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DMU dancers take centre stage at international festival

Stunning solos by students and graduates from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are part of an international festival celebrating innovative dance.

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Hatti Dawson

They are performing at Let’s Dance International Frontiers (LDIF), an annual 10-day event bringing culturally diverse work from around the world to Leicester.

Talented dancers from DMU are joining artists from Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Senegal, Trinidad and Zimbabwe during this year’s celebration of the rich traditions of African and African Caribbean dance.

Final-year Dance BA (Hons) students Hatti Dawson and Paige-Brooklyn Kennedy are part of Signatures and graduate Mac Daniel V Palima is one of two artists performing at Autograph - both events are held at Curve theatre and run in collaboration with Dance4.

Starting on Sunday 29 April to mark International Dance Day, the festival is co-ordinated by Serendipity, a local organisation working with partners across the region to nurture new and emerging talent.

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Paige-Brooklyn Kennedy

Hatti’s contemporary hip hop piece - The Fragility of Power - is inspired by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Faun (2009).

The 21-year-old from Wiltshire said: “I created this work to question whether an intense onset of strength and power can reveal both fragility and risk.

“It feels exhilarating to be part of such a great show and to be able to perform at Curve. I’ve already received so much support from Serendipity staff, who invited me to perform my solo at the press launch in London. Now I can’t wait to perform in front of a Leicester audience!”

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During her three years at DMU, Hatti has had the chance to perform her work in front of college students and at DMU Open Days.

“All of these opportunities have added to my experience as a performer and made me a more confident dancer,” she said.

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Mac Daniel V Palima and Hettie Holman

“One of the most valuable opportunities I had was visiting the Ukraine with the University Dance Company and performing to Borys Grinchenko University in Kiev. It really opened my eyes to the world of dance outside the UK, as it was my first international dance experience.

“The continuous support from my teachers and peers has prepared me well and LDIF has given me the perfect opportunity to start my journey as a professional practitioner.”

Paige-Brooklyn Kennedy’s solo called Affect is an exploration of how one movement throughout the body can affect another and create a ripple-like pattern.

“I work with abstract themes and ideas, allowing the audience to get their own meaning from it,” said the 22-year-old from Leeds.

“The way I perform is very inclusive and accessible to people who don’t normally watch dance and I like to think my solo is both vibrant and exciting.

“LDIF is something you hear about, but never expect to be a part of, so it’s very exciting to be featured this year. I’m looking forward to chatting to people from the sector and hope that it may lead to some good opportunities.”

Graduate Mac Daniel V Palima’s Sekseneutraal is a bold exploration of gender in movement. It earned him and course-mate Hettie Holman a £5,000 commission from First Acts, Channel 4’s cutting-edge arts strand celebrating England’s most exciting 16 to 24-year-old artists and filmmakers.

LDIF runs from Sunday 29 April to Saturday 12 May.

Posted on Friday 27th April 2018

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