The Arts and Design Newsletter – Student Blog – Irene Ingebretsen

Irene Ingebretsen | Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance | BA Contemporary Dance  

There are several things I have enjoyed during my studies at Trinity Laban. First of all, the programme that I am taking is put together in a beneficial and clever way in order to give the richest, fullest and most efficient journey through the three years. They constantly make changes and improvements based on students’ feedback, making things more relevant to the work field we are preparing for. Another very positive and also rare thing Trinity Laban offers is an exciting mix of students from all over the world, as about 50% of the students are not British. This is exciting both socially and culturally, but it also stimulates creative sharing, and leads to rich classes of people with completely different backgrounds and you can take from each other and share your experience.

As a dancer I feel like I have got the chance to develop my skills in dance in several areas. Some schools might focus only on certain aspects, but at Trinity Laban you get to grow in technique, creative and choreographic practice and also in the academic and more analytical and reflective sides of dance. As I wished to have more creativity and room for thought and reflection in my training as well as technique, for me Trinity Laban was the right choice, as I find that combination very satisfying. For me, that makes me feel more prepared for after education and it feels like I have knowledge and skills that I can use in several areas. But most importantly, other than getting stronger technically and developing my creative skills and so on, I feel like the journey through the course has helped me to get to know myself as a dancer: what I like, what interests me, how I want to work. I think that is a very valuable thing to have gained here at Trinity Laban.

I think my favourite performing experience at Trinity Laban must be the choreography shows in my second year. We all create one choreography each, and perform as dancers for each other, and in the end 24 choreographies are selected from the 90 choreographies in the year to be performed in the Laban Theatre. I was really lucky to be dancing in three of the selected pieces, and it was a very intense, fun, busy and exciting period that taught us a lot about how we want to work, and where we got to explore the roles of choreographer and dancer to a full extent. In the end, the choreographers for the pieces got to decide everything from costumes to lighting, and some of us were even invited to perform some of the pieces at a dance festival in Italy, which we did just before starting our third year.

The CoLab project gave us the opportunity to collaborate with the musicians. During the project the musicians and the dancers learned a lot about how the other group works creatively in a very open and playful environment. I’ve done projects outside of school as well with people I met through a CoLab project.

Trinity Laban has a good support system if you need it. Of course it’s up to everyone to make use of it, and you might never need to, but there is a lot of support and help for your individual situation that you can access if you just ask for it. Personally, I got pregnant between second and third years, and because of this I needed to make some adjustments to the length and nature of my study. The teachers, tutors and leaders of the programme were open and willing to listen, support, adjust and advise me in this situation. This is something that can be good to know as things such as injuries and other changes to your situation can occur at any point, and you might want to study somewhere where you will be offered help and support if that should happen.

My experience at Trinity Laban has been inspiring and opening, and has given me a great toolbox to use after my education.