As
part of the opening season at Edge Hill University’s new £2 million Arts Centre,
two extraordinary performances took place, both of which featured talented Edge
Hill students.

The
double-bill began with a performance of Sew
On and Sew Forth
by the Liverpool-based, Company of Friends, a charitable theatre
and arts organisation for and by people with learning difficulties. The groups devised
piece focused on the complexities surrounding perception and roles within
society, this was then followed by Maelstrom Dance’s Premiere of New Work, which involved three professional dancers
alongside third year BA (Hons) Dance and Drama student Danielle Goodfellow, who
was making her professional debut.
 

MA
Making Performance Programme Leader Bill Hopkinson explains, “There was a real
sense of enthusiasm and engagement with the Sew
On and Sew Forth
performers and the expression of their lives through the
fairytale characters they played out. It gave a first-hand insight into how disabled
people experience everyday attitudes, their awareness of prejudice and condescension;
it was a thoughtful but engaging first half to the evening.”
 

Bill
continues, “The New Work by Maelstrom Dance then made exciting use of the new Arts
Centre bar area as the cast speed-dated with the audience, danced amongst the
tables and created an atmosphere of a drink-fuelled night out. This was
confessional theatre at its very best and received a much deserved standing
ovation.”
 

As
well as Danielle, the evening saw MA Making Performance student Helena Kane
direct her first performance, and showcased Associate Tutor and postgraduate student
Lindsey Brocklebank’s newly choreographed work.
 

“This
performance was Helena’s dissertation piece, she is researching ways of working
with adults with learning disabilities,” adds Bill. “Meanwhile, this was
Lindsey’s professional company’s second piece, which also contributed to her
research into autobiographical dance. Danielle will now tour with the work,
which includes The Lowry in Manchester.”
 

Experiences
such as this are crucial in improving the future prospects of performing arts
graduates, which is something that is actively encouraged at Edge Hill, as Bill
explains further “There are many additional opportunities for our students to
become involved in and it is by understanding the dynamics of the theatre space,
as well as working collaboratively across programmes, that we attempt to
explore a range of active performance and production roles.”
 

Bill
concludes, “At Edge Hill University we have a growing number of graduate
companies that people should keep an eye out for, including Edge Fwd, the
Graduate Dance Company, Crafty Moon and Edge of your Seat Productions, to name
but a few.”
 

To
find out more about studying Dance and Drama at Edge Hill University, visit
ehu.ac.uk/studydancedrama