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Dance students perform works by professional guest choreographers

Four choreographers work with Middlesex University dance students to create original performance for first year module

Year one dance students performing piece by guest choreographer

Students on the BA Dance Studies and BA Dance Performance degrees recently performed choreographic works by four professional choreographers.

Working on the performance gave the first year students an opportunity to experience what it takes to work as professional dancers. As part of the module they are assessed on their commitment and professionalism throughout the project, as well as the final performance.

Louise Kelsey, Programme Leader for BA Dance Performance at Middlesex, believes it’s vital for students to get this kind of professional experience early in their studies.

“The year one performance module offers student dancers the opportunity to work with professional choreographers who are currently creating new work in the field,” she says.

“The choreographers are selected because of the richness and diversity of their practice and the invaluable professional skills they are able to instil while collaborating with our students.”

Jac Coxall, one of the guest choreographers, graduated from BA Dance Studies in 2016. He is now performing professionally in both commercial and contemporary dance, as well as teaching within vocational and higher education settings.

“It feels like yesterday that I graduated. The level of talent at Middlesex continues to grow, the new students are fantastic,” he says.

“I gained an incredible amount of knowledge from the inspiring teachers here. With their endless support and guidance I graduated a completely different person.”

“Over the 3 years at Middlesex I really found myself as an artist through what the university was offering me. I gained respect for myself as a performer and teacher and learnt to never give up, no matter what you get challenged with,” Jac Coxall, BA Dance Studies graduate

The other guest choreographers on the first-year module were Sarita Piotrowski and Mbulelo Ndabeni N’da – both developing artists in contemporary choreography.

Joshua Gillies, a BA Dance Performance student, found working with Jac an extremely valuable experience.

“I have come to a realisation of who I am as a dancer and the steps I need to take to improve,” he says.

“Jac taught me a lot about what would be expected within the industry, how auditions work and how to approach them. I feel I’ve come out of this process a stronger person and a stronger dancer.”

For the latest news and opportunities to engage with dance at Middlesex University, follow @MdxUniDance on Twitter.

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