Lucy in the sky with dancing

Why work in an office when you can dance? It’s a question posed by a final year De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student set to perform in this week’s University Dance Festival (UDF), at Leicester’s Curve theatre.

Lucy-storyPhoto by Sean Goldthorpe

Working towards a top degree and imminent auditions with a series of leading London dance companies, the sky’s the limit for Dance student Lucy Robins.

But it’s crunch time for the Hertfordshire high flyer as she prepares to feature in three group pieces at the university’s end of year dance festival hosted by Curve, on Friday/Saturday 12-13 June (7.45pm). Two of the dances will be assessed as part of Lucy’s Dance degree.

Both assessed pieces are original works created from improvisational tasks by DMU dance lecturers Pete Shenton and Marie Fitzpatrick. Lucy is also performing in an original choreography, created by her peers, with three other final year students.

Pete’s piece, ‘Broken People’, is a very human, gestural work based on natural movement, while Marie’s dance, rooted in Argentinian Tango, sways between the abstract and animalistic to something more playful and upbeat.

“We’ve been working really hard on the pieces but this week is crucial, not only in terms of performing them to the Leicester public, at Curve but also getting everything right for our final degree mark and a reward for three years’ solid effort,” said Lucy.

Specialising in contemporary dance and with a keen eye for commercial work, Lucy enjoys performance and has built an impressive CV from her dance experience with the Leicester-based Fuelled Dance Theatre, formed by choreographer Sophie Hocking, a former DMU dance student currently engaged on the university’s Graduate Champions scheme.

Lucy works with fellow DMU Dance students Claire Brown, Rhian Comley and Rosie Meakin, alongside Sophie, to tour their work to a number of choreographic platforms and festivals, including Curve’s Inside Out Festival and Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre.

 Lucy-Rhian-storyPhoto by Sean Goldthorpe

 FLYING HIGH: DMU Dance students Lucy Robins (top) and Rhian Comley shape up for this week's University Dance Festival (UDF)

She has already made her professional debut after being invited to perform her own solo piece, ‘Molten’, as part of the Let’s Dance International Frontiers, at Curve. She was accompanied for the piece by a live guitarist playing a track Lucy likes by Ben Howard. Lucy was asked to take part in a 15-minute audience Q&A session, as well as rehearse and perform her three-minute piece in front of around 70 people.

“There was a lot of improvisation involved in creating this piece and I learned a lot finding new ways to move and create a contrast between a flowing ripple effect and a sharp line, switching between the two and then moulding them together,” explained Lucy.

DMU Dance lecturer and UDF production manager Jenna Hubbard, said: “Lucy has been working alongside her peers and DMU dance staff as they prepare to perform for UDF, later this week.

“It is such a pleasure to watch students grow and develop through the course and UDF is a wonderful celebration of their time with us, as well as an excellent springboard into their dance careers.”

Refreshed from a recent Dance & Performing Arts #DMUglobal trip to Holland, for the Utrecht Spring Theatre Festival and a choreography workshop with Australian contemporary dance company Chunky Move, Lucy is all set now for her DMU finale.

Both DMU and the Leicester dance scene will be watching this and her future dance and career moves with great interest.

Posted on Wednesday 10th June 2015

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