Alumnae return for 10th anniversary dance show
Four alumnae joined over a hundred students for a dance spectacular in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the University through Diversity show at London’s prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on 5 December.
Jacynth Bassett (2010), Charlotte Lawson (2012), Korede Morris (2011) and Rebecca Jackson (2013), who had all regularly appeared in the show since it began, took to the stage to perform solo pieces and join in the group dance finale. For all four, the show was a very fondly remembered tradition which had meant a great deal to them. In fact Korede and Rebecca are still very much involved in dance.
The show delivered 25 superb performances, plus a stunning finale, across all age ranges, from Year 7 to Year 13, and in a huge range of genres from Ballet and Musical Theatre to Jazz and Bollywood.
Speaking at the end of the evening, Mrs Georgina Calvert, who was responsible for starting the show and helping to raise dance to its current high level of popularity said: “Ten years ago when I arrived as Head of PE, I decided to let girls showcase their own work – a bit of a risk, but it was popular, so I went with it, and we had about 14 performances that first year. Since then dance and this show have gone from strength to strength.”
Whilst planning the show, alongside Head of Drama Miss Yandell, Mrs Calvert had reflected on the reasons for its appeal, in particular how it embodies the Sydenham spirit with all ages (Years 7-13) working incredibly well together:
“It continues to surprise me that every year the number of students auditioning grows and the range of styles remains so broad. [the show is] not only for the most elite performers, but creates an opportunity for all. Many students who perform once come back and perform again. They grow and develop in confidence in both their performance and their technical development.”
Over the years the school has been involved with a huge variety of projects including: Lewisham Dance; the Great British Dance Off with finals at Wimbledon Theatre; leading The Big Dance at St John’s Primary School and workshops at Drumbeat with young adults with learning needs. Now dancers are also about to enter UDance, a Nationwide competition, with a video taken at the dance show.
The collaboration between PE and Drama in the last two years has also taken dance in new directions involving experienced and inspirational dance coaches. Rebecca Denby, who project manages a range of schemes at Laban, has been working with Sydenham High students during this time, leading the contemporary dance company whose numbers have doubled along with their technique and confidence. The show’s finale was created and rehearsed in a workshop run by Rebecca on the day of the show. Meanwhile Kira Bishop from Pineapple Dance studios joined the team this term and led two street dance groups who also performed in the show.
The choice of venue for a ten year milestone had to be special, concluded Mrs Calvert: “Trinity Laban conservatoire of music and dance is the world’s largest purpose-built centre for contemporary dance and very much open to all. Dancers from all over the world dream of performing here so I can think of no more fitting place for our anniversary show to be held.“