Press Release TRINITY COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND LABAN JOIN FORCES
TO CREATE UNIQUE MUSIC AND DANCE CONSERVATOIRE
Trinity College of Music and LABAN are delighted to announce their merger to create a dedicated conservatoire for music and dance, which will be the first of its kind in the UK. LABAN is one of Europe’s leading institutions for contemporary dance training, research and professional development, while Trinity College of Music is recognised as one of Europe’s most dynamic conservatoires. The merger is set to be completed by 1 August 2004, subject to the necessary regulatory consents, with a new Board of Governors in place for the 2004/05 academic year.
Paul Strang, Chairman of Trinity College of Music Board of Governors, and Sir Walter Bodmer, Chairman of LABAN Board of Directors, are enthusiastic about the benefits to be gained by both institutions in this collaboration:
“The bringing together of Trinity College of Music and LABAN is a really exciting venture for both institutions and is entirely consistent with their respective mission statements. This innovative collaboration will enrich the learning experience of students and the artistic community, promote excellence of student achievement and, importantly, offer opportunities for creative partnership in the local community, augmenting a provision already strong in both colleges.”
The joining of these two leading conservatoires creates a new force in the performing arts and offers an exemplar for the higher education sector of successful association between specialist institutions which strengthens their professional focus and maintains internationally recognised levels of student achievement. Whilst current degree programmes will be retained within each institution, the added value of collaborative ventures between composers, choreographers and performers which this partnership affords, means an enhancing of the current provision at each institution.
Following several artistic collaborations between Trinity and LABAN last year, further collaborations are already underway for this academic year. Masters students will be exploring performing live and experimenting with approaches to creative practice. This will run concurrent with the dance-music project OPUS 1, a collaboration between Theatre enCorps, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Gustav Mahler Society. These two conservatoires are at the cutting edge of their art forms and working in partnership in the future will open up many exciting avenues.
The new alliance of Trinity College of Music and LABAN will be headed by Gavin Henderson, Principal and Chief Executive Designate. The Director Designate of LABAN is Anthony Bowne, and the Director Designate of Trinity is Derek Aviss. The new institution will be directly funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Sir Howard Newby, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England states:
“I wish to applaud the way in which Trinity College of Music and LABAN have set about planning their merger. It is an amalgamation which has the full blessing and support of HEFCE; two highly specialised and well focussed colleges seeing the potential of academic and artistic partnership, to create what will be Britain’s first Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Neither will lose their existing art form strengths, as leader in their respective fields, but there will be much added value in the work they can develop together. I have no doubt that this partnership will do much to propel Britain’s advance in the creative industries, for the greatest benefit of our cultural well-being.”
Gerry Robinson, Chairman of Arts Council England adds his endorsement:
“LABAN’S new home in Deptford is one of the marvels of the moment, and I am proud that the Arts Council was able to assist in its creation with a major lottery award. So too Trinity’s new home in Greenwich is one of the great architectural achievements of the past – newly restored with support from the Heritage Lottery fund. The alliance of the two colleges brings about a remarkable synergy of arts, education, local authority and private resources – in creating Britain’s first Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Such partnership is a towering example for the future, and a wonderful injection of life – not only for this quarter of London, but for the nation as a whole. This is a visionary concept which deserves the greatest success.”
The collaboration adds to the growth of this area of South East London as a thriving, artistic hub. LABAN is situated in its awe-inspiring building at Deptford Creekside – winner of the 2003 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize – barely half a mile from Trinity College of Music in King Charles Court within the historic Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich. The new LABAN building was opened in February 2003. It is the largest purpose built facility for contemporary dance in the world, and includes the new Bonnie Bird Theatre and an amphitheatre. Trinity College of Music moved to King Charles Court in 2001 following extensive renovation of the 17th Century building, and the estate includes Blackheath Halls which Trinity acquired in July 2003.
The Rt Hon Nick Raynsford, Minister of State, MP for Greenwich and Woolwich says:
“The coming together of Trinity College of Music and LABAN is another great leap forward in the consolidation of this corner of London as a vibrant new cultural quarter. Both colleges have committed programmes of outreach work which are of enormous benefit to the wider community. So too their public performances and artistic residencies, at Blackheath Halls and Bonnie Bird Theatre, ensure that the national and international strength of their work is shared by a diverse public – both of those resident locally and visitors to the area. I am delighted about the joining up of these two venerable and dynamic institutions, in turn bringing about a joining up of Education and Arts resources. I wish them all success.”
Joan Ruddock, MP for Lewisham and Deptford is equally delighted with the new collaboration:
" I am immensely proud of LABAN's presence in our community. This world leading dance training institution with its vibrant, successful education and community programme is the jewel in our crown. Not only is it the best building in Britain as judged by RIBA, it is also the catalyst for much needed regeneration in our Borough.
The alliance with Trinity College of Music, a five minute walk from LABAN in our neighbouring borough Greenwich, will provide a dynamic and artistic powerhouse for South East London and the Thames Gateway."
ENDS. www.laban.org www.transitionsdancecompany.com www.transitionsdancecompany.co.uk