News: New Foundation Degree in Performing Arts

Friday 7 April 2006

Foundation Degree in Performing Arts
- with an emphasis on art forms of black origin.

WAC Performing Arts & Media College in Belsize Park, Hampstead has announced the launch of its new Foundation Degree in Performing Arts – which emphasises art forms of black origin.

The two year course is the first of its kind and has been made possible through a unique collaboration between WAC, London Metropolitan University and Metier Arts Training.

Duncan Sones, Metier’s Chief Executive said WAC is one of 30 organisations to receive funding from Europe to tackle discrimination in the arts labour market head on. Many institutions have attempted to attract black students, but they do not understand that there are different cultural traditions and career aspirations amongst young black British performers. The WAC course is a big win for the arts. It will support diversity in the sector and will unleash exciting talented performers who typically would not have had their abilities recognised and supported. The West End can be a more exciting place as a result of this investment.”

With a superb team of top tutors, the course offers over thirty modules from Hip Hop, RnB and Reggae Vocals to Jazz and Tap; from Capoeira, Kathak and Afrocuban dance to Physical Theatre, Storytelling and Theatre Text.

Specialist training in Dance, Drama and Vocals begins October 6th and includes some of the nation’s leading artists in their field.

Pinise Saul, hailed by the Guardian as ‘The Queen of Afro-Jazz’, will be leading classes in African singing. Pinise’s credits include featured singer with Grammy award winner David Murray, vocalist at Nelson Mandela’s birthday celebrations and appearance on a bill with the legendary Bob Marley.

Actor, director and Guildhall lecturer, Ann Mitchell, will be teaching drama technique. Theatre goers will recognise the name: her recent acclaimed performances with the RSC’s world tour of Tantalus, and Through the Leaves with Simon Callow in the West End come after a long, distinguished career. A veteran of WAC, Ann Mitchell says, “This is the most exciting project I have been asked to take part in”.

Additionally, students will be given the unique opportunity to be part of a working performance company under the direction of top professionals in the entertainment industry. The new WAC course at Interchange Studios promises to cultivate a fresh crop of artists with an international training and the whole world at their feet.

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