Central School of Ballet announces new students for renowned MA Choreography degree course

Central School of Ballet has announced two new participants on its renowned MA Choreography degree, Daisy May Kemp and Sophia Hurdley, both long-established dancers with the New Adventures Company.  The students joined Central earlier this year on the course that takes 18 months on average to complete, providing the opportunity for professional choreographers to hone their skills, engage in research and develop their practice at the highest level.  The MA aims to facilitate and support students to produce new work in a context where the art form of dance can be explored, interrogated and extended.

Daisy trained at Bird College before joining New Adventures in 2005.  Her performance credits include Romeo and Juliet (also in film), Cinderella, The Red Shoes, Edward Scissorhands, Sleeping Beauty (also in film), Play Without Words, Nutcracker! and Swan Lake (also in film).  Daisy was recently appointed as Resident Artist of the company (maternity cover) and has been able to explore her choreographic skills as Assistant Choreographer for Robert Carsen’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at English National Opera, the Festival ‘Aix En Provence and Bergen National Opera, as Revival Choreographer on Glyndebourne’s touring production of La Traviata, and Assistant to the Tour Director on Lord of the Flies for New Adventures.

Daisy said: “I am delighted to be starting the journey of the MA course at Central.  This has come at a perfect time in my career to allow me to nourish my own practice and to continue to develop my own choreographic voice within the wider dance world.”

Sophia trained at the Staples School of Dance and Northern Ballet School before joining New Adventures in 2002 where she has played many leading roles in productions including Nutcracker!, the10th anniversary of Swan Lake, Edward Scissorhands, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Early Adventures. Her most recent credit is playing Irina in Red Shoes.  Her West-End theatre credits include Joseph, Pyjama Game, Phantom of the Opera, The Happy Prince. Royal Opera House credits include Pinocchio and The Red Balloon. Her ENO credits include Kismet, Merry Widow and The Mikado.

Sophia regularly teaches ballet and choreographs at Performers College, London Children’s Ballet, NYB, RBS and many other vocational schools across the country.  She is also Workshop Leader for New Adventures and loves the diversity of working on outreach programmes, workshops and talent development throughout the world.  Her choreographic portfolio includes Callas at the Cloud Dance and at the No Regrets (Piaf), Reasons to Stay Alive, Force of Destiny and Pride or Passion for the Performers.  She choreographed Day to Night for the NYB Junior Company and Happy Prince Musical for Wilde Productions.

Sophia said: “Embarking on the MA course at Central seems the ideal opportunity to refine my creative voice and expand my choreographic horizon.  I hope this will lead me to a fresh and intellectual understanding of my own art form.”

Central launched the MA in Choreography in 2011 and the course rapidly became a recognised way for professional choreographers to develop their skills and advance their careers.  One of its first graduates was Christopher Marney, the Artistic Director of Central School of Ballet.

Susan Kempster, Central’s new Course Lead for the MA in Choreography said: “I am thrilled to be leading Central’s extraordinary MA in Choreography.  The MA is unique in its professional approach, offering an exceptional opportunity for choreographers to develop their artistic voices as well as challenging their thinking and creativity.  I am enormously impressed by the standard of previous, current, and new cohorts and am excited to work with these outstanding talents to support their career development.”

Central’s MA programme has ballet as its principal focus and provides a bespoke approach to developing expertise.  At its core, the MA celebrates the importance of communication in dance and each choreographer is encouraged to explore and refine their individual choreographic voice.  The postgraduate degree complements Central’s core BA (Hons) Professional Dance and Performance degree, both courses validated by the University of Kent.

Both Daisy and Sophia are kindly supported by The Leverhulme Trust through their Arts Scholarships initiative.  Central is particularly grateful to The Leverhulme Trust for supporting emerging choreographers, allowing them to continue to train, to develop as artists, and influence the dance industry with new ideas and skills.  For many aspiring choreographers, the opportunities offered through Central’s MA programme would be impossible without such support.