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Dance students gain a valuable insight into performance work for Early Years settings

Dance students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have benefited from a performance for children at the University’s Pre-school Centre.

‘Nightlight’, a professional new show from Ludus Dance, in partnership with Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), has given students a valuable insight into performance work for Early Years settings.

Third year BA (Hons) Dance Performance and Teaching students have worked with children between the ages of two and four, who have watched rehearsals and performances of the show in the UCLan Media Factory.

Students who specialise in work within Early Years settings have had the opportunity to engage with and observe the children’s response to performance work made specifically for their age group.

Reflecting on the experience, Lorraine Thomas, UCLan Pre-school Centre Manager said: “The show fully connected with the children, keeping them mesmerised and entertained throughout.

“On the way back to nursery the children talked about jumping on the clouds, the umbrellas and they loved the fireflies. The show was kept simple and I would recommend this to other nurseries.”

The show is choreographed by dance artist TC Howard, with original music by Lee Affen. It tells the story of two friends trying to get to sleep and is played out in the unique space between being awake and being asleep, where children’s imaginations shift in and out of a dreamy landscape and the familiar world around them takes on many different shapes and forms.

Meara O’Donnell-Webb and Natasha Kay will now undertake a third year teaching placement at the Pre-school Centre, enabling the children to participate in a range of dance activities to support their physical, creative and social development.

The staff and students on the Dance Performance and Teaching course wish the show all the best for any future touring events and look forward to continuing to develop its partnership with Ludus Dance.