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Performing Arts Festival showcases the best of student theatre, music and dance

Tavo Theatre Co

Tavo Theatre Co

Performing arts students will be showcasing their work to the public from next week as part of Coventry School of Art and Design’s annual Degree Show.

Theatre productions, creative dance and music performances are all on offer during Coventry University’s SPECTRUM 2013 Performing Arts Festival, which runs at venues across the city and other locations from Monday 29 April until Friday 24 May.

The festival, in which final year students present their performance projects to friends, families and public audiences, launches with a special preview show in Coventry on Thursday 25 April. This free to attend event – which kicks off in the Ellen Terry Building, Jordan Well, at 7pm – offers a taste what will be happening in and around the city in the weeks to come.

Graduate Dance Company Spiltmilk, one of Coventry University’s alumni success stories, will play hosts for the evening. Formed in 2006 by artistic directors Sarah Devlin and Adele Wragby, the company has recently secured Arts Council funding in recognition of their unique brand of dance performance and passion for engaging new audiences through their extensive education programme.

Spiltmilk will be joined on the launch night by up and coming performing arts students, keen to give audiences a glimpse of their work. Reflecting the broad creative scope of the wider Performing Arts Festival, the event will feature excerpts from forthcoming student theatre productions, dance performances and live music.

In the main house student group Stray Theatre will present extracts from Scottish playwright Anthony Neilson’s fantastical and poignant exploration of the human condition, Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness. Dance student Joana Tischkau, a member of the from scratch collective of dance companies, offers a newly created piece, gently humorous yet full of insightful observations on art and life.  Music is provided by Contagious Grooves, an eight piece band playing a fusion of funk, hip-hop and jazz.

Around the building, student theatre groups are presenting preview performances of productions that will be on show during the festival. Tavo Theatre Company offers a snippet of Stars Never Abandon Their Orbit, their brand new English adaption of Romanian playwright Mihail Sebastian’s sad yet ultimately optimistic depiction of life in a provincial town in 1930s Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, a perfect blend of storytelling and live music comes in the form of Enigmatic Theatre’s The Winter Forest. Inspired by Angela Carter’s celebrated stories from The Bloody Chambers, Enigmatic Theatre’s debut production is a twisted fairy tale as juicy as a red apple and as thorny as a single white rose.

These and many more previews form part of an evening’s entertainment that is sure to provide a wonderful opener for the Performing Arts Festival.

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