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MA: The Body in Performance

Course Description

Advance your creative practice and question ideas of the body and performance through an integrated theoretical and practical programme.

"I'm always excited and challenged by the range of artists who attend the MA: The Body in Performance programme. Throughout the year we exchange ideas through practical sessions and seminar discussions, resulting in a lively and critically supportive research environment. The resulting performances and installations act as a key moment where a wider audience is invited in to share the results of this rigorous investigation of the body in performance."

Martin Hargreaves
Programme Leader, MA: The Body in Performance

Programme Information

This programme provides the opportunity for you to engage in the creation of dance theatre work which pushes at the boundaries of the discipline. This will be work that focuses on the live act and does not necessarily involve the display of technique or the abstract arrangement of bodies moving in space. It will not always appear in dance spaces, and may address an audience outside of theatrical frameworks - or it may redeploy these techniques, spaces and frameworks to position the performing body in new relationships to the bodies of the spectator.

The interrogation of ideas of 'the body' and of 'performance', as posed by traditions of dance and theatre, as well as by other art forms, will be central to your research. The intertwining of theory and practice is stressed within this programme and your investigations will have outcomes which employ both live performance and written documentation.

Programme Content

The focus is on students' own creative performance practice and you will be introduced to various methodologies for devising, articulating, documenting and presenting this practice. Investigative and creative processes are explored within studio-based modules, with opportunities to consolidate this research into performances across Laban's theatres. Lectures and seminars that discuss philosophical concepts of subjectivity and embodiment do so in the context of artistic movements concerned with rethinking the nature of the body, movement and identity. This offers a sense of historical context, and the opportunity to consider your work within wider discourses on the performing body. The programme nurtures and fosters collaborative and interdisciplinary experiences as a means of exploring the devising process within a situation where exchange, discussion and critical reflection are central.

The taught content of the modules is delivered by a team comprised of Laban staff and visiting artists and lecturers. It consists of the following:

M-502 Research Methods 30 credits
M-531 Creative Strategies 30 credits
M-532 Histories of the Body 30 credits
M-533 Performance Research and Development 30 credits
M-505 Project 60 credits

Your project can take the form of a performance, lecture demonstration, written dissertation or a mixed mode project.

Programme Aims

• To engage with contemporary research into the body in performance through the provision of studio-based explorations of methods for creative practice, documentation and performance presentation.
• To facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary practice as a means to synthesise knowledge from complex, incomplete or contradictory perspectives embedded in arts practice.
• To consider key concepts of the body and subjectivity in 20th - 21st century art-making, their philosophical context and the manner in which they have informed innovations in performance.

Progression Routes

Graduates of the MA: The Body in Performance go on to produce performance work that is programmed in international festivals of dance and performance. Many continue to pursue practice based research into PhD studies and also to disseminate their work through writings in journals and at symposia and conferences.

"Engaged in contemporary critical discourse, providing the ground for diverse practices and reinforcing collaboration, the course has surely been the most valuable experience for my artistic development."
Eleni Koukoli, MA The Body in Performance graduate

Visit the MA: The Body in Performance page on the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Verity Quade, Vocalist

1196.gif Trinity Laban was one of the most positive experiences of my life both socially and vocationally. If I had my time again, I still wouldn’t choose to go anywhere else. The teachers are the leading exponents in their fields, which is invaluable. To be taught by people that still actively do what they are teaching is inspirational.

(Student Profile)

Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour, Composer

1197.gif Trinity Laban’s wide-ranging courses enabled me to expand my musical knowledge beyond the confines of a degree. The accessibility to all professors enabled me to work with Sioned Williams, and this resulted in a commission from the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a harp concerto. What better way to start a career.

(Student Profile)

Adam Waldmann, Saxophone

1198.gif Studying at Trinity Laban offered me a great chance to study under some of the country’s most highly regarded educators and musicians. The Jazz Department provided me with some invaluable tools, encouragement and knowledge that I will always be grateful for.

(Student Profile)

Samuel Burstin, Viola

1200.gif My time at Trinity Laban gave me a breadth of musical experiences that have been vital to my progress as a violinist and as a musician. The range of musical performance, specialist tuition and personal freedom I enjoyed there was wonderful, and that, allied to the beautiful setting of the Conservatoire in the heart of Greenwich, allowed me space to grow and develop musically.

(Student Profile)

Fiona Kelly, Flute

1201.gif When I decided I wanted to study in London I realized that Anna Noakes was definitely the perfect match for me. I spent four fantastic years with her. As well as being an amaxing player and teacher, she has unbelievable energy and a fantastic sense of humour. I wouldn’t be halfthe player I am without her unbelievable support and guidance. There was also a terrific flute department, and wonderful, inspirational and supportive students. Trinity Laban was exactly the kind of environment I needed to be in.

(Student Profile)

Dylan Crossman

1202.gif Studying at Laban taught me to look at movement in a different way. Today, it makes me very aware, as a dancer, of what I am doing and where I am in space while at the same time being present, here and now. I learned to be a diverse dancer, how to work, how to learn. Be yourself and make choices as a performer. That’s what people want to see!!

(Student Profile)

Nicola Conibere

1203.gif The explorations I began through the MA programme enabled me to discover a way of working that integrates my theoretical and practical interests in performance, and remains the foundation for the work I make today. This was the result of study which not only nurtured tireless interrogation of both theoretical discourse on performance and the practical issues of making it, but, importantly, suggested that each area is equally capable of enlightening the other.

(Student Profile)

Luca Silvestrini

1204.gif I will always look back at my time at Laban as one of the most significant turning points of my life. The teachers, choreographers and fellow students I came into contact with have all played a considerable role in the development of my passion for dance and choreography into a successful career.

(Student Profile)

Rosalie Wahlfrid

1205.gif Trinity Laban has offered me three very different years of training and guidance. I have been provided with a base of great knowledge and understanding of my body and mind, my own responsibility as a student and investigation into what my interests are, both as performer and dance maker. This has been essential for entering a professional environment. I have had the opportunity to work with great artists that have nurtured and inspired me to continue my journey in the profession. I have experienced freedom and been given the space to start research of my own practice whilst working alongside other dance artists.


Entry Requirements

You will normally have professional dance, theatre or performance experience and have successfully completed a UK undergraduate degree in an appropriate or related subject, or an overseas award of equivalent standard (e.g. USA degree - GPA 3.00 or above). English Language competency requirements also apply.

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Recipient: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

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