.

What have you found hardest? What advice can you pass on to aspiring performers?!

K: I've always enjoyed physical and athletic ways of moving, but this show really pushes you to new heights as some of the costumes are particularly heavy (one weighing 4 stone!). The first time we rehearsed with costumes was a real challenge mentally and physically, but the more we persevered and encouraged one another, the more we were able to get to grips with it all. My advice to aspiring performers would be to always embrace new challenges with an open and positive mind. Mind over matter is always the way!

A: The hardest thing I have found since leaving college is the mental and emotional side of the industry. We are prepared physically very well but even if you are prepared to face rejection; it still doesn't prepare you fully for the amount of no's you will hear. I have been extremely lucky in my career so far but I have also had periods in which I just had to motivate myself to not stop driving forward. You can be your own best friend and own worst enemy, so a good support system is always needed. My advice to new performers would be to really go for it but also remember there are always going to be other opportunities. Make a good friendship group at college and through auditioning and working, and help each other as much as you can. Tearing down other people's confidence helps no one, be happy, be humble, be just a nice person to work with!

What have you enjoyed most? What are you looking forward to the most?

A: In this job I have enjoyed getting to know my colleagues the most and just marveling at what we are doing in the show. In college you are taught to dance but when in a show like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory we are also performing with props that no student would dream of working with, such as tap dancing on our hands and dancing whilst juggling bouncing balls. Now I am looking forward to becoming confident with the show and really having fun with what I do!

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are currently taking bookings until January 2017. For more information about the show and how to book tickets, please click here.

We wish all our alumni in the cast the best of luck on their venture into the land of Willy Wonka.  

Boys' Day 2016

This year's Boys' Day took place on Saturday 30th April and was a roaring sucess, with boys traveling from around the country to join us in London for a day of specialist training.

London Studio Centre provide free workshops and classes in Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop , Jazz, Singing and Musical Theatre. These classes are especially designed for boys of all abilities with an interest in dance and theatre perfomance. The day is a fantastic opportunity to get a feeling for full-time training at London Studio Centre and to visit our state-of-the-art facilities at artsdepot. LSC produces this day annually to further encourage and develop the training of male dancers within the performing arts community. Each year the day features industry professionals who teach classes and offer a challenging and positive experience along side a wealth of tips and advice from the best in the business. 

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A lot of fun was had by all staff, students and attendees involved. This year we recieved some fantastic feedback about the event via social media and through the attendees testimonials. 

"Above and beyond expectations. Absolutely amazing day, enjoyed every second!" (Alfie)

"All the teachers and students were very welcoming and the dancing was really fun. Lived up to previous Boys' days at LSC" (Will)

"The day was fun and enjoyable and gave an insight into full-time dance education" (Harry) 

"Professional, informative and fun" (Toby)

"Useful feedback on how to improve, friendly, happy atmosphere" (Fabian)

 

We are excited to get started with the planning of the next Boys' event and eager to make 2017's Boy' Day even bigger and better. A big thank you to all staff and creatives involved, we look forward to welcoming you all back again next year. 

Bradshaw strides into uncharted endeavours

Luke Bradshaw trained with London Studio Centre and after opting for the contemporary dance pathway. He graduated from INTOTO DANCE, in 2013.

"INTOTO DANCE was a great learning curve and experience. The structure of each day is exactly that of a professional dance company; class in the morning and then into rehearsal for the rest of the day. It helps build the staying power and mindset needed to suceed as a professional dancer. Also when in INTOTO DANCE the working relationships with the leaders of the company developed from that of a student and teacher, to dancer and artistic director; this prepared me for professional life and allowed me to hit the ground running." LUKE BRADSHAW

LukeBradshawAbove: 5 SOLDIERS promotional tour image, Luke Bradshaw, centre.                                                                                                                                     

After LSC Luke went onto dance with various dance companies including The Burklyn Ballet Theatre and Kim Robard's Dance Company, in America. When returning to London he also worked with James Wilton Dance and Jorge Crecis. Luke has had sucess dancing for Citrus Arts, a contemporary circus and theatre company based in Wales, where he began his training in the art of Corde Lisse. After touring with Terry Gilliam's production of the opera Benvenuto Cellini, he began dancing for Dam Van Huynh Dance Company. Most recently Luke can be found dancing in Rosie Kay's Company, who won best international dance company of the year award at the National Dance Awards 2015, in a production called 5 SOLDIERS.


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Rosie Kay Dance Company's latest production 5 SOLDIERS has been hailed as a five star, award-winning show, that promises to change the way you think about war forever. A moving, dramatic and unique work that looks at how the human body remains essential to war. The production has been awarded best dance production 2015 from the North East Theatre Guide and has been given an Arts and Health Special Commendation by the Royal Society for Public Health for the company's excellent contribution to arts and health practice. 

"5 SOLDIERS which, in it's humane, unsparing study of modern army life, has taken Kay's choreography, and dance as a whole, into radically uncharted territory." THE GUARDIAN

"Simply a five star must-see however you view the armed forced." BIRMINGHAM PRESS

"Deeply moving, relevant and so representative of how soldiers are. Arresting and disturbing." FORMER GREEN JACKET SOLDIER


We caught up with Luke recently and asked him what advice he could pass on to aspiring performers in the world of contemporary dance:

L: I would tell them to trust the guidance of their teachers and the outside perspective they have on you. The impact of this guidance from LSC has had a hugely positive impact on my career and filtered through into my life in many other ways too. I would also implore them to not take notes and criticisms too personally. If you have the job, the director/choreographer likes you already, everything from that point onwards is about working together to produce the best possible work. Always be open and show up ready to fully commit to the process of creation and rehearse with as much energy as you perform; and then you can react and deal with surprises as they come. 

What skills did LSC arm you with for the professional world?

L: The biggest skill LSC gave me is knowledge and the importance of prioritising attention to detail, you have to always be personally responsible for retaining choreography and correction for yourself while remembering to be musical. LSC also taught me a range of dance techniques, the variety instilled in me a flexible mindset and approach to dance. This has been invaluable in allowing me to work with the varied and interesting companies that I have so far. 

 

Luke is a fantastic example of our alumni who are conscientiously always striding to improve upon their skillset. He has further developed his passion for writing after being awarded a BA hons at LSC and has seen his work published in dance magazines Tanz and Dance Europe. Luke also works in his spare time as a Yoga teacher and as a class pianist for a variety of dance classes in London.

"All three years of LSC are a journey and so is the rehearsal process in a professional company. Be open to constantly grow and become the best dancer you can be, even if it is not in the direction you had originally imagined. Always be open to learning new skills as you never know where they will take you." LUKE BRADSHAW

Luke is currently on the Army of Scotland Tour of 5 SOLIDERS until the end of May, visiting Glasgow, Glencorse, Stirling, Inverness and Aberdeen. For more information how to book tickets to catch this must see production please click here.