Movement: Directing and Teaching, MA/MFA


MA, one year, full-time; two years, part-time. October start. MFA, two years, full time, October start. On site attendance between July and September is not mandatory.


Master of Arts in Movement: Directing and Teaching (180 credits); Master of Fine Art in Movement: Directing and Teaching (240 credits).

About the course

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:

  • Is a specialist, vocational course for performance and movement practitioners
  • Develops your expertise in movement teaching and movement directing of the actor
  • Is taught by current professionals in their field of movement pedagogy, movement direction and movement research

Movement training 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.

Who is the course suitable for?

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.

Opportunities on the course

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.

Course Detail

Our approach

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.

Download MA/MFA Movement Directing and Teaching Programme Specification 2019-2020.pdf (1.36 MB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

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.

English Language

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 and more information can be found through the English Language Requirements page. 


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:

  • a simple, short movement exercise that you would teach to a trainee actor (no longer than 10 minutes). You will teach this exercise at the interview and discuss your objectives as a teacher. This is our chance to see you in action as a potential movement teacher/director and to identify whether you have potential for analysis and reflection
  • a short example of your own movement work, which should last no longer than 10 minutes and reflect your particular movement style and connection to movement
  • a 1,500 word essay explaining your reasons for applying to the course.

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.

International Interviews

Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central travelling 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.

Distance Interviews

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.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.



  • East 15 Acting School
  • Guildford School of Acting
  • Rose Bruford College
  • the animation department at Central Saint Martins
  • Central.


  • Welsh National Opera
  • Young Vic
  • Peut-Être Theatre
  • Chickenshed Theatre
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Trestle Theatre.

Placements abroad

These have included hosts CAP-21 in New York and university settings in Greece and Norway.

Recent Visiting Professionals

  • Imogen Knight (Movement Director and Choreographer)
  • Struan Leslie (Movement Director, previously Head of Movement at the Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Jane Gibson (Movement Director for film and theatre, previously Head of Movement at the National Theatre)
  • Sue Lefton (Movement Director in theatre, film and opera)
  • Kate Flatt (Choreographer and Movement Director in theatre and opera)
  • Liz Rankin (Movement Director, Shared Experience)
  • authors on movement Mark Evans and Alison Hodge.

Movement teachers have include:

  • Ian Brener (historical dance and period movement)
  • Natasha Fedorova
  • Marie-Gabrielle Rotie
  • Alex Croft
  • Karin Fisher-Potisk
  • Lucy Cullingford.

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff and regular visiting lecturers who teach on these courses. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.

Vanessa Ewan, LCMD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Movement, Co-Course Leader MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Ayşe Tashkiran, BA, PGCert, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Co-Course Leader MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Debbie Green, MA, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Acting, BA

Ioli Filippakopoulou, BA, MA

Personal Academic Tutor, and Performing Research Unit Tutor, MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Karin Fisher-Potisk

Unit Tutor, Anatomy & Physiology, MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Diane Alison Mitchell, MA

Personal Academic Tutor, MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Sita Thomas BA, MA, PhD

Personal Academic Tutor, MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Marianna Vogt BA, MA

Supervisor, Drama and Movement Therapy MA & Learning Group Tutor, Movement: Directing and Teaching MA/MFA

Current Students

Graduate Updates

Selected 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.

Recent Graduate Employment

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

Movement Directors

  • The Shed at the National Theatre
  • Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon and Broadway)
  • Royal Court Theatre
  • Young Vic
  • Welsh National Opera
  • Finnish and Australian Opera Companies.

Movement Teachers, Head of Movement

  • Academy of Live and Recorded Arts
  • East 15 Acting School
  • Middlesex University
  • Rose Bruford College
  • Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Assistant Directors

  • Royal Shakespeare Company

Trainee Director

  • Glasgow Citizens Theatre

Theatre Professors/Practitioners

Japan, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany.

Research Degrees

  • Body and Image.

Workshop Leaders

  • Shamanistic Practices
  • Body-Mind Centering for Choreographers, Movement, Animation and Laban.

Graduates 2005-19

Class of 2019 (MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching)

MA Jodie Cole
MA Jessica Foong  
MA Mandy Gordon
MA Georgina Makhubele 
MA Stephanie Osztreicher 
MA Suzanne Priest 
MA Clara Solana
MA Jonathan Young

MFA Marshall Betz 
MFA Christina Fulcher 
MFA Gabriel Hirschhorn
MFA Sarah Lamb
MFA Micaela Miranda


Class of 2018 (MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching)

MA Bisola Bello
MA Nicoletta Bonanni
MA Sophie de Vries
MA Sam Hind
MA Sachi Kimura
MA Korina Kokkali
MA Gabriele Lombardo
MA Ruth Phillips
MA Sacha Plaige
MA Julie Shaw

MFA Diane Paola Alvarado Gaitan
MFA Morgan Barbour
MFA Tine Dambourg
MFA Susanna Dye
MFA Christian From

Class of 2017 (MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching)

Jessica Boyd
Alejandra Guarin Gutierrez
Rosa Manzi Reid
Rebecca Meltzer
Antonio Chuaqui Concha
Rose Ryan
Amaia Mugica
Rachel Wise
Helen Carpenter
Ingrid MacKinnon 

MFA Lama Amine
MFA Alejandra Chacon
MFA Hanna Junti

Class of 2016 (MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching)

