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Central has a long-standing and well recognised reputation for the dissemination of actor movement disciplines within the British theatre scene; these pioneering courses are the first of their kind in Europe.
The MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching programme at Central:
Tradition, experience, eclecticism and innovation epitomise Central’s understanding of movement training for the theatre and these unique courses have been created in that spirit. You will belong to the fine history of movement at Central from Litz Pisk to the present.
You may be an actor or dancer who wants to diversify your skills and knowledge, you may work with actors (a dance or movement teacher, or a theatre director with a movement history), or be a practitioner from an allied field of sport/holistic practice, wanting to enhance your understanding of practical/theoretical interfaces regarding movement in contemporary performance.
You will be offered specialist, vocational teaching in the field of movement for actors, production practice for movement directors and bespoke movement placements at Central and in other professional theatre settings, such as other conservatoires or theatre, opera, or film organisations (both in Britain and internationally).
You will have the opportunity for the development of your individual movement specialisms and apply them to the work of actors. The courses provide a rich and diverse landscape within which to address movement practices in relation to a wide range of established theatre processes and innovations in the field.
Practical movement teaching and movement directing on selected projects offers you a range of potential applications in the fields of theatre production, puppetry, animation, classical theatre, film acting, and contemporary and devised work. You are given the opportunity to develop your own practice as movement specialists according to your interests in this growing and innovative field, and you will undertake potentially ground-breaking research into movement.
You will undergo a formalised and systematic actor movement education that coincides with the emergence of a widespread social interest in all aspects of physicality and the body. There is a firm emphasis on Laban’s movement philosophy and Lecoq’s spatial and physical techniques, but the overall approach is eclectic and celebrates a variety of methods. You may encounter the work of movement practitioners such as Feldenkrais, Roth, Suzuki, Alexander, Pisk, Humphries, Barba and Grotowski. Our teaching methods place equal emphasis on individual and group development, through individual tutorials, group seminars and workshops. Practical sessions are designed to enhance your skills as a movement teacher or movement director.
In the first year, students of the MA and MFA combine for Terms One to Three. MFA students will work independently in a second year of specialist study aimed at widening and deepening practice within a professional context.
You will be expected to undertake one or two attachments that are supported with tutorials throughout the year, as part of an ongoing process of reflection, analysis and growth that will lead to a final dissertation submission.
A MFA top-up year for those with an existing MA in this subject is also available.
For first year students on both the MFA and MA courses, assessment is through a range of methods, including work on practical projects, written assignments and teaching/directing practice placements.
In the last term of the MA, students work independently to complete specialist enquiry, arising from work undertaken during the course. The MFA extends into a second year that involves workplace attachments, mentorship and practice.
You will normally have a degree or equivalent in a subject that includes an element of movement or dance. Graduates of other disciplines will be considered if they can provide evidence of previous training and experience in movement or dance. If you have a strong movement background and professional experience of working with movement for at least two years, you will be considered for non-standard entry.
An offer will normally only be made after interview.
An MFA top-up year for those with an existing MA in this subject is also available.
We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.
Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to prove their English language proficiency by gaining an overall score of 7.0 in an IELTS test. We do accept equivalent English language qualifications. Applicants are advised to gain this certification as early as possible.
If you are selected for an interview for a place on MA or MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching we will require you to prepare the following:
You should bring with you clothes suitable for a movement session, and some written evidence of any academic qualifications.
The interview process will also give you an opportunity to find out more about the course and the School.
Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.
Central does allow applicants to undertake a distance interview for this course. If you live abroad and are unable to attend an interview in person you may, at the discretion of the Course Leader be offered the opportunity of a distance interview. If you are selected for interview in this manner you will be contacted (normally by email) in order to arrange a suitable time for an interview. This will be conducted on Skype, telephone or by ‘live’ email exchange and will normally be based upon material you will have been asked to submit in advance. The interview will be conducted by the Admissions Tutor in liaison with a colleague who will have sight of your submitted materials.
For further information see the How to Apply section.
Graduated 2008, Movement Director and Choreographer, credits include They Drink It In The Congo directed by Michael Longhurst at the Almeida, Othello, directed by Iqbal Khan, and Julius Caesar, directed by Gregory Doran for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Island at the Young Vic, and the National Theatre film What Is A Movement Director? Diane recently contributed a chapter on movement direction to Shakespeare, Race and Performance: The Diverse Bard (edited by Delia Jarrett-Macauley).
I come from a dance background and was really interested in finding new ways to work with the body and always had a passion for theatre. The course really broadened my knowledge of movement practices, but more importantly helped me to build my own practice, which is crucial for a Movement Director. The course also supports those interested in movement to enquire and explore in a creative environment, with a range of people from a variety of backgrounds. This diversity was a rich part of what the course offers.
These have included hosts CAP-21 in New York and university settings in Greece and Norway.
Graduate employment and career pathways include:
Japan, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany.
Movement teachers have include:
View profiles of the academic staff who teach on these courses. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.
Notable graduates of this course include:
Lucy Cullingford (2005) Dance Repetiteur on Matilda The Musical, which won Best Choreography at the 2012 Olivier Awards. Movement director on the Broadway production of Constellations, starring Jake Gyllenhaal (2014).
Natasha Koechl (2005) is associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and also has worked as Assistant Director and Movement Coach on the Canadian Premier of The Kite Runner at Theatre Calgary and the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton.
Polly Bennett (2011) Worked as Assistant Movement Director on the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Mass Choreographer on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Games. She was Resident Company Movement Practitioner at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2013.
Brad Cook (2009) Performed in the original Canadian cast of War Horse for the National Theatre. He will be Associate Movement Coach at the Stratford Festival in Canada for the upcoming season (2014).
Anna Morrissey (2005) Artist in Residence for Historic Royal Palaces. Her credits as a Movement Director include King Charles III at the Almeida and Wyndhams theatres, and The World of Extreme Happiness at the National Theatre. She was also a Movement Assistant on the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Fiona Rae (2007) Head of Movement at the Academy for Live and Recorded Arts.
Sita Thomas (2012) Movement director and film maker. In 2014 was commissioned by the National Theatre to make films about movement and the role of a movement director, one of which features Diane Alison-Mitchell (2008).
May Bo Wu (2011) is Co-Artistic Director of Dirks Theatre in Hong Kong.