On the day our program (in residence at a renowned Conservatoire) started, I woke up at 6 am I thought to myself, “I never thought I’d be someone who was addicted to coffee, but then again I never thought I’d be waking up to go to a dance conservatory in London.” So, I guess stranger things have happened.
I and eight other Drexel dance majors are part of the specialized half dance half FIE program focused on studies relating to both the artistic and academic aspects of our program within Drexel. For the first portion of our program, we are attending the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, located in Greenwich, right on the Prime Meridian! We will work with Kate, a choreographer and professor at Laban, and two others, for four weeks. Then we will be participating in the two week international dance intensive also hosted at the Conservatoire, at which we take four sessions a day in various dance techniques of our choice.
On Tuesday, we took the District Line from South Kensington Station to Cannon Street in order to get on the National Rail to take us to Deptford Station in Greenwich, where The Trinity Laban Conservatoire is located. The trip in total takes about an hour. When we arrived the school had tea and coffee and Danish pastries for us to enjoy before we took a tour and met a few of our teachers for the program.
The building is both beautiful and modern, while still giving the vibe of a well-loved dance space. It was very satisfying to walk around and see everyone wearing dance clothes with their hair falling out of messy buns, and I felt very much at home.
We took an introductory technique class at 8:45 in the morning, with Tina Krasevec, in which I nearly cried from the overwhelming feeling of how much I love to move and how lucky I am to have this opportunity. After class, my friends shared this same sentiment. Then began our choreography workshop with Kate. We started out with pencils and drawing paper and were asked to start drawing without stopping, editing, or thinking. We then explored movement patterns to create something based off what we drew and how that was a testament to who we are in the world and the imprint we make on it. We were asked to think about our own processes in creating.
For a first day, it was demanding of our bodies, our minds, and our presence, but in a very fulfilling way. After our long day, they held a small reception for us at the bar within the school, which was a lovely way for us to feel welcome and meet some of the full time undergrad and graduate students.
It is every artists dream to change their scenery in order to change their figurative point of view, and all of us can acknowledge that we have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop our artistic voices and grow as individuals.