Annual festival showcases the best of Dance at DMU

A collection of the best work and performances by Dance students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is being celebrated at an annual festival this weekend (Friday 9 – Saturday 10 June).

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Staged at the Venue@DMU, University Dance Festival 2017 will unveil original choreography by students, as well as work directed by members of staff Sally Doughty, Pete Shenton and Mel Knott.

It features 12 live pieces, including four solos, and gives audiences the chance to see screenings of student films and a promenade performance by IMCO, a student-led improvisation collective.

More than 50 students across all three years of the university’s Dance course are either taking centre stage or working in backstage and front-of-house roles.

Second-year students Abbia Grice and Rebecca Pearson are stage managing the production, while final-year students Michaela Field and Tobi Lemonn are responsible for publicising and greeting guests.

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Jayne Stevens, a Principal Lecturer in Dance at DMU, said: “University Dance Festival 2017 promises an eclectic programme of performances - from the zany and abstract to the beautiful and formal – choreographed to a range of music and stunning lighting design.

“DMU gives students lots of freedom to develop their individual sense of style, which shines through all of their work.”

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Final-year student Hettie Holman is performing a solo based on “the vulnerable state of an animal of prey”.

The 21-year-old said: “Originally inspired by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's 'Fawn', I've juxtaposed the powerful exertion needed during movement with the alertness and fragility of the performance quality.”

Hettie is also showcasing a screen piece which explores the relationship between light and movement by experimenting with chiaroscuro lighting techniques and is dancing as a member of the University Dance Company too.

“I'm very excited to be showcasing my work in UDF as it gives me a great opportunity to continue developing my pieces, as well as a chance to perform to a wider audience of family and friends,” she said.

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Also in her final year of the course, Lauren Carter is showcasing choreography inspired by the development of the human foetus.

“I wanted to take a very scientific subject and express it in a creative way,” she said.

“Working with six dancers who also happen to be my close friends has had its challenges, but we’ve all enjoyed the process and that really comes through in the performance, which is both feminine and moving.”

Having recently returned from a #DMUglobal visit to the Utrecht Spring Dance and Theatre Festival in Holland, Lauren added: “The trip was amazing! We got to see weird and wonderful works which opened my eyes to what you can create as a choreographer.

“I’m going on to study a PGCE in Chichester next, but I feel quite emotional about leaving DMU. We’re such a tight-knit course though and I know I’ll be staying in touch with everyone.”

Book your free tickets to the University Dance Festival (Friday 9 – Saturday 10 June) online.

Posted on Monday 5th June 2017

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