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Roehampton Dance students to perform Akram Khan’s choreography in London’s Big Dance Festival

Roehampton Dance students will perform Akram Khan's choreography to open the Big Dance Festival on 2 July 2016 with 1,000 other dancers in London’s iconic Trafalgar Square.

Posted: 30 June 2016

This is the final year of Big Dance, the UK’s biggest celebration of dance and dancing led by the Mayor of London, People Dancing and the Big Dance Hubs. Akram Khan, who holds an honorary degree from Roehampton, worked with the dance students to conceptualise and create the dance, bringing the story to life to share globally.

Using the themes of ‘migration’, ‘overcoming adversity’ and ‘achievement’, the choreography puts aside people’s connections with digital media to celebrate an expressive connection through the ritual of dance. This ancient ritual spans all ages and brings people together from all cultures.

The creation of the dance first began in November 2015 when Roehampton dance students joined forces with Akram Khan to create movement. In January, the Big Dance Pledge began and the Roehampton dance students had the opportunity to teach the choreography to members of the University community for the Big Dance performance day on the 20th of May.
Daniel Walsh, a third year BA Dance student said: “It’s a once in a life-time opportunity to learn the Big Dance from Akram Khan and have the chance to teach other members of the University. It’s so rewarding to perform this dance and without this amazing experience, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Dr Ann R David, Head of the Department of Dance at University of Roehampton, said, “Akram Khan is a world-renowned choreographer, and we’re pleased that our students had this opportunity to create a dance performance with him.

“Working alongside dance professionals is an invaluable experience for our students. Being immersed in the creative process that a choreographer goes through and understanding how the process happens enables our students to be successful in their degrees and subsequent careers.”

You can find out more about the performance in Trafalgar Square on the Big Dance website.

See the video here where Roehampton students from the Department of Dance and members of the University community performed the Big Dance here.

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