Viola Bruni
Natasha Harrison
Camila Rojas Cannobbio
Sophie Sweetland  
Joanna Clare 
Chi-San Howard 
Patricia Verity 
Emma Grace

Class of 2015 (MA Movement: Directing and Teaching)

Laura Dredger
Agnes Folkestad
Kirsty Green
Katherine Grube
Nancy Kettle
Nicola London
PG Cert Joshua MacLellan
Ana Marambio
Rachel Nouchi
Milly Read
Emma Webb

Class of 2014 (MA Movement Studies)

Olivia Michalak
Andrea Ondruskova
Enric Ortuno Garcia
Isobel Palmer
Milly Read
Mariana Taragano
Anna Tringham
Alex Weller 

Class of 2013 (MA Movement Studies)

Despoina Gorgogianni
Asha Jennings Grant
Emily Love
Sinead O'Keeffe
Alikistis Polychroni
Danielle Plowman
Tiziana Silvestre
Stephanie Sommer
Chloe Stephens
Iefiz Tengku-Alaudin

Class of 2012 (MA Movement Studies)

Ioli Filippakopoulou
Melinda Little
Eamonn O'Connor
Alice Robinson
Hester Schrofer
Revital Snir
Sita Thomas
Sol Henriquez Vargas

Class of 2011 (MA Movement Studies)

Polly Bennett
Tiffany Chan
Cristina Elias
Verna Laine
Stella Medvedeva
Sara Moncivais
Jenny Ogilvie
Rosa Saunders
Ashwini Shridhar
Ionna Strati
Joe Wild
May Bo Wu

Class of 2010 (MA Movement Studies)

Jorge Bethencourt
Nicolina Dante
Anne Egseth
Hannah Kaye
Bruna Longo
Antonia Ptohides
Gema Valencia

Class of 2009 (MA Movement Studies)

Vicky Aracas
Janet Bailey
Mads Christensen
Brad Cook
Anna Healey
Jennifer Malarkey
Roanna Mitchell
Dave Nolan
Dodger Philips
Lenia Tsigeridou
Alice Weissberth

Class of 2008 (MA Movement Studies)

Karin Fisher Potisk
PJ Maske
Diane Alison Mitchell
Laetitia Payet
Rosalind Phillips
Yeojin Sung
Kate Thackeray

Class of 2007 (MA Movement Studies)

Jenevieve Chang
Zoe Cobb
Fiona Rae
Nicole Graham
Ita O'Brien
Alfonso Rodriguez
Amadeo Rosenheim
Kate Sagovsky

Class of 2006 (MA Movement Studies)

Angela Gasperretto
Sue Goodman
Amanda Hayes
Leonie Kubigsteltig
Claire Walsh
Lana Zreik

Class of 2005 (MA Movement Studies)

Maria Clarke
Lucy Cullingford
Daniela Forbes
Natasha Koechil
Kaoru Kuwata
Lenneke Mietes
Anna Morrissey
Sue Mythen
Kitty Owen
Kieran Sheehan

Publications by MA/MFA Movement tutors

Publications by the MA MFA Movement tutors include:


2014. Actor Movement: Expression of the Physical Being by Vanessa Ewan and Debbie Green (Bloomsbury, Methuen 2014 UK / 2015 USA).

2017 The Actor and His Body by Litz Pisk, new introduction by Ayse Tashkiran (Bloomsbury, Methuen 2017).

2018 Laban’s Effort in Action: A Movement Handbook for Actors Vanessa Ewan with Kate Sagovksy (Bloomsbury, Methuen 2018).

Chapters in Books

2016 'Dancing Since Strapped to Their Mother’s Backs: Movement Directing on the RSC’s African Julius Caesar’ by Diane Alison Mitchell in Jarrett-Macauley, D. (ed.) Shakespeare, Race and Performance: The Diverse Bard (London, Routledge 2016)

2016 ‘Souks, Saris and Shakespeare: Engaging young, diverse audiences at Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre’, by Dr Sita Thomas in The Diverse Bard: Shakespeare, Race and Performance, ed. by Delia Jarrett-Macauley (London: Routledge, 2016)

2016 ‘British Movement Directors’ by Ayse Tashkiran in The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq, edited by Rick Kemp and Mark Evans (Abingdon; Routledge, 2016)

2017 Mythic Place by Marianna Vogt in Dramatherapy: Reflections & Praxis, Macmillan

Journal Articles

“The Dog, the Guard, the Horses and the Maid”: Diverse Casting at the RSC’ by Sita Thomas (Contemporary Theatre Review, Volume 24, Issue 4, Taylor and Francis, 2014)

2016 Much Ado About Nothing dir. By Iqbal Khan (review) by Sita Thomas (Asian Theatre Journal, Volume 32, Number 2, Fall 2015) Sita Thomas

2018 Giraffe Time by Nicky Coutts and Vanessa Ewan Taylor and Francis online

Ph.D. Thesis

Ph.D. Thomas, S. (2016) ‘In Search of a New National Story’: Issues of Cultural Diversity in the Casting and Performance of Shakespeare in Britain 2012–2016’, University of Warwick

Ph.D. Munro Beveridge, J. (2008) Dance as Encounter. A practical and theoretical investigation of 21st Century Choreography.

Research Projects

The Course Leaders also run the International Centre for Movement

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