UCW forges ‘fantastic’ performing arts partnership across the Atlantic

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University Centre Weston (UCW) hosted students from the Relativity School in Los Angeles last week as part of a new educational and cultural exchange between the two institutions.

The six students, who are studying for degrees in Contemporary Musical Theatre and Commercial Dance in LA, spent the week studying alongside their counterparts on UCW’s Musical Theatre, Performing Arts and Professional and Commercial Dance programmes.

As well as attending lectures, they took part in the production of a music video in Bristol, and also performed with UCW students at the Move It! exhibition in London – the UK’s biggest dance event.

The collaboration came about after UCW’s Sylvia Lane was researching institutions that shared UCW’s modern and innovative approach to degree-level performing arts education.

The Relativity School, with its commitment to great graduate outcomes, varied performance opportunities and students being taught by active industry professionals, fitted the bill perfectly.

Sylvia, UCW’s Curriculum Coordinator for Musical Theatre, said: “We were delighted and privileged to welcome visitors from such a fantastic institution and can’t wait to see how the partnership evolves in the months ahead.”

Lisa Mandel, the Relativity School’s Director of Operations, who accompanied the students, said: “We are very open to collaboration at Relativity, so when Sylvia got in touch we were very excited to get involved.

“Everyone at UCW made our seven member group feel welcome and immediately integrated us into their programme and environment.”

Student Emma Grosjean added: “Having the chance to travel to the UK to perform with UCW students was such a great opportunity.”

The exchange will continue next month with UCW students visiting California, and there are also plans to stage a joint digital performance later in the year.

While in Weston, the US party stayed in the recently-refurbished Law and Professional Services Academy which includes accommodation for visiting students and lecturers.