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Students star in Finchley dance showcase

Up-and-coming dancers from Middlesex University have put on a special performance in Finchley for local school children and the local public at the Arts Depot part-choreographed by Leroy Dias Dos Santos from dance troupe Flawless.

The 'MDX Dances' performance, a culmination of three years' study at the north London university, was performed by final year dance students in front of a packed audience. It was the ninth consecutive year Middlesex students have wowed audiences at the Finchley venue.

The event included pieces created by top choreographers, including dance legend Robert Cohen who worked with the students in the lead up to the performance. Middlesex graduate Leroy Dias Dos Santos, who is a leading performer in dance troupe Flawless, also saw a piece he created, exploring why people dance, showcased.

Leroy Dias Dos Santos, who was at the performance, said: "The students worked so hard, some of them had not done this style of dancing before. But now we are starting to see the beauty of it, the fruits of their hard work and how amazing it all looks. After all the sweat and tears and hard rehearsals, now we can really enjoy it - they enjoyed performing it and I enjoyed watching it."

Leading New York choreographer Robert Cohan, who trained at the Martha Graham School, played a big part in the lead up to the performance, personally coming in to work with the dance students on a piece he choreographed in 1977 called Forest.

Middlesex University dance student Harshil Chauhan said: "It is just amazing the lift Robert Cohen gave us – he has so much positive energy that we were able to execute movements we couldn't do before. He guided us in a way that means when he is there we pull off the move next time we try it."

Megan Houldsworth, from Golders Green, who performed in the piece choreographed by Leroy, said:  "We had to have a lot of technical training to reach the right level of performance. We had special workshops to work on movement and strip it back to basics."

The event opened with a performance of New Dance, based on the original 1935 work by Doris Humphrey. The piece was adapted by leading Humphrey exponent and head of performing arts at Middlesex, Lesley Main.

"The tutors are incredible - they are masters of their own domain. We are really lucky," said dance student Leanne Bailey from Hendon.

Another dance student, Aimee Leigh also from Hendon, added: "It's so much more than a university in terms of dance. Where else do you get this kind of training and experience?"

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