Women in the Arts: Reviewed

On the evening of Wednesday 15th of October, I went to see the showcase for female talent in St Andrews: ‘Women in the Arts’. As a fresher, it was the first event of its kind which I’ve seen so far in my time here, and I must admit it will be hard for other performances to live up to such a wonderful night of entertainment.

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We were treated to eight unique acts in total. ‘When The Accidentals’’ kicked off the evening with a rendition of, ‘All About That Base’, I knew it would be a good night! Their poise and articulation was outstanding and their closing numbers, including a mash up of Black-Eyed Peas songs, amongst other things, was truly fantastic- the beatboxing was also an element I felt was especially spectacular!

The ‘Desert Roses’ and the ‘Blue Angels’ both exemplified the range of talented dancers St Andrews can be proud of. The ‘Desert Roses’ perhaps (more commonly known as Shimmy Soc) presented a medley of four Bollywood fusion styles. The varying tempo of the music mixed with the rainbow coloured outfits were a treat to both the eyes and ears! The ‘Blue Angels’ provided a great contrast with their contemporary dance routine which involved a fluidity and unity of movement of which the entire audience was in awe.

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Inklight’s creative writing group also made an appearance with original poetry from Carla McGaharan and Kristiyana Kalcheva, completing remoulding my view of contemporary poetry. The way in which both women engaged so passionately with their work was inspiring. The combined focus on women and society’s stereotypical attitudes towards them was contrasted in the way each poet tackled gender issues. Carla’s poetry focused on the idea of child rearing and the pre-determined role of women with striking lines such as, ‘The responsibility is on me’, ‘I am a family planning machine’ and ‘before the burden of creation lay on my shoulders’ adding a slightly darker element to what was an extremely engaging piece of slam poetry. Kristiyana focused more on the divisions between races in a modern world, her poem, ‘Sometimes I’m a white girl’ stimulating a whole range of new perceptions on the treatment of “brown” and “white” women in today’s world.

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Musical acts were also part of the evening’s delights, starting off with Emma Seckel’s performance of two songs from Idina Menzel’s new musical. She sang with an incredible vocal range and vitality which may be transposed upon the evening as a whole. This musical theme was also present in Emma Taylors dual performance of a song, ‘My Perfect Man’ which I presume was an original piece; its greatly personal touches and resulting performance was absolutely brilliant. The way she moved around the stage and played upon facial expression made me feel as if she were performing directly at me. This resonated again in her monologue from ‘Spine’, a one woman play (also seen at the Fringe!) by which I was completely transfixed. The final musical performance was by the soloist Lise Loveland and her acoustic version of ‘Fragile.’ Her own original song, ‘Darling’ added a calm serenity evoked by her delicate melody and vocals.

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This evening really was a spectacle in itself but the good stuff didn’t stop there; all proceeds go towards helping to sponsor a woman for a year through the ‘Women for Women’ initiative. The evening raised awareness for this important cause and this was signposted in the interjecting slides which appeared throughout the showcase. The one which stood out to me most was, ‘The fastest way to change society is to mobilise the women of the world’. After seeing last night’s performances, I have been greatly inspired to do so and would highly encourage anyone to visit ‘W4W’s’ events in the future, because if they are anything like last night, they promise to be unforgettable.

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