Helix Dancers at Ballenas

Coming from Courtenay to Nanaimo, dancers will bring the Whalebone Theatre to life

Some dynamic young dancers will perform Friday

Some dynamic young dancers will perform Friday

Fans of contemporary dance won’t want to miss an upcoming performance by the Helix Dance Theatre company in Parksville.

Several pieces including four original new works will be presented by gifted young dancers at the Ballenas Whalebone Theatre May 18.

Helix was co-founded by Sarah Panichelli-DeVito and Kourtney Hunchuk and is celebrating its third anniversary.

This will be the final performance of the season and the dancers will present a fantastic evening of sophisticated dancing.

The company incorporates contemporary jazz and theatre as a medium to convey education through dance.

Their goal is to showcase the talents of gifted and diverse young dancers through unique and relevant repertoire that connects dancers to their communities while demonstrating an elevated technical and artistic calibre.

Currently there are 11 dancers between the age of 13 and 18 in the company from Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Courtenay who bring a wide range of dance genres to the group and perform mainly contemporary pieces.

Panichelli-DeVito said one of the dances is a modern piece about six and a half minutes long that she choreographed called Sinner Man.

It is based on the civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the southern United States to defy segregation laws and call for change.

“The piece is inspired by the stories of the freedom riders of 1961. These people changed the south. It is a heavy duty topic but the girls are invested in it,” she said.

Part of her mandate is to have the dancers understand the piece.

They understand the stories they are presenting and the girls researched the piece and totally embraced it when it was presented to them.

They debuted the piece in Nanaimo back in November at the Port Theatre and Panichelli-DeVito said the dancers really do justice to the choreography and will once again convey the emotion of it for the audience in Parksville.

The moving piece is set to an interesting mix of songs from the old south and includes gospel and slave music.

Panichelli-DeVito is also excited that Jessica Atkinson will be performing a modern contemporary piece on Friday night.

Atkinson who just returned from dancing with the contemporary Gallim Dance Company in New York City began her dance training at the Parksville Ballet School.

In Grade 10 she moved to Vancouver to join the Arts Umbrella SPARTS program.

She continued there for four years and completed the Arts Umbrella/VCC Graduate Program.

Atkinson has participated in Springboard Danse Montreal where she got to perform with the Rubberbanddance Company. The Montreal-based dance company is well known for breaking new ground on stage by fusing elements of ballet, contemporary and street dance. Its choreography  mixes the exuberance of hip hop with the refinement of classical dance to bring a new concept of dance to the stage.

Atkinson is now teaching various classes on the Island and in Vancouver and will be performing a piece that she choreographed herself called To Catch a Dandelion.

A lyrical piece by guest choreographer Mike McInnes will also be presented.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $12 and are available at Mulberry Bush Book stores and at the door.

 

Just Posted

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read