Training in Street Arts and Outdoor Performance

Feature in Issue 21-2 | Summer 2009

Courses with an emphasis on outdoor performance

FOUNDATION DEGREESTREET, FESTIVAL AND SITE SPECIFIC ARTS AT NORTHBROOK COLLEGE, WEST SUSSEX
With its initial student intake in 2007, Northbrook’s was the first street arts foundation degree course to be established in the UK. The emphasis of the course is the development of theatre-makers committed to innovative, content-driven visual performance for contemporary environments. Sharing many units with the Physical Theatre strand, the programme balances performance skills and craft development, production/event and industry experience with academic study. Includes: devising for performance, the creation of solo and ensemble work, physical theatre and acrobalance, site-specific performance, festival and carnival costume. Artists and companies connected to this course include Claire Raftery, Periplum; Adrian Court, Boutique. www.northbrook.ac.uk

CREATIVE EVENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENT
University of Kent at Medway is home to an innovative degree programme in Creative Events: Design and Production which involves a very practice-based training in carnivals and street festivals, processions involving puppetry and costumes, pyrotechnics, high-tech product launches, installations and light shows. Artists and companies connected to this course include Mike Roberts / The World Famous. See www.kent.ac.uk/creative for further details. Email Gavin Carver at g.p.carver@kent.ac.uk

UNIVERSITY OF WINCHESTER BA STREET ARTS
The University of Winchester is offering an exciting new degree in Street Arts, starting 2009. This BA degree will suit performing and visual arts students who want to make performances using a wide variety of skills, such as: street dance, parkour, street theatre, large-scale puppetry, circus and acrobatics, site-specific performance, comedy, large-scale events management, creative production, design and making skills, new media and performance. The programme offers training in contemporary outdoor performance that will be especially interesting to students who like to express themselves physically and visually. The course offers the students the opportunity to showcase their work at the Winchester Hat Fair. Contact John Lee at john.lee@winchester.ac.uk or see www.winchester.ac.uk

FOUNDATION DEGREE IN STREET ARTS PERFORMANCE. AT CITY COLLEGE BRIGHTON & HOVE
Also new for 2009, this course was developed in collaboration with a core team of street arts practitioners, such as Emergency Exit Arts, and will develop performing and making skills, applying them in a community based project, and a devised piece for the Brighton Fringe Festival. Underpinning these practical units will be a historical perspective and considerations of the significance of street arts as a cultural phenomenon. Second year will include an industry placement; furthering performance skills; and developing employment opportunities. There will be a site-specific performance project with Red Earth plus an opportunity to develop a piece of work that will showcase in Brighton Festival. Accredited by University of Brighton in partnership with City College Brighton & Hove. Associated artists/companies: Same Sky, The Circus Project, and Red Earth. www.ccb.ac.uk

Other options

BA PHYSICAL & VISUAL THEATRE AT EDGE HILL UNIVERSITY, ORMSKIRK
Although not exclusively focused on street arts, this course, which is new for 2009, will include outdoor performance work as a key element. Artists and companies connected to this course include James McPherson, Artizani. www.edgehill.ac.uk

THE CIRCUS SPACE
Although specifically teaching circus arts, The Circus Space acknowledges the inter-relationship between circus and street arts, and students regularly work with street arts practitioners on the placing of work in outdoor settings. www.thecircusspace.co.uk

CIRCOMEDIA
Offers numerous courses in circus and physical theatre. The school’s founder and co-director Bim Mason is a renowned street arts performer, and author of one of the few books on UK street arts practice, so the school has strong connections to and allegiances with the Bristol street arts community. www.circomedia.com

CENTRAL SCHOOL OF SPEECH AND DRAMA
Although no courses are run specifically in street arts, Central has a reputation for nurturing performers, directors and designers who can create collaborative theatre in a variety of settings. The school has worked with numerous organisations, including Paradise Gardens in London, in placing students on outdoor performance projects. Their acclaimed Advanced Theatre Practice MA course has given birth to numerous high-profile companies and projects, including the Shunt Collective. See www.cssd.ac.uk

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Issue 21-2
p. 15