Solent University performance students and University of Winchester dance students took to the stage on 30 March at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre as part of a curtain raiser performance ahead of Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. This was our third curtain raiser of the season - alongside all of our touring productions, a series of workshops and curtain raisers accompany our shows to give local dancers the opportunity to work with our award-winning company.
The project – a collaboration between New Adventures, Mayflower Engage, Winchester and Solent students – was choreographed in a week-long set of workshops in the lead up to the show by Daisy May Kemp (Resident Artist) and Michela Meazza (Associate Dance Practitioner). During the rehearsal week we had a special visit from Royston Smith MP (Southampton Itchen Constituency) who was delighted to see what we had been getting up to.
Curtain Raiser participants with Royston Smith MP, Daisy May Kemp (Resident Artist, New Adventures), Michela Meazza (Associate Dance Practitioner, New Adventures), Sarah Mepham (Senior Lecturer, Solent University), Will Pickering (Mayflower Musical Youth Theatre Musical Director & Education Programme Assistant) & Rob Steel (Central Hall)
Daisy May Kemp, Resident Artist (maternity cover) for New Adventures
Sara Scott, Head of Creative Learning at the Mayflower Theatre adds: “We are committed to training the next generation of theatre makers and have been delighted to partner with New Adventures for the fourth time on a curtain raiser project. This is an exceptional opportunity for these aspiring dancers to work with members of this very talented company.”
First year musical theatre student, from Southampton Solent, George Roberts says he was amazed by the insight he gained from the project: “I was ecstatic when this opportunity came about, as Matthew Bourne's company is a very big inspiration of mine. It was incredible to learn a bit more about how they work.”
Sarah Mepham, Solent senior lecturer in performance says she was pleased to continue the success of Solent’s new BA (Hons) Musical Theatre and Acting and BA (Hons) Performance degrees with this collaboration: “It was incredible to give our students the opportunity to enhance their skills and gain valuable experience by working with an internationally acclaimed dance company. They were thrilled to wrap up the project by performing in front of a sold-out crowd.”