On Friday 16th January we returned to the University of Northampton (from where we both graduated). Since graduating in 2013 both myself and Frankie have returned to Northampton to either watch or help with performances but still kind of felt like students as we knew the current students and it was a place that had started to feel like home after spending about 50hours a week there for 3years! This time it was a very different visit for us, we were returning as professional dance artists with our own work to show, rather than students or just alumni with nothing to say when people ask if you’re still dancing….
For the first time I no longer felt jealous of the students still on the Dance course spending all their time in a studio that had become a second home to me. I felt proud. I felt proud to be making our own work, devising our own choreography and that the university had invited us back to share it. I didn’t have to make any excuses for being in a job I don’t like or why I’m not doing what they thought I’d be doing because that’s no longer the case. I love what I’m doing now, and I think people were genuinely happy to be seeing graduates from the BA hons Dance course having a good go at carving their own path to a career in the dance industry.
Were we nervous? Of course we were! We both dance differently now to how we did two years ago. We’ve matured as dancers and have each had different experiences before collaborating that we have shared and have made us what/who we are now. So to return to the place where we studied to show our work to the tutors and now third years (who would have been first years when we were there) was rather daunting. But it was that kind of good scary where you’re really proud of what you’re doing and showing but really intrigued by what they will think seeing what you’ve made.
The performance was on Saturday 17th January at Isham Studios on Avenue Campus and the evening consisted of works by ourselves (Piece of String), Lily Jane Thomas, Coegi and Playgrounds Dance Company. The evening was a mixed bill of Dance Theatre and Contemporary Dance. We were able to watch the other works during tech rehearsals and we were performing amongst some really great artists, check them out if you can!
The piece has been reworked since its debut at The London Bridge Live Arts Festival in September 2014 and was received well at The University of Northampton. We were really lucky to have been offered footage of the performance so we will have an excerpt to share with you soon!
Thank you to Matthew Gough for inviting us to perform at The University of Northampton, to PDC 2015 for hosting the evening and to all of those that came to support us.
What’s next for Piece of String? We’ve got a few things in the woodwork and we’ll soon be holding open company class starting in February so keep your eyes peeled!
What a way to start 2015! Onwards and Upwards!