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A once in a lifetime opportunity beckons for a talented group of our second year students at London Contemporary Dance School. This morning Jade Brider, Jevan Howard-Jones, Margarida Macieira and Kyle White landed in China. The students will be performing Drift by James Wilton at The Beijing Dance Academy’s 60th celebration gala

This celebration runs 10 – 16 October and includes performances, lectures and exchange classes in Beijing. There are 20 higher education organisations that have been invited to participate in this prestigious event including University of Auckland, Goldsmiths University of London, State University of New York, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Dai Ailian Foundation, Nihon University, National Academy of Dance-Rome, Middlesex University, Brigham Young University, Taipei National University of the Arts, Macao Conservatory, and University of Cincinnati.

Drift was originally created by James when he was in his second year of training at LCDS and he is delighted to be able to re-work it from a duet to a quartet on this current group of students. Drift has also recently been staged on Scottish Dance Theatre (2010-2014) and Ballet Hagen, Germany (2013). James Wilton, who is also attending the gala, says of the creation experience “it’s a full circle, I made this piece in the first term of my second year, so to come back to the School and to pass on what I've learnt to along the way is rewarding. The piece surprised me, it's the third time it’s been reworked and yet these dancers brought something new to it, they have a different entry point to it and are finding their own in personal voices within it, which is great.”

Jevan Howard-Jones says “it’s an exciting opportunity, working with James is such a privilege, because his movement is so original and just fun to do.”

Says Kyle White, “it’s the first time I’ve been abroad, and it’s to China so I’m excited about the cultural shock. I think it will also be great to make connections, there will be dancers from all over the world going.”

Veronica Lewis Principal at LCDS and David Steele Vice-Principal will be presenting a seminar on the importance of creating an educational culture that nurtures the uniqueness of each young artist, supporting their individual talents and guiding their creative development as part of the Gala in Beijing. 

David Steele said “this is a fantastic opportunity for the students to meet with other dance students not only from China, but across the world. As there are representatives from many of the world’s major dance education institutions it will be a rare and extraordinary event that will enable us to see first-hand how training and education works in schools across the globe, and to exchange ideas about the future of contemporary dance.”

Veronica and David flew out to China before the students so that they could also combine it with a visit to Shanghai Theatre School. As part of the developing relationship between the two schools, Lin Zhang who is a teacher from the Shanghai Theatre School, will be shadowing staff at LCDS to learn more about the holistic approach to dance training we employ across the School.

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