Over 45 CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) students collaborated on a series of installations culminating in a spectacular visual cacophony for friends and family in the Riley Theatre. Students demonstrated their year of intense training via three small installations in NSCD studios marrying digital technology and dance to enhance the performances. In just four days, students choreographed the pieces entirely themselves and worked with Wayne Sables from Waynesablesproject to explore digital elements. The first installation used spotlights and lightboxes while dancers delivered a series of highly tuned duets of lifts, tumbles and freeze frames. The second piece used a transparent textile screen in the lighting studio to project powerful imagery which worked harmoniously with the dancers and described the intensity of a relationship when one is more immersed than the other. Lastly, students wowed the audience by using 360 film which used Google Cardboard imaging goggles to enable the audience to be present ‘in the middle of the piece’. As you moved your head, you came across different mini duets and solos all of which were staggeringly absorbing, especially when they came together and danced ’round you’.
CAT delivers non-residential, training programmes for young people aged 13–18 years. The scheme promotes best practice and provides exceptional and innovative tuition to young people, regardless of their personal circumstances. NSCD maintain close links with influential dance companies and artists, creating opportunities for children to work with and build relations with future employers, and to gain an inspiring yet realistic insight into the profession.
Students practice two evenings a week and Saturday’s plus Easter and Summer intensives culminating in an end of year show. Tracy Witney, Head of Learning & Participation and CAT said “We are exceptionally proud of the students. They literally worked on these pieces themselves with little support from us. This goes to show just how hard they have worked and how far their dance practice has evolved since being here. CAT is a wonderful opportunity for those with a real aptitude for dance to begin their successful careers as professionally trained dancers.
Working with Wayne has taken their experience to the next level. Being a professionally trained dancer himself, he has married his passion for film and multimedia to really push the boundaries of contemporary dance. We are so very privileged to work with him.”
Last year 12 of the graduating students accepted places at the UKs most prestigious conservatoires including Rambert and Trinity Laban as well as further training at NSCD. Another 10 have accepted offers around the UK in dance related higher education.