Dancers wait on the lottery

31st May 1996 at 01:00
Dundee College's one-year foundation course in dance hopes to be the genesis of a national dance school. Lottery money willing, new college premises would offer three years' training.

This would be a breakthrough for students like Lissa Beckitt, who may not be able to take up a place at the London School of Contemporary Dance because of high travel and living expenses.

At the end-of-session foundation course performance, Beckitt shone as an innocent abroad who gets caught up in the rave scene with disastrous consequences. "Right on Spring", choreographed by Peter Royston, the director of the course, and danced to Stravinsky's strident music of the same name, depicts a crowd of teenagers who fall under the power of a drug baron (danced nimbly by Neil Hutton). As the dancers leave reality for a drug-induced fantasy world, mini-skirts and platform soles are swapped for the heavenly garb of long evening dresses.

Dressed very differently in short dress and cardigan Beckitt is clearly not one of the crowd, yet she takes an ecstasy tablet and in a tale loosely based on the Leah Betts tragedy suffers terribly.

The cast of 14, the full contingent on the course, came to college with a diverse range of experience. Under Royston's tutelage they now perform with precision in terms of conventional contemporary dance. The range of work was illustrated by other items in the programme including a snappy duet choreographed by student Lisa Campbell, performed by Camilla Smith and Cindy Dunnett. With ballet dresses and bovver boots the piece was well thought out and performed.

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