31st January 2018
Dance students at York College commemorate one hundred years since the ending of the First World War in their 'Centenary' performance in the College's Alan Ayckbourn Theatre. Exploring different dance styles, the student take on an emotive journey between 1914 -1918.
Depicting events and emotions from war-time, first year Extended Diploma Dance students master a range of dance styles to tell a series of devised stories; from losing loved ones, to wartime equipment and weaponry, animals and working women.
The students gained an insight into WW1 conditions in the trenches and built a comprehensive knowledge of the period when they took part in a workshop at the Royal Armouries in Leeds where they learnt how to march, perform a gas mask drill and throw grenades.
Dance student Abbie Newhall, formerly of Roundhay School, says. “This is a reflective performance about a period of history. Different dance styles relate the events; a joyful ragtime dance shows the freedom of pre-war Britain, quickly followed by a dance symbolising war propaganda, where the music and the mood changes dramatically. Our skills have been pushed to the limit, performing contemporary dance, ballet, musical theatre, circus and physical theatre. It’s been a fabulous experience to be part of this performance. I had previously studied A Levels and decided to take up this course to develop my technique to the required standard for drama school. The reputation of this course speaks for itself - it’s great preparation for the future.”
Callum Thompson-McConnell, formerly of Garforth Academy, says: “It is the first time I have been involved in researching a performance and the concept and history has been very interesting . This is a challenging course and I am constantly improving my skills and becoming a more versatile dancer.”