Central’s undergraduate students present Summer Showcase 2021

To mark the end of the academic year, Central’s First and Second year students presented a range of pieces to demonstrate skills in different dance forms in the Summer Showcase events this week.  After a year of lockdowns, theatre closures, training in masks and much disruption due the COVID pandemic, the students showed that their resilience and determination to continue training has resulted in skills and artistry to match any normal training year at Central.  The thrill of performing in Central’s new Gable Theatre in the recently opened Countess of Wessex Studios in London’s SE1 was evident. Dancers live to perform and a year without any performing opportunities can be challenging for any performing artist.  Despite this being an internal event only – the audience was limited to staff and students – the joy of being together and sharing the energy of performing as groups of dancers in ballet, contemporary and Pas de Deux was powerful to behold for everyone involved.   The dancers were clearly uplifted by the exhilaration of being on stage, and even though they were performing in masks, they were each able to express the emotion and storytelling that dance requires for audiences.

Their tutors were unanimous in expressing positive feedback and praise for the students.  Leanne King, Contemporary and Choreography Tutor, also responsible for staging the Summer Showcase, said: “The students have been on an incredible journey.  They have faced this past year with unity, stoicism, positivity and great humour. Their achievements are a testament to their hard work and delight in their art form.”

Resmi Malko, Men’s Ballet Tutor, who was impressed by the dancers’ performance said they “are in a good place to proceed with the next year of training”, adding “It has been great to be working with students in our beautiful new Countess of Wessex Studios, working hard, and clearly enjoying dancing every day.”

Comments from the other tutors were equally supportive:

Emily Powell, Contemporary Tutor, said: “I have been very impressed by the resilience, commitment and professionalism shown by students this year. To see their continual growth, both as artists and individuals, during this time has been so inspiring. They should be immensely proud of what they have achieved!”

Chris Hinton-Lewis, Men’s Ballet Tutor, added: “The first year male students bring an energy and enthusiasm that has been sustained throughout the year, even through periods of lockdown. Their work ethic and camaraderie has never wavered, allowing them to continue to reach their goals culminating in the end of year showcase.”

Julia Ellis, Ladies’ Ballet Tutor, said: “The first year cohort has shown great commitment and a strong work ethic by learning online, settling into full-time training again, using the old and the new studios, and dancing in bubbles and squares with masks on! They have huge potential to succeed.”

Nicky Henshall, Ladies’ Ballet Tutor, said: “I am particularly proud of the students for adapting to change with maturity and ease. They have all shown such dedication and positivity in training, and it has been a pleasure to see them enjoy dancing in the new studios. Congratulations all!”

And the final word came from Linda Moran, Ladies’ Ballet Tutor: “Congratulations to you all for an impressive year’s work.”

Here’s to next year…