House of Lords: sciences detrimental to arts

A report from the House of Lords has deemed the focus on sciences as detrimental to the arts in schools, as a result of the Communications Committee investigating the barriers young people face when attempting to get into the performing arts industry. As part of the report, the committee heard from witnesses including director Indhu Rubasingham and the CEO of the Society of London Theatre, Julian Bird. Aside from supporting the report, they also highlighted the number of performers, directors and writers from more affluent backgrounds, and the under-representation of those from BAME communities.

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NBC’s ‘World of Dance’

Following its premiere on 30 May, the competitors of NBC’s ‘World of Dance’ have tough competition. World of Dance is a new dance competition series which will see 47 dance acts compete in three categories – Upper (groups of one to four dancers, 18 and older), Junior (any size act, 17 years old and under) and Team (groups of five or more, 18 and older). The dancers are competing for a prize of $1 million and will be judged by an all-star panel of experts, including Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, NE-YO and host Jenna Dewan Tatum.

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Free rehearsal time at Studio Wayne McGregor

Studio Wayne McGregor, home of Wayne McGregor’s prestigious dance company, has pledged to give away 5,000 hours of rehearsal time for free at its new studios in east London, every year. This is in order to address the lack of affordable dance space in and around London. The new multimillion pound studio in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opened on 31 March, opening its doors to artists at all stages of their career so they can use the company’s dance facilities.

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Rhythm Time

For over 20 years, Rhythm Time has been offering professionals with a passion for singing the opportunity to build a rewarding business. Rhythm Time is pre-school music franchise which taps into professionals who loves singing and wants to build a fun, rewarding career that offers the flexibility, whether you’re an actor, singer or dancer.

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West London’s new theatre

A new theatre is set to open in west London in October this year, named the Playground Theatre. The venue was originally founded in 2001 as a space for artists to explore theatrical ideas, without being a fully-fledged venue. After much restoration and conversion to the physical site, the Playground Theatre will open as a venue. Utilising a budget of £270,000, the new theatre will boast a seating capacity of up to 200, with a flexible stage and two dressing rooms.

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Auditioning skills

For performers, auditions can be the hardest part of the industry and their work. Once the dancer has the job, the hardest parts is over, but first they must get through that competing stage. However, auditions can be largely prepared for – bar the taught content of the audition – and dancers can practice handling how they respond to stress in group situations.

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The bad side of ballet training

Research has suggested that ballet training may encourage young students to suppress negative emotions, demonstrating potential psychological harm of ballet. Whilst this is rather a bold statement, research has revealed that studying music, for example, promotes a variety of cognitive and emotional benefits, whereas the results are more mixed for dance training, ballet in particular.

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