Leicester-born dancer to appear in film starring Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman

Posted by ap507 at Oct 17, 2014 11:50 AM |
University of Leicester tutor will feature in A Little Chaos to be screened at the British Film Institute Festival from 17-19 October

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 17 October

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images

A full length feature can be found on the University of Leicester’s website at:  http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/features/from-dancing-with-the-stars-to-supporting-olympians

A tutor in the University of Leicester’s School of Management will appear in a blockbuster film as a dancer - after having already choreographed music videos and worked as a Psychologist in an Olympic Legacy Team with the next generation of Olympic athletes.

Teaching Fellow Heidi Ashton, of the University’s Centre for Labour Market Studies in the School of Management, beat off stiff competition to appear as a dancer in A Little Chaos, a film starring Hollywood A-listers Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman, which celebrates its UK premiere at the British Film Institute Festival from 17-19 October in various venues across London and is due for general release in early 2015.

The British period drama is set in 17th Century France and centres around a strong-willed landscape gardener (Winslet) who challenges gender and class assumption when she is chosen to create one of the main gardens at the Palace of Versailles for King Louis XIV (Rickman).

Using strong classical dancing techniques, Heidi impressed the panel during the daunting audition process, securing one of just seven places out of around 100 women who auditioned.

Speaking about filming A Little Chaos, Heidi said: “I loved the entire process. Learning a new technique (Baroque) was fascinating and our choreographer was excellent, constantly explaining how the style developed and the psycho-social context of the performance. My dance training taught me how and why Western dance has evolved but it was wonderful to actually learn this early technique.

“Of course, being on set is incredibly exciting. You get to meet and work with some great people. I'm fascinated by how movies are made, and enjoy watching and talking to people about every aspect.”

Born in Leicester, Heidi’s passion for dancing began aged nine and she has since travelled the world performing in prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, dancing a range of styles from ballet to Musical Theatre.

She has also recently finished working on another film Victor Frankenstein, starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, as a dancer and assistant choreographer which is also due for release in 2015.

As one of the founding members of the Sport and Exercise division of the British Psychological Society, Heidi has also contributed resource papers for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science.

The focus of her PhD research at Leicester was career transition after understanding that a career as a dancer was finite. Heidi successfully applied for a position as a graduate teaching assistant alongside experts in the field of transitions, Dr John Goodwin and Dr Henrietta O’Connor at the University’s Centre for Labour Market Studies.

Having briefly worked with members of the Malaysian Olympic shooting team and young elite gymnasts, Heidi then became involved with an Olympic legacy team working with young elite fencers.

Heidi added: “I continue to pursue my various interests because I enjoy them all and find them all interesting. Maybe I have a short attention span. I have yet to find a good reason not to follow my curiosity wherever it leads, my interests inspire research and may look like odd bed fellows but they have more in common than you might think.”

For more information about the British Film Institute Festival 2014 and for screen times for A Little Chaos visit: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=97C85ABF-2E66-4404-AF84-B423537417F0&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=9BDE959A-3E44-47A9-BD90-76FF9AC9E983

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Heidi Ashton at: hsa8@leicester.ac.uk

A full length feature can be found on the University of Leicester’s website at:  http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/features/from-dancing-with-the-stars-to-supporting-olympians

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