Introducing Central’s 2024 MA Choreography Cohort

25 January 2024

Central School of Ballet is welcoming its new cohort of MA Choreography students this January. Katya Bourvis and Kai Tomioka are joining the 18-month course which focuses on developing and refining the choreographic and professional skills of established artists. The course offers opportunities to collaborate with the dance industry as well as work with Central’s undergraduate students and tutors. Previous graduates of the MA have gone on to choreograph for companies such as Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Scottish Ballet. Continue reading to find out more about Katya, and to learn about her choreographic vision and style.

Katya’s Choreography

‘I see movement as a unique access point to human experience; it has an ability to express the abstract, where words cannot; to distil something which is complex and multi-faceted, into something which is instantly felt.’

I’m interested in classical Ballet vocabulary, its history and how it can be used in beautiful, subversive, and sometimes absurd ways. I draw upon my diverse movement experience to innovate within traditional Ballet form.

I take a multidisciplinary approach, experimenting with different media, drawing from lived experience via archive, interviews and found sounds. I also collate visuals and recordings of the urban, the natural and the bodily, and base movement tasks around this data to generate evocative movement. My soundscapes and visuals act to invite the audience into my process, into my world — to find the linkages between the personal and the collective. By channelling my own emotional reactions to my subject material, gathered from the world around me, I hope to create a space for vulnerability, intimacy and honesty that will act as catharsis for both collaborators and audience. I’m driven by how the intersection of the sonic, the digital and movement can open up a multi-sensory experience for my audience, perhaps allowing them to access an openness, a rawness that they might not be able to access in their day to day lives.

‘It’s important to me that we can celebrate the absurd, and that in moments, we can laugh, seeing ourselves reflected in an unvarnished, unguarded manner.’

Katya Bourvis is an award-winning Choreographer and Movement Director with an extensive international performance career (English National Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Opera House).

Following a Sadlers Wells Artist Residency in 2021, Katya has directed, soundtracked and produced a series of her own dance films, which have been selected for BAFTA qualifying festivals and leading online platforms (NOWNESS, Schön). Her first full length ballet, ‘No Time Like The Present’ premiered in 2023 at Northern Ballet’s theatre, and toured to critical acclaim. She’s passionate about championing collaborative, multi-disciplinary process, and her work often incorporates sound design and developing creative technologies as vessels for multi-layered and unerringly Contemporary story telling.

Commercially, Katya has worked extensively in branded content, promos and film. Katya has worked on multiple projects nominated for BFI and UKMVA awards, and clients and partners include Chanel, Polydor and Bremont. She’s experienced at working closely with directors on the choreography of camera, and prides herself on being able to proactively develop each project’s creative identity, whilst drawing the best performances out of both dancing and non-dancing talent.

Image 1 by Camilla Greenwell
Image 2 by Martin Perry
Featured image by Camilla Greenwell