Former students to host contemporary dance event.

Posted on 1st May 2017

Two former students of the University of Chester, Gary Lloyd and Bettina Carpi, are collaborating with current students to host a live contemporary dance theatre event.

Alan Moore, Bettina Carpi and Gary Lloyd.
Alan Moore, Bettina Carpi and Gary Lloyd.

‘The Mirror of Love’, which takes place at the University’s Kingsway Campus on Wednesday, May 3 consists of live music composed by Gary, dance performances choreographed by Bettina, and a prose piece written by Alan Moore. Alan is the widely celebrated author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, Jerusalem, Lost Girls and Brought to Light, among many other iconic bestselling works. 

‘The Mirror of Love’ was written in 1988 as a protest against the government’s Clause 28, which banned the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities in the UK and remained law until its repeal in 2003.  

Using this prose work as the starting point and inspiration, and with full support and encouragement from Alan, Bettina, Gary and the Performing Arts Department will present the live contemporary dance theatre event which incorporates a large cast, live conducted music and a narrator.  

Gary said: “The aim is to celebrate our progress as a society in the UK in issues of equality, gender identity, freedoms and personal choices. What is important to us, above all else, is to preach equality in everything, in gender, in status, in personal choice, in wealth, in social welfare, in health and well-being, and in nationality, at a time when we're seeing something of a ghastly slow and creeping national and international reversal of equalities.” 

Bettina recently graduated from the University with an MA in Dance and she has performed all over the world including at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics Ceremonies. Gary graduated from Chester in 1986 with Combined Honours. Both Bettina and Gary are excited to be performing alongside current students. 

Gary has composed music for hundreds of productions in conjunction with, or for, other mediums such as theatre, film and television, and for orchestral concert performances, and is also a record producer. He also has a long history of collaborating with authors on narrative music works. 

This version of the show is the start of a longer-term plan, where other universities will stage the piece with Bettina and Gary. The eventual aim is to tour it as a fully-funded professional production, the first of which will take place in Chester later in 2017, with a plan for national and international touring beginning in 2018. The event will feature 17 dance performers and six musicians from the University’s Performing Arts Department, a narrator and a conductor. 

Gary said: “Working with both music and dance students from the Performing Arts Department has been incredibly useful for us in terms of figuring out the grander scheme for this work, The Mirror Of Love, in particular and is invaluable for the development of our nascent collaborative processes and our creative partnership. We're investigating forms of dance and composition that manifest themselves from simple, but rich, sets of rules and parameters but use these to frame emotive works with important and highly relevant societal topics.” 

He added: “It's been totally disarming to see such incredible motivation and enthusiasm on the part of the students, who have given so much of themselves, to participate in something bigger than any individual's ambitions and to support each other so seemingly effortlessly, and to do so in pursuit of the quality of the activity itself as much as the exciting outcome of the public performance of a complicated dance theatre piece with live music and literature at its core. This has been achieved outside of the curriculum by the choice of the students and is, for most of the students, the first time they've participated in an inter-departmental collaboration, and it's fantastic, really outstanding actually, on the part of the University that this has been facilitated.” 

‘The Mirror of Love’ takes place at Kingsway Campus on May 3. Tickets are £8, and £5 for students. Tickets will also be available on the door, subject to availability. 

Tickets can also be purchased online, here.