Through the grapevine: local dancers in Festival

Parksville, Qualicum Beach dancers in the North Island Festival of Performing Arts

This troupe of young dancers from the Parksville Ballet School is one of many that will be performing at the North Island Festival of Performing Arts in Courtenay which starts on February 19.   Performing Heard it Through the Grapevine are: Cyera Gaughan

This troupe of young dancers from the Parksville Ballet School is one of many that will be performing at the North Island Festival of Performing Arts in Courtenay which starts on February 19. Performing Heard it Through the Grapevine are: Cyera Gaughan

Dance students from the Parksville Ballet School and the Qualicum Beach School of dance are about to strut their stuff at the North Island Festival of Performing Arts (NIFPA).

The festival features adjudicated performances in several dance disciplines as well as music. Students who take part in guitar, speech arts, fiddle, piano, strings, ballet and modern, hip hop, stage and street dance, musical theatre and more will be performing in the annual event being held in Courtenay.

The festival begins on Feb. 19 and spans over a month, with dance performances taking place at the Sid Williams Theatre and musical performances at the Old Church Theatre.

Over 1,000 performers are expected from around Vancouver Island, bringing together artists of all levels for professional growth and the possibility to go on to provincial championships.

This year’s dance adjudicator for ballet and modern is Catherine Courage, for stage; Julie Tomaino and for street; Jheric Hizon.

A new discipline this year will include song and dance numbers combined with musical theatre that will be adjudicated by vocal and stage adjudicators Amber Morphy (vocal) and Tomaino (stage).

Dance students at the Qualicum Beach School of Dance and the Parksville Ballet School have been practicing their routines and will be competing in all genres of dance from Feb. 19 to March 4. The Parksville school has 21 soloists performing as well as several dance groups doing routines ranging from contemporary to stage.

A special dance gala March 10 will feature the highlights of the festival.  All sessions are open to the public for a minimal fee and the money is returned to the performers in a form of bursaries.  Overnight hotel specials are also being offered during the festival. For more information on this visit the NIFPA website.

The Parksville Ballet School has 30 group performances as well. In the Musical Theatre Group, age 10 and under category, dancers aged eight and nine are performing a number called Heard it Through the Grapevine, which was choreographed by Donna Wilkins. The Parksville dancers will be performing their pieces once more when they hold their recital at the Port Theatre on Fathers Day, June 17.


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