A talented group of dancers from Edge Hill University took the UK festival scene by storm this summer, as part of an innovative performance with acclaimed Liverpool pop band Stealing Sheep, inspired by 100 years of women’s right to vote.
Suffragette Tribute, a powerful, all-female extravaganza, made its latest stop at Festival No.6 in Portmeirion, following successful appearances at Sound City in Liverpool, Latitude, End of the Road Festival and the Museum of London – a round trip of more than 1,700 miles.
Featuring the three members of Stealing Sheep, 15 percussionists and 12 members of the University’s 3rd Edge Dance Company, the innovative show incorporates original new music, choreography, costumes, design and mapped projection, and takes the audience on a unique visual and aural journey into the Suffragette movement.
Performing outdoors, in all weathers and in unfamiliar locations each time, can faze even the most seasoned professionals, but the enthusiastic team of Edge Hill students and alumni took it all in their stride.
Lauren Green, who graduated this summer, said:
“It was an amazing opportunity and such a different experience to work with live music, knowing that you have to be on your toes for every performance as each one can be different.”
As well as being an enjoyable experience, the performance gave the dancers valuable insights into working as dance practitioners and a range of practical, CV-boosting skills.
Second year Dance student, Maria Mortimer, commented:
“The Suffragette Tribute has not only allowed me to have experience working with a professional band and choreographer, but has also given me the opportunity to travel across the country to perform at multiple events and festivals. This has both developed my performance technique and also improved my employability by performing at professional events and networking with a range of artists.”
Dance student Melissa Bewsher, also in her second year, added:
“Being involved in the Suffragette Tribute has been a great experience and has allowed me to gain a greater confidence within myself. It has also been an amazing pleasure to honour the Suffragettes with such a strong and lovely group of women.”
The national tour continued at Head for the Hills Festival on 15 September before returning to Edge Hill for a free performance as part of the University’s Wonder Women programme, celebrating the centenary of suffrage.