Legendary choreographer appointed to key role at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Posted on 10th Jan 2019 in School News, Performing Arts, Appointments

Sir Matthew Bourne to become patron of Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

The prestigious Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is delighted to announce that Sir Matthew Bourne OBE has become a patron of the school.

Sir Matthew is viewed as one of the UK's most innovative and successful choreographers in the world of contemporary dance, having received multiple awards and award nominations, including the Laurence Olivier Award for best new dance production for his modern interpretation of Swan Lake in 1996. Two years later, it opened on Broadway and Sir Matthew won Tony Awards for direction and choreography – the only British director to have won these awards.

Tring Park School has had close links with Sir Matthew and his New Adventures dance company for many years; 17 of the school's former students have been involved in New Adventures productions, including Drew McOnie, who is now in Broadway directing King Kong the musical. Drew also won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In the Heights.

Eight of these students are currently taking part in Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet, while six current students aged between 15 and 18 will be performing in the world premiere tour of Sir Matthew's Romeo and Juliet, which will be a passionate and contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare's classic love story.

Bryony Wood, 18, who is in her graduate year at Tring Park School, has been cast in the main role of Juliet and will be dancing alongside Tring Park alumni Paris Fitzpatrick and Joao Carolino.

One of Tring Park School's other patrons, Adam Cooper, was one of the original lead swans in Sir Matthew's first Swan Lake back in 1995; and three of the school's teachers, David Rhys, Tim Blowfield and Jodie Blemings have all worked with Sir Matthew over the years.

Speaking about Sir Matthew becoming a patron, Tring Park School principal Stefan Anderson said: ‘Everyone at Tring Park is thrilled that Sir Matthew has accepted our invitation to be patron of our school.

‘He is undoubtedly the UK's most popular and successful choreographer and director; his unique style helps to bring dance to a wider audience and we are lucky to have Sir Matthew as patron.

‘His passion for involving emerging male and female dancers from around the UK in his productions ensures that young dancers have an opportunity to experience what it is like to be involved in such high-profile productions while they are still studying dance.

‘Sir Matthew met some of our students and teachers recently on a visit to the school, and everyone was so excited to meet him; it was a truly memorable day.’

Tring Park School has its roots in dance and is world famous for its dance credentials, having produced many a professional dance star and choreographer, including international stars such as Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) who started their training on the dance course at Tring Park.

Daisy attended Tring Park from the age of 11 to 19. Other famous students include Lily James (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Disney's Cinderella, Downton Abbey and War and Peace) and Jessica Brown-Findlay (Downton Abbey).