Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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INTERVIEW | Liam Francis, Rambert Dance Company

60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB, UK
Photo Credit: Johan Persson

Curve Theatre has a fantastic array of Dance productions heading on its stage in 2019 and one of those comes from one of the world's leading independent dance companies, Rambert. Rambert is a British national treasure with loyal local audiences and an incredible reach to regional theatres throughout the UK. The company has been home to some of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century and embedded in the history of the art form too.  

They have a whole host of different productions touring the UK in 2018 and are bringing their work Life is a Dream for its final run at Curve Theatre between 28 Feb-2 March. 

One of the performers coming to Leicester is Liam Francis. Liam began dancing at the age of 14 when he trained with ZooNation Dance Company in their youth and adult company. 4 years later he enrolled at London Studio Centre, where he began training in ballet, jazz and contemporary. Luckily for Liam a week after he graduated at 21 he joined Rambert and now have been with them for 5 years! 

In Life is a Dream Liam takes on the main role of a director. "Life is a Dream is based on a famous Spanish play by Calderon" he explains, the choreographer of the piece, Kim Brandstrup "advised us not to read the play so we wouldn't be too affected by the story. He loves to create moods, images, pictures in regards to the narrative and doesn't describe too much to the audience". Brandstrup likes to be "suggestive, yet ambiguous, encouraging the audience to find their own meanings". 

Photo Credit: Camilla-Greenwell

Life is a Dream 
is a piece that centres around a director and a study of desires; the longing for an authentic experience, and the need to dream. Liam plays the director in the piece, "the first and second acts of the work are polar opposites for me". During the first half, Liam's movement is very "gesticular and I observe and guide the dancing of the others. Whereas in the second half it's very physical for me and includes a lot of dancing, especially partner work". Liam does feel as though he can really dig his teeth into the role of the Director as he tells me, "I get to embody the more pedestrian side of the character in the first half, and then a more physical dancing interpretation of him in the second half". 

Life is a Dream contains 12 performers and has been created over an intermittently period of a year, although it is "hard to identify exactly how long it took to create as Kim could come into the studio to tweak things to this day".

Photo Credit: Johan Persson

This piece of work has incredible layers of strong imagery and orchestra, Liam agrees that "performing to live music always adds another layer to the performance". With that in mind, "we have to be responsive not only to the other dancers on stage but also to live music. In the same respect that us as dancers have different performances every night, so do the musicians. It means you can never go onto autopilot and constantly stay focused".

Of all the dancing within the piece, his favourite is the "array of duets I perform in the second act with Nancy and Miguel. Duets are always fun to perform". 

Don't miss Life is a Dream at Curve Theatre, Leicester between 28 Feb-2 March. You can find more information and book your tickets here. 


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