Defying the stereotypes

Part B was reintroduced in 2015 as the Beaver’s well-needed arts and culture section. Today, it reflects a broader change on campus in all artistic domains. Although art can sometimes feel sidelined at LSE, artists and writers have been increasingly more vocal through the rebirth of the Clare Market Review and the creation of the Lacuna Lit Magazine. Writers from across the student body submit poetry and personal essays on issues such as mental health, LGBT+ rights and more. Additionally, Part B reviews movies, music, as well as LSE-led performances, constantly reflecting the student body’s talent and dedication to dance, theatre and literature.

This term has seen the production of exceptional shows. Our students can do it all : dance, music, acting, writing, pole while pursuing heavy academic degrees at the same time. Just a week ago, LSE Dance president Joanne Elikie Tho put together Ignite 2019, an impressive professional show which left the audience speechless. The student-led pieces were perhaps the most spectacular. First year Kimberley Chia’s contemporary piece ‘Lady Lazarus’ combined delicacy with power. The dancers first made their appearance on stage to a spoken word poem by Beyonce, Intuition, revealing fragile, trapped and desperate individuals exploring the themes of women’s oppression and mistreatment. As the piece evolved the dancers became one on stage: powerful, strong and fierce. Dancers’ technique, facial expressions, partner work, positions and raw movement  conveyed feelings of hope and solidarity. The African Caribbean Society’s show Ablaze also offered the audience a mix of drama, dance and fashion through a play that introduced a love story set between two diplomats of the African Union. The performers’ energy was palpable throughout the show and the costumes were also absolutely stunning and skillfully crafted. LSE Drama Society staged the musical Sweeney Todd, which made the spectators’ blood run cold as James Knudsen and Anna Chedham-Cooper’s musical and acting performance were simultaneously frightening and touching. The cast plunged us into a dark and gloomy atmosphere, making us cry and laugh when faced with the play’s twist of events.

The talent and efforts of our students throughout the academic year defied the stereotypes that LSE students are simply career-driven. Quite the opposite, our ranks are filled with poets, singers, actors and dancers, and we have yet to see what next year has in store. Whatever it is, Part B will be here to cover it.

by Raphaëlle Camarcat

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