As you may of read I studied at London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS) for my degree & the apprenticeship I am now doing with Bern Ballet is also through LCDS or ‘The Place’.
Upon graduation you become part of The ‘Alumni’ Network, a vast and useful recourse keeping you connected to whats going on back at The Place, with the world of dance and connected to people who have been through the building at one point or another (there’s not many people in contemporary dance that at one point haven’t!)
Three times a year they bring out a newsletter so it came as a nice surprise to me when I was asked to feature in the Alumni profile section where they look at the endeavours of an Alumni member recent or old. Below is a copy of the interview, you can also go to the link below to read the full newsletter (my interview is on page 7 Issue 15 Spring 2012 ).
Do you have any particular memories of studying at The Place you would like to share?
Two things have stuck in my mind the most; the LC3 tour towards the end of my third year for which I was company co-ordinator, and the annual Christmas workshops we would do with Richard Alston Dance Company. Both experiences did so much in terms of developing my artistry and broadening my horizons within dance. Gaining firsthand experience of running and organising a company (LC3), being joined by dancers from RADC for class and learning a broad range of repertoire all enriched my learning and took my understanding and enjoyment of dance to another level.
You are a new member to the Alumni Network, what have you been doing since your graduation?
I graduated in 2011, unclear where I was going and so it felt extra special to be invited to join Bern Ballet in Switzerland as an Apprentice. I also created matthewoharedance.com, where I blog about dance, my experiences here in Switzerland, and conduct video interviews with choreographers and composers.
Together with John Ross, a fellow LCDS alumnus, I have also set up John Ross Dance. This is an exciting new project building links in dance education and bringing a whole new audience to contemporary art through multi- disciplinary arts evenings that we are setting up around the UK.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now I’m performing in an exciting new triple bill with Bern Ballet called V:Dance Everywhere, there’s two new creations from choreographers Noa Zuk and Erick Guillard and a revival of a beautiful duet from Finish choreographer Jyrki Karttunen.
At John Ross Dance, we have applied for The Place Prize 2012 and are hoping to go to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in summer 2013. We are also in the process of setting up a network of dance schools, colleges and youth groups around the country where we will teach workshops and master classes.
How has your training at LCDS helped you with in the first steps of your career?
There are far too many choreographers and teachers to acknowledge during my three years at The Place, but the one person in particular that stands out is Patricia Rianne, lecturer in ballet technique and the Artistic Director of LC3. The vast experience and knowledge she passed on to me has helped so much out in the professional world, and she continues to guide me in my endeavours with John Ross Dance, for which I am extremely grateful.
What top tips would you give to current students about training at LCDS?
The thing above all else I would say to current students at LCDS is: always believe in yourself, know that all the hard work is worth it in the end when you ‘get out’, and never let anyone knock you down or try to discredit you for what you believe in.
Merce Cunningham once said “You have to love dancing to stick to it”, I’ve always quoted it, but it’s only now after having spent time in a professional company that I truly understand the truth in that.
How do you hope to benefit from being part of the LCDS Alumni Network?
As a new member of the Alumni Network I am very excited to hear all about experiences of past students as they continue on their voyage of discovery in dance.