Dancers take Odyssey

Dancers with the Qualicum Beach School of Dance strut their stuff on an away stage

Dancers from the Qualicum Beach School of Dance: Charlotte Telfer-Wan

Some of Vancouver Island’s gifted dance students will be gathering next month at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo to showcase their talent as Dancestreams presents Dance Odyssey 2012.

Shari Selva, owner of the Qualicum Beach School of Dance, said her students are excited to be participating in this year’s event which will include 13 dance groups from the Island.

Selva said she is a fan of Dance Odyssey because students can perform on a world class stage without competing against each other and the young dancers look forward to it every year.

“It is the only thing on the Island where all dance studios come together in non competitive format. I think it is really inspiring for everyone to sit and watch each other with no competitive element,” said Selva.

Under the choreography of Charlotte Asplin, Selva’s students will be performing a modern stage number that they presented at their winter show in December at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. Too Darn Hot is from the musical Kiss Me Kate and Selva said the students nailed it when they presented it last month and they are really looking forward to performing it once more because this time it will be on a professional stage and will be in front of a large audience at the Port Theatre.

“It is pretty cool to dance there. Our performances are performed locally at Qualicum Beach Civic Centre … not at a professional dance stage.

“It’s awesome because the Port Theatre has proper change rooms, make up lights and a huge stage.”

The dance numbers being presented on that big stage will include everything from classical, ballet to tap, street dance and national.

Pattie MacKenzie who has been the Artistic Director of Dancestreams since 1996 said it’s an exciting show with something for everyone and it will be a real treat for all dance fans.

“There is a huge variety of dance … classical, ballet, modern, hip hop, you name it we have all of it in the show,” said MacKenzie and added, “the program highlights the richness and diversity of dance on Vancouver Island.”

She agreed the kids really look forward to it because it is non competitive and they get to dance on a world class stage.

“They also get to watch their friends from the balcony and see what other dance students are doing.”  She admitted it’s probably the highlight of the year for most dance students.

“I have one student who is going on an exchange to Paris and she is moaning and groaning because she will miss it.”

Dancers also have the opportunity to take part in master classes prior to the show with a guest artist. MacKenzie said that provides extraordinary and unique training and performance opportunities of the highest standards.

Heather Laura Grey is the guest artist, teaching the students during the day and Selva agreed that component of the event is a treat for her senior students.

“The dancers participate in a workshop during the day which is a fabulous opportunity for the dancers to have experience with a different teacher,” stated Selva.

Another thrill for the young dancers will be watching the performance of two dancers from Ballet BC.

Special guests Alexis Fletcher and Connor Gnam will perform an excerpt of Diversions by Robert Glumbeck, which Ballet BC premiered in Nov. 2011. Both dancers were Dancestreams company members in their teens. Gnam is from Nanaimo and danced for many years at Kirkwood Academy and a short time at the Parksville Ballet School.

Glumbeck is from Comox and did her early training with Angela Walker in Courtenay, and she also danced at the Parksville Ballet School. Both dancers went on to complete their professional training at Arts Umbrella in Vancouver before being hired by Ballet BC.

Dancestreams Dance Odyssey 2012 will be held Sat., Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo. For tickets phone 250-754-8550.


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