Dancer returns to home city

April 29 2018
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Bristol raised dancer Jennie Marshall returned to her home city in April in a remarkable new production of the famous story of Scheherazade and 1001 Nights.

The show, which sold out at Sadler’s Wells, was performed at the 1532 Performing Arts Centre at Bristol Grammar School on Saturday 21 April and featured Jennie in a number of roles. 

The production, by London based Company of Dreams, uses a powerful fusion of dance styles, including belly dance, jazz and contemporary, plus fire artistry, illusion and heart stopping lifts. Jennie’s experience in belly dance, which she began training in as a teenager in Bristol, gained her a coveted role in the production. 

Jennie was educated at Redland High School for Girls. At the age of fifteen she was captivated by a Prince video featuring a belly dancer and decided she had to learn to belly dance. She joined Jacqui Jamal’s class in Bristol where she learned the ancient art for many years and, a result fell in love with Arabic dance and culture. A degree in Arabic from Manchester and a year in Cairo cemented that passion. 

Jennie continued her dance training when she moved to London after university and has been with Company of Dreams since its formation in 2014. This is the company’s first UK tour and Jennie was thrilled that the first stop was her home city. She said the production is perfect for open hearted, culture loving Bristolians. 

“I loved growing up in Bristol because of the diversity and openness to new and exciting arts and culture,” says Jennie. 

“I know Bristol will love this production because it’s so rich and culturally diverse. It’s really thrilling too – it’s an amazing story which takes the audience on an emotional journey. People actually gasped out loud at times when we performed it at Sadler’s Wells.” 

The show tells the story of the brave and resourceful Scheherazade, who saves the lives of the women of the land by telling magical stories to a vengeful king. The stories she tells, such as Sinbad, Ali Baba, and Aladdin have captivated people around the world for centuries.