RETURNING to where her love for dance first began, Kate Forster accompanies dance company EDGE on their national tour, when she will perform in her home town of Hexham.

Five years ago, aspiring dancer Kate sat in the audience of an EDGE performance at the Queen’s Hall Art Centre, where she fell in love with contemporary dance for the first time.

“That was the first time I had ever seen a contemporary dance performance and I was amazed at how free it looked,” she said.

“There was an element of rule breaking to the genre which I admired, such as how the female dancers would lift men, which goes against tradition of dance, and the blending of different genres such as ballet and jazz.”

After training for years with Youth Dance Tynedale, and studying dance at A-level at Prudhoe Community High School, Kate went to join the Northern School of Dance where she completed her degree.

Last year, she went up against dancers from across the globe to secure a place with EDGE, the postgraduate company of the prestigious London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS).

Every year EDGE embarks on both a national and international tour. Kate is one of 13 dancers from around the world who will be bringing the programme to life, performing three diverse routines created by three award-winning choreographers and Artistic Director Jeanne Yasko.

9 Minutes, a piece of work by Spanish choreographer Jorge Crecis, is first in the bill and will focus on the emotional last nine minutes of a person’s life, and the power of life.

“We’ve really pushed boundaries in this performance,” said Kate.

“We’re going to be using ropes to elevate us off the ground, but we’ll also be singing live, which most of the dancers have never done before, so that was a little daunting.

“It has been a great experience though, and I think it is good to take us out of our comfort zone, because now I’ve got another string to my bow.”

Following 9 Minutes will be Israeli choreographer Hagit Yakira’s work Sea of Detail – a largely improvised and non-narrative piece of work which explores the detail and beauty in movement.

For the finale, Cchoreographer Fabio Liberti from Italy will be showing his work for the first time in the UK with a routine called Me, Myselfie and I – an abstract piece of dance which plays with the idea of pixelation in photos through dance, whilst exploring the concept of ‘selfie culture’.

“We’ve been rehearsing for nearly six months,” said Kate.

“The company spends a month at a time each choreographer, perfecting the routine, before we go and learn something entirely different.

“Each choreographer brings something new to the table. We’re constantly learning different skills and styles which helps to build up our repertoire for life beyond education.

“Even though it can be very intense at times, it’s important that we leave with as much experience and variety as possible, as that is what will make us stand out from the rest in future auditions, especially in this competitive industry.”

Along with touring across the UK, EDGE will stop off for a creative residency in Portugal alongside performing for audiences in Finland, Scotland and Austria, plus three nights at LCDC’s home at the Place in London.

On returning to her home town, Katie said it felt strange after so much time treading the pavement in London,

“I think it will make me realise how far I’ve come,” she said. “It was always a dream to be performing for my friends and family here, but now it feels slightly surreal.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the friendly faces in the audience however.”

EDGE Dance Company will come to the Queen’s Hall on July 2.

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