The very best of DMU Dance celebrated at annual festival


Original choreography and energetic performances by Dance students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) will take centre stage at an annual festival.


This year’s University Dance Festival (UDF) will feature 12 live pieces, including four solos, some of which have already been performed nationally and internationally.

Taking place at the Venue@DMU on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 June, UDF will also give audiences the chance to watch three student films during the interval, as well as to experience a live group piece made by a first-year student in a new choreography module this year.

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

Fresh from her performance at Let’s Dance International Frontiers (LDIF), final-year Hatti Dawson will be showcasing her contemporary hip hop solo, which is an exploration of strength and fragility.


The 21-year-old, from Wiltshire, said: “I’m so honoured that my solo was chosen. I get to perform with some of my best friends, which will really round-off my degree nicely.

“DMU has been such a big part of my life, so it’s bittersweet that it’s all coming to an end. It has helped me to develop into the artist that I am today and has made me realise all that I’ve achieved, as well as giving me confidence that I will continue to achieve.”

Final-year Shanade Williams is performing a contemporary dance solo, influenced by her background in gymnastics and ballet.

“I’m dancing to a song which changes tempo, allowing me to explore different dynamics. It starts off slow and gets more powerful as it builds, just like my performance,” said the 21-year-old from Nottingham.

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Shanade is also performing with the University Dance Company, featuring two pieces directed by course tutors Pete Shenton and Jo Breslin.

She said: “I’ve been lucky enough to take part in every UDF since I started university, so it’s nice to see how much I’ve progressed and to finish my time at DMU how I started it.

“The festival is a really good opportunity to showcase what we’ve all been doing throughout the year, as well as to highlight a wide range of different styles of dance and movement.”

From celebrating the LGBTQ+ community to fusing contemporary and hip-hop styles, first-year Jazmin Gramson is involved in three performances.

As well as taking part in pieces by final and first-year students, Jazmin is also choreographing a live performance with course-mate Rosie Russell.

“I feel really lucky to be involved in so many different aspects of UDF, especially as I’m only in my first year!” said the 19-year-old from Kent.

“The experience of working closely with a supervisor to develop and adapt our pieces was so helpful. It's allowed me to look at what could improve pieces and how they can be adapted for different spaces and audiences. I feel I can be more versatile in the future.”

Posted on Friday 1st June 2018

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