Spotlight On: Jamiel Laurence

Studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland means working with regular guest artists the performers and educators who are leaders in their field.

It’s where world-class training comes as standard, enhanced by exclusive opportunities to learn from the best. Take Jamiel Laurence. A soloist with the internationally acclaimed Scottish Ballet, he’s also a choreographer and filmmaker who shares his passion and professional practice with the next generation of artists at RCS.

“The great thing about working with the students of RCS is that they come with a really high standard and sense of professionalism,” he says.

Jamiel choreographed a ten-minute piece, Young Edmund, for second year students in collaboration with folk artist Jarlath Henderson, which was performed at Glasgow City Halls as part of Celtic Connections 2019.

“To take the students to Celtic Connections, and put them on stage with a headline act in a folk festival, was something very new for everyone, me included. It’s great to have those experiences for the first time together.”

Jamiel worked with the students on a performance to launch the Royal Conservatoire’s partnership with Dumfries House, in the presence of RCS patron, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Rothesay. Dancers were also involved in Jamiel’s film FLIGHT for BBC Arts’ Dance Passion season, nominated for the OneDanceUK 2019 Impact Dance on Screen award.

Jamiel Laurence dancing in the middle of the stage with dancers behind him

Most recently, he acted as assistant choreographer to Scottish Ballet’s Artistic Director and CEO Christopher Hampson on the 2019 production of Wee Hansel & Gretel, a specially adapted show for young children and their families to discover the magic of ballet. RCS students embarked on a nationwide tour, performing everywhere from Glasgow to Shetland.

“Working with Scottish Ballet in a capacity as employed professionals, essentially, was a great opportunity for the students. It was a real test of the metal for them and for me because I was having the Scottish Ballet label stamped on the work that I was doing, and so were they. That will forever be a really special memory for me because we were on small stages, big stages, in different places, representing Scotland’s national dance company.”

Jamiel says RCS gives new choreographers a platform to showcase their work while collaborating with visiting artists at home and further afield helps students expand their creative and cultural horizons.

“The Royal Conservatoire gives students access to opportunities that are outside the walls of the school, to go beyond not just Scotland but the UK, and to interact with students abroad. In our ever more connected world, that kind of cross-border cultural exchange, when you’re still in your educational stage, is so valuable.”

Discover more about our BA Modern Ballet programme on our website.

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