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Final project, Zosia Jo Dowmunt. Credit: Grace Gelder.

MA/MFA Creative Practice

MA/MFA Creative Practice focuses on dance, somatics and interdisciplinary practice as research and is taught by internationally renowned artists. 

MA/MFA Creative Practice is led by Trinity Laban in partnership with Independent Dance and Siobhan Davies Studios. It is designed to provide a flexible and bespoke programme of study, enabling you to choose from a range of modules delivered the partner institutions. 

This programme enables experienced practitioners to develop their artistic practice in a stimulating environment of intellectual, collaborative and creative inquiry, supporting artists to:

  • reflect on their body of professional experience and its role in their ongoing learning
  • engage in intensive research with renowned artists and a skilled peer group
  • deepen their own practice as performers/makers
  • develop their understanding of a range of research methodologies and pursue their own area of artistic interest

The programme works with an expanded notion of dance in dialogue with wide artistic and cultural contexts. It embraces a diversity of forms and approaches, with guest artists of international renown leading practical and discursive sessions and seminars. Peer learning and support is integral to the approach, with students bringing and exchanging a breadth of experience and expertise. The programme promotes a fluid and generative exchange between theory and practice, in the belief that knowledge emerges through dance and movement practice itself.

MA/MFA Creative Practice offers two pathways, Transdisciplinary and Dance Professional. There are core Modules and Module Options, two of which are Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice; these two modules are delivered by Independent Dance and take place at Siobhan Davies Studios, offering a rare bridge between professional and academic spheres.

Students are based at Trinity Laban for core modules; Research Lab (exploring research methodologies) and Project/Extended Project (the final research output) along with a choice from a number of module options including Body Space Place, Performance Making, Dance and the Moving Image and Writing the Body.

“It was, without doubt, the most beneficial professional educative programme of study that I have undertaken in my professional/academic career to date. I feel that Embodied Practice has laid foundations that will serve the rest of my career progression and academic life.”

“I looked for years to find an MA program like this. This program fosters a somatic approach to movement and supports practicing artists to continue with their own path of inquiry. The teachers, environment and tutoring offered is outstanding. These conditions for learning have allowed me to stretch beyond what I thought was imaginable. I am now better able to articulate my ideas within my practice and place those ideas in a broader context.”

Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice Modules

Independent Dance leads on curation, delivery and student support throughout Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice. These modules are designed on the creative pedagogical approaches of Gill Clarke, who originally shaped them with Kirsty AlexanderRosemary Butcher and Siobhan Davies. Kirsty Alexander continued the evolving development of this programme while she was Co-Director of ID, with support from Kathy Crick.

Both of the core modules with ID are run as intensive 5-week blocks with the aim to make it more possible for students to continue professional commitments outside of the course during the rest of the year. 

Embodied Practice is led by Heni Hale and Gaby Agis together with a number of guests artists with diverse practices. These have recently included Experiential Anatomy / improvisational practices with Eva Karczag, Miranda Tufnell, Charlotte Darbyshire and Amy Voris, Skinner Releasing Technique with Kirsty Alexander and Mary-Clare McKenna, Feldenkrais with Thomas Kampe and Caroline Scott, Creative applications of somatic and critical research approaches with Sherwood Chen, Charlie Morrissey, ‘Fumni Adewole Elliot, Frank Bock, Jean Abreu and Adesola Akinleye. 

Investigative Practice is led by a different artist of international standing each year, sharing their practice methods in depth, and has included Annie Pui Ling Lok, Wendy Houstoun, Siobhan Davies, Angela Woodhouse, Rosemary Lee, Heni Hale, Rosemary Butcher. In 2023, Investigative Practice is led by Jo Fong, and in 2024 we are excited to welcome back Florence Peake.

Term Dates

Embodied Practice and Investigative Practice run as intensive five week blocks in the spring and summer terms respectively.

Induction week: 11 – 15 Sep 2023
Term 1: 18 Sep – 8 Dec 2023
Term 2: 8 Jan – 29 Mar 2024 (Embodied Practice Module: 8 Jan –  9 Feb)
Term 3: 22 Apr – 25 Jul 2024 (Investigative Practice Module: 22 Apr – 24 May)


Substantial bursaries can be applied for through Independent Dance and Trinity Laban. Find out more about funding support available through Trinity Laban.


Programme Leader: Dr Naomi Lefebvre Sell
Lead Tutor: Heni Hale

For more information about the modules delivered by ID, please write to Heni Hale

For more information about the MA/MFA Creative Practice programme overall, please write to Dr Naomi Lefebvre Sell