News: New Adventures in dance study

Tuesday 4 October 2011

New Adventures' Jonathan Olliver as the Swan in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.
Photo: Hugo Glendinning

There’s still time to apply for a unique part time degree course – offered by the Cultural Studies Dept at Birkbeck, University of London. T*he Foundation Degree in Performance: Dance* is part time, taking place on two evenings a week and some weekends, enabling students to maintain work commitments alongside structured and progressive artistic training. Applications are being accepted until Monday 17 October 2011.

Programme Director Maria Koripas*believes that this is the only dance degree in London offering part time specialist Contemporary Dance training that is specifically designed with an understanding of students’ work/life demands. Continuing the partnership which was formed last year, The Foundation degree is offered through a working partnership with Matthew Bourne’s *New Adventure*s* and Re:bourne education programme and this year for the first time, with The Place. This new development allows students to work closely with leading practitioner artists, whilst having a base and access to some of the excellent facilities and resources at The Place.

As well as studying the ethos and working methods of Bourne’s company, the students will have the opportunity to attend rehearsals and dialogue with members of the company. Etta Murfitt, Associate Director of New Adventures and a long time collaborator with Matthew Bourne, who continues to perform with the company, will be teaching modules of the course on the Repertory and Design and Delivery of Workshops. Students will also work with Isabel Mortimer, a professional dancer for 22 years who has been Resident Director with New Adventures and is now a life coach, whilst company members will also teach some of the Technique module in year 2. Along side this partnership a dedicated team of practicing artist tutors and distinguished guests will add to the range of teaching on this award.

The programme of study will include regular technique classes and choreographic workshops underpinned by historical context, movement analysis, self and project management sessions, Maria Koripas says that a central aim of the course is to “draw out the voice of the performer by nurturing their imaginative thinking and curiosity so they can experiment freely with their ideas and creative practice.”

As well as studying and interrogating choreography, students are encouraged to be “entrepreneurial, innovative and business like” and to address how they will present themselves as rounded, working artists. Birkbeck also runs courses in Arts Management and arts managers and dancers will study and work together on some projects.

The Foundation degree runs for 2 years and 2 terms with an option to progress to a part time BSc in Professional Studies. Future plans include the development of a BA in Creative Practice, with a Dance pathway. Both progressions take 1 year and 1 term to complete.

For more about the Foundation Degree in Performance: Dance at Birkbeck go to:** **”“: or email

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