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Urban dance students light up the stage at COLL!DE showcase


Dance students create, promote, manage and perform University's annual dance showcase 

A talented array of 90 dancers from the University of East London (UEL) lit up the stage at Stratford Circus for their annual dance show, as part of fUEL festival, COLL!DE.

COLL!DE 2019 marked the 11th year of the BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice programme and is a student led event created and produced by the second year students on their Producing Dance, Staging Events module. 

Robert Nicholson, Senior lecturer in Dance: Urban Practice, praised his students.

He said, “The students have really enjoyed doing this and they have learned a lot about arts management, marketing and production. They have discovered interests in other avenues for employment within the creative industry sector and learned about other aspects of putting on a production such as design, producing, lighting, fundraising and outreach work, as well as understanding the importance of collaborating with external employees.

“This showcase also helps our second-year students prepare for the final year of the degree, as it feeds into the third-year placement module and I think it’s been a great success.

The showcase, which took place on 3 May, offered an eclectic mix of emerging and established talent within the London dance scene. The wide variety of choreography encapsulated hip-hop, contemporary, capoeira and other popular and social dance styles. 

The evening’s programme was a rollercoaster ride through a number of different themes, all interpreted through dance and movement. There were explorations on social struggle caused by discriminatory issues in society, people from different cultures coming together, and the possible union between body and soul.

Who am I, choreographed by Ben Tracey and Jordan Douglas, examined someone suffering from dissociative identity disorder (D.I.D), focusing on multiple personalities.

(men)powerment, choreographed by Ryan McAneny,  explored the effects of male insecurities and the continuous battles we wage with ourselves, but also embraced self-acceptance and empowerment.

In addition to UEL students, Coll!de featured guest appearances from the East London Youth Dance Company, whom the UEL dance programme support, Myself UK Dance Company (Kloe Dean) and Dance: Urban Practice alumni, Dani Sands.

Libby Brown, 21, COLL!DE’s lighting coordinator, said, “It’s the first time I have ever done this. It’s lovely that there are people here who are trained and helping us to try different roles within the industry.

“I have been on stage performing before, so I thought I would try something different this time. I’ve really enjoyed today and it’s given me an insight into what happens behind the scenes and how important the production team is to running an event.”

Student Sophie Barker took part in Who am I, about multiple personality disorders. She also took on the additional duties of producer and fundraiser.

Sophie said, “I am studying the meaning of dance and various cultures and have really enjoyed doing something different by also getting involved with fundraising. This has been an enjoyable experience.”
Sophie said that she hopes to become a lecturer or teacher in the future, noting that her course at UEL has made her develop the skills to work in a wide range of jobs in the creative arts industry.