The UK is an exciting, inspiring place with a long illustrious history of creative achievement. It is home to a performing arts scene that precedes itself. Think Les Misérables, Billy Elliot and Mamma Mia! –– these musicals originated in the UK before travelling the world.
The performers, musicians, choreographers, and filmmakers that played prominent roles in the inception and sharing of these masterpieces are now just as renowned. Each is a household name that has contributed to making the UK the global influencer it is today.
That said, there is no better source of inspiration than the UK’s vibrant streets, historic museums, world-class galleries, iconic stages, and of course –– excellent scholarly institutions. Attracting students from all over the world, the nation’s art schools are known for producing not just performers, choreographers, and musicians but also stage managers, technicians, project managers, and other behind-the-scenes specialists with the skills and vision to add value wherever they go.
Plus, many of these schools, conservatoires, and studios have industry links that enable tomorrow’s performers to rub shoulders with the best of the best. With these connections, learners get a better sense of how they can make a living off artistic expression.
To spark your imagination and leap into a career in dance, theatre, or music, choose one of these schools:
London Contemporary Dance School, The Place
The power of the body in motion is something the London Contemporary Dance School, The Place (LCDS) knows best. It is one of Europe’s most exciting, innovative dance spaces with a lustre that attracts artists from across the globe. Each arrives with the goal to push creative boundaries and learn the art of captivating audiences through movement.
Across undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research programmes, its goal remains the same: to offer vocational training to the highest technical and artistic standards. As well as its outstanding track record for developing new generations of choreographic talents, LCDS also has a strong reputation for artistic experimentation and innovation within new parts of the field.
Take the MA Screendance, for instance –– a course designed in response to the potential of seeing dance on screens instead of just on stages. It examines movement on film and investigates the possibilities of combining moving images within an expanded sense of choreographic practice. The programme is one of a kind, offering students a rare chance to enter a field that is niche but that is growing rapidly. Facilitating lessons are world-class lecturers and some of the industry’s finest practitioners.
LCDS is a key part of The Place, a cultural hub equipped with a 288-seat theatre, which hosts over 200 performances a year; an extensive range of enriching classes and courses; an extensive artist development programme and touring productions; participatory opportunities for adults and young people; and a suite of professional development programmes for budding artists. Join them or take a closer look here.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
There are many reasons why Bristol Old Vic Theatre School attracts the very best talent in students and staff. Start with the fact that its courses are nationally and internationally recognised for outstanding quality.
From professional acting to technical, production and management training, every offering adds to the school’s long history of success while continuously solidifying its reputation as one of the most well-respected conservatoire drama schools in the UK.
Collaboration keeps them at the top –– while students from around the world offer fresh perspectives, a group of industry-leading staff members provide a wealth of relevant knowledge.
“I find it immensely satisfying passing on the baton and continuing the culture of generosity of the many people who taught me,” says Head of Scenic Art, Cathy Stewart. “It’s a privilege and pleasure to nurture and teach so many talented young people and see them flourish in their career.”
Developing these professionals are a wide range of inspiring courses that cover costumes for theatre, TV and film FdA; drama directing; drama writing; professional writing; performance design; production arts (stage and/or screen); professional voice studies; scenic art; and screen acting.
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Founded in 1847, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) has been building on its roots as a national academy of music since its inception. Today, it has grown to become one of the most interdisciplinary institutions in the world –– with a new collaborative curriculum across music, drama, dance, production, and film.
RCS’s roots are the main reason why aspiring musicians flock to its Glasgow campus every year. Here, music teachers commonly hold positions in national orchestras. Within the past year, its teaching staff have won accolades such as Music Tutor of the Year, A Gramophone Award, a BBC Music Magazine Award, Jazz Educator of the Year and a British Composer Award.
Those ready to gain advanced knowledge from these professionals can opt to pursue one of RCS’s many postgraduate offerings. The year-long Artist Diploma was designed for music students on the cusp of a professional career, vying to hone a distinctive musical personality.
Meanwhile, the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Music enables students with existing master’s qualifications to further explore and progress within their discipline. It also provides opportunities to present solo and/or collaborative performances within a proto-professional musical environment, to harness new skills and perspectives, and to stimulate a critical and reflective musicianship — all of which will prepare students for the challenges of the profession.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International