Jump to content

Contemporary


Lala
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi. I would say my DD is a versatile dancer but has chosen the route she wishes to follow by accepting Rambert in Sept. I was recently told by someone I respect, that my DD has narrowed her employment chances for the future by following this route. Can anyone who has followed this route give a bit more insight to what Contemporary work/ contracts is out there? Thanks xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lala,

 

My dd is currently at Rambert, so obviously not at the stage of having personal experience, but she says that the graduating students have a wide range of employment opportunities as dancers because they study both ballet and contemporary equally to professional level.

 

Obviously contracts vary from year to year but some of the recent grads have got contracts with companies like Rambert Company, Phoenix, National Dance Company of Wales, Scottish Dance, the Inala project between Rambert and Royal Ballet, BalletBoyz, Matthew Bourne Company, Northern Ballet, Russell Maliphant, Richard Alston etc. There seems to be a huge variety of employment in both ballet and contemporary contracts, and both UK and international students get work all over the world.

 

There's also the very realistic opportunity of going into choreography as this area is so strong at the school, and students are encouraged to develop any other artistic talents they have. Some of the grads go on to run their own companies and/or teach. 

 

I personally feel that the employment possibilities for my dd are greatly increased by her training at Rambert - however, I probably wouldn't feel this way if her ambition was to become a classical ballet dancer and only work in that area. If that was the case then I don't think Rambert would be the right school and I would want her to go somewhere that focussed purely on that.

 

Hope this helps a bit!

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend at Rambert school whom we spent time with last week . Having chatted about present and future work experience I would say he has a bright future and would agree that there are more not less opportunities for employment where both contemporary and ballet are studied !

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed, studying Contemporary as well as Classical widens the options, not narrows them.  The world of dance has changed rapidly over the last few years with economic problems leading to many companies throughout Europe down-sizing or changing from a Classical to a Contemporary focus.  Many Contemporary companies prefer older dancers and the auditions often ask for at least 3 years professional experience, so this is where the "Catch 22" happens.  You can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job!

 

Apprenticeships vary widely in what is offered.  A very few companies still offer paid apprenticeships, but recent open auditions held in London for these were overwhelmed with candidates, literally hundreds of dancers were after just a handful of places. Some dancers move onto an MA after graduating with a BA, and some of these MAs involve apprenticeships with placing in a company or graduate companies. However, these are really just another year of tuition, with fees of £10,000+ and living expenses to be found - so you would need over £20,000.  An MA is not funded by student loans although there are occasionally bursaries/grants available, but if you can't self-fund you need to take out a "Career development loan" from a bank.

 

The companies with year round contracts are quite few, and most jobs in Contemporary dance are for specific projects, which may be a few days, a few weeks or a few months.  Hence the term "Portfolio Career".  Contemporary dancers in general will do various short term projects supplemented by other jobs in between such as teaching, coaching or indeed waiting at tables.

 

I hope this has helped clarify things.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD graduated from London Contemporary Dance School a couple of years ago as one of the top students. She has only had a couple of opportunities to dance since as there are very few auditions in the UK for female contemporary dancers, lots for males! The catch 22, as has already been said, is that there is usually a requirement for 3 years pro experience. I wouldn't want anyone to think that the contemporary option is an easier one in terms of employment opportunities. It is as difficult as the ballet employment option.

 

The apprenticeship option has already been very well explained, however the careers development loan is not usually available to students as their credit rating means they won't be accepted for the loan. This happened to my musician daughter with a Masters offer and she couldn't accept it for this very reason.

 

Go into things with your eyes very wide open and with knowledge.

 

Heather

aka Taximom

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with TaxiMom regarding employment opportunities in Contemporary dance - it's very difficult. My DS is a recent Central graduate with a strength and interest in contemporary dance. He missed the LCDS deadline (January) for apprenticeships. However, he went through the NCDS process which involved several trips to Leeds for auditions with participating companies. He really enjoyed it but ultimately was unsuccessful in gaining an apprenticeship with any company. If he had been successful the fees would have been £5,700 plus living costs. There is no access to student finance for a postgraduate course although I believe there are bursaries that can be applied for.

 

He also attended open auditions for NDT2 and Hofesh Schechter. Both would have been paid jobs. The numbers were overwhelming - Hofesch had over 1,500 applicants! There does appear to be more opportunities for males than females but overall there are few positions available! However, at least 3 of the apprenticeships that we are aware of at NCDS went to female applicants. Anecdotally it seems that successful candidates particularly for paid opportunities are older with the obvious technique and strength that comes with experience. Therefore, getting that first year of experience through a postgraduate apprenticeship seems to be best (although expensive) route to follow.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lala

 

The number of employment opportunities in dance are extremely limited whether you follow the classical ballet, contemporary, musical theatre or commercial route.  Competition is fierce and there are more dancers likely to be unemployed than employed.  If your daughter has chosen Rambert ( my DD's ambition) then embrace her choice and don't worry about the future. Very few of us have the same goals and aspirations that we did when we were 18.  The path of life twists and turns and we rarely end up where we envisioned, but the trick is to do what you love and enjoy the ride along the way.

 

My DD has been accepted onto the CAT programme at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and is so excited.  Rambert is her ultimate goal.  At 14 that's all she wants to do, however I have no illusions that as a career it is tough. Would I change anything about her choices - not at all.  They are her choices and she is happy.  That's all we can ask as parents, that our children are happy.

 

I wish your daughter the best of luck at Rambert and in her future career - wherever that may be!

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is contemporary your daughter's ultimate goal?

 

Do you know what the person meant when they said she is narrowing her options? Did they mean that if she wants to do contemporary, going to Rambert will limit her options or that aiming for contemporary in the first place is limiting her options?

 

I would say that neither of those things are true. Rambert Is undoubtedly one of the very best schools for contemporary and as for wanting to do contemporary as opposed to ballet or MT, all three options have very different career paths but you need to aim for what you are more passionate about.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...