Dance students prepare for last performance at DMU

By Lola Bailey

Third year dance students are getting ready for their final performance at De Montfort University at the University Dance Festival today(FRI,JUNE2) and tomorrow.

Dance rehearsal by Melanie Knott [middle] with dancers Lucke Lamkin [left] and Alekandra Roguska [right]

Over 35 dance and music students and a minimum of 10 students off stage, have put together the performance of the year with the help of their module leader, Melanie (Mel) Knott, and their program leader, Josh Slater.

This show is highly anticipated by students and staff at DMU but also by professionals seeking their next big performer.

Students have been preparing for this festival since summer 2022 and started all the choreography in November.

The performance will be held at The Venue. As it is in high demand because of exam season, students don’t have a lot of time to rehearse in the chosen venue.

Mel said: “It gets more and more intense as it goes on.”

The dancers are not only dancing in this show but also help with the behind-the-scenes.

Josh said: “These are skills needed beyond dance that give them more opportunities to be more versatile.

“It helps them explore or be challenged creatively.

“They are working in a completely different way, they aren’t being treated as students but as professionals.”

Duet partners Lucke Lamkin [left] and Alekandra Roguska [right]

This year’s third years joined the dance module during the 2020 lockdown, so did not have three full years of performances like previous year groups.

Mel said: “It’s about putting on a show for them to go away on a high.”

Offering advice to their third year students, Mel said: “Never think enough is enough.”

Josh added: “It’s never finished. Think if you’re on tour, you tweak the performance every night you go out to suit the crowd.”

Rage of the 70s is back in Leicester

By Lola Bailey

The wave of controversy and anti-establishment feeling that marked the arrival of punk in 1970s Britain is being displayed in an exhibition in Leicester.

Punk: Rage & Revolution is telling the story of the punk scene with information panels, ephemera and objects.

The exhibition is at Leicester Museum running from May 27 until Sunday, September 3.

The charity Soft Touch Arts is behind this creation with multiple artists displaying their art showcasing how the struggles of the 70s are similar to ones we have today.

The website says: “Racism, environmental concerns, squatting and mental health issues – discover how some of the issues punks faced in the mid 70s are similar to the issues young people face today in Punk: Rage & Revolution – Extended.

“Learn about being a teenage punk in the 1970s, what’s punk now and how today’s young people look back on punk.”

Former Spandau Ballet star brings his DJ set to Leicester this weekend

by Katie McKenna

Former Spandau Ballet bassist and EastEnders star Martin Kemp is bringing his DJ set tour to Leicester this weekend(JUNE3). 

After his last performance at Leeds, Martin Kemp is set to perform the next show of his Back to the 80’s DJ Set Tour at the Athena Events Venue in Leicester. 

The first night is set to take place this Saturday at 7pm, with tickets costing £24.75 each. 

A second night was planned to take place at the O2 Academy later on the 24th of this month, but the event was cancelled, despite the event still being listed on Ticketmaster. 

Kemp has been touring since 2020 and shows no sign of stopping, with planned tour dates listing all the way to June 2024. 

Fans who miss his show in Leicester can next expect to see him perform in Carlisle on the 16th later this month. It is unknown if he plans to return to Leicester within the next year. 

DMU goes punk with students displaying fashion and textiles creations

By Faith Agbonson

DMU fashion and textiles students are showcasing their interpretation of punk activism at The Gallery from May 26 until Saturday, June 3. 

Avant-Garde: Luke Harthen models his punk art piece (photography by Lola Bailey)

DMU has collaborated with the Leicester Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts to create a rageful exhibition that brings back the UK punk scene from the 70s.

The students’ projects involve taking something they find unfair about society and channeling that anger through their art. 

One student, Luke Harthen, created a piece called “create, destroy, build” that highlights the importance of community for queer people.

“We have to create our own communities and spaces for our mental health,” said Luke. 

Another student, Jiayi Zhou, created the piece, “Pink Beauty”, used hair and leather to show the contrast between femininity and power.

“The pink symbolises power as a laser is used to turn black hair pink” she said.

Her activism was sparked by the recent suicide of a Chinese woman who was bullied for dying her hair pink instead of leaving it the traditional black that is the status quo in China. 

DMU Students prepare for upcoming University Dance Festival

By Callam Banghard

Students are working hard for the DMU University Dance Festival which will take place at DMU, Leicester tomorrow (FRI,JUNE2) and Saturday.

Rehearsing: students prepare for their big show (Photo by Harry Booker)

Senior lecturers Josh Slater and Mel Knott said a lot of preparation has gone into the festival and the students have gained a lot of skills/opportunities through rehearsals for it.

Josh said: “The festival has been going on for over 20 years and is sold out every year as it is very well known.

“We have around 35 students who are participating in the event.”

He added: “It took nine months from September, with the first piece being created in November and things got more and more intense as time went on.”

Mel said: “There is a lot of demand for different spaces due to exams and this has made things more challenging for both students and staff members.”

Despite the challenges that the dance team have had to overcome, Mel praised the students for “adapting to different spaces.”

The festival has also provided different skills and opportunities for the students through live performances and rehearsals.

“Important people in the industry have come to watch performances by the students and this has opened up good post-graduation opportunities for the students and has allowed them to evolve by challenging them creatively,” Josh said.

“They get treated as professionals as if they are already working in the industry and this has improved their ability to collaborate and become more independent.”

Mel added: “We are trying to expand the boundaries between training and professional work by developing the students as artists.”

The University Dance Festival will be held at The Venue @ DMU in Western Boulevard, starting at 7pm, Friday and Saturday.

Tickets cost £5 from