By Shola Osiyemi
This years charity showcase presented an explosion of creativity. For those who are unfamiliar the Essex charity showcase is an event that displays the students of Essex university’s artistic flair, in a variety of mediums. Whether it’s poetry, dancing, singing, acting or even pole-dancing, the showcase flaunts the talent that Essex has to offer. What’s great, is that it’s all done for a noble cause. All the proceedings were donated to the local charity – Next Chapter. A Colchester based charity that focuses on helping women who have dealt with domestic abuse.
There’s a lot to unravel, so let’s get into it!
It all started with an energetic performance by the Pole-Dancing society. Pole-Dancers Isobell and Charlotte, individually performed flamboyant dances which were in sync to music. The most impressive aspect of their performance was their incredible strength, both dancers terrifically held on to the pole while twisting and turning their bodies. Their performances were eye-catching, grabbing the attention of the audience, as they executed an artistic display.
There was a diverse range of singing performed on the night. One of the earliest songs performed, was a crossover between Hindi and Pop. The song was a fusion of two differing cultures, that complemented each other, as the singer drifted between singing in Hindi and singing in English. The singer’s voice was sung in rhythm to a skilled guitar player, who provided a complementary rhythm for the singer.
As mentioned before, what spiced up the showcase was the diverse range of performances, that were inspired from a range of creative genres. The showcase featured extravaganzas like the K-Pop choreography performed by the K-POP society. With over 10 dancers, the K-POP society showed off their dancing flair, with an electrifying dance. A shift in theme came from the Nigerian society, who acted out a story of domestic abuse, while simultaneously incorporating Nigerian Afro-Beat classics with rhythmic dance. It made for an interesting blend, that received a well deserved applause from the crowd.
A very interesting element of the show, were the poems performed a by a student named “Will”. His style of poetry was incredibly, captivating. He frequently spoke to the crowd in-between poems, casually explaining the meaning and inspiration behind his poems before presenting them to the audience. All of his poems were captivating and thought-provoking, but the one that stuck out to me was the poem “Rain”. A short poem made when he first started university, that explored his sombre mind-state at the time.
The Kathak dancing was truly unique. Kathak is a traditional Indian form of classical dance that’s derived from ancient India. A young Indian lady dazzled her way around the stage, performing intricate movements, showcasing the beauty of Kathak dancing. Kathak translates to “Story”, and her performance was in twine to a classic Indian tune. The dancer moved in sync to the rhythm of the song, which made for an flamboyant display.
I couldn’t end this article without discussing “Pride”. An original play by Ena Chiara, which revolved around a promising young actress, who battles the difficulties of having an abusive drama teacher, while the glamour of her acting career is slowly being taken away. Thought-provoking, intriguing and gripping, this play delved into the horror that lurks beneath the stage, in the entertainment industry. Gabrielle Crooke played the lead role, her character frequently broke the 4th wall, engaging with the audience, to show in real time just how much pain she was experiencing during the turbulence of her life. The supporting cast provided amazing performances, especially Corey Lee who portrayed the abusive drama teacher. His performance was furious, embodying the dark and light sides of a good manipulator.
Overall the Charity Showcase was an awesome display, that showcased the talent that lies within Essex University students. Most importantly, all the proceedings go towards a great cause, with Next Chapter. The proceedings should assist in improving Next Chapter’s noble mission of helping domestic abuse victims.