Pop Culture features talented grads

Jan DeGrass/Arts and Entertainment Writer / Staff writer
June 28, 2013 01:00 AM

Pre teen jazz dancers show their stuff in the piece Flappers at Danceworks Academy show, Pop Culture.

Danceworks Academy showed off its senior dancers in the presentation Pop Culture on June 14 with a prolific show featuring an amazing 32 dance numbers.

Seven of the students were graduating. Company II featured Mckenzie Flum-erfelt, Tenzin Rainey, Sarah Roberts and Emily Sherwood who told a story with their dance, The Classroom.

The solo dancers were all very good, whether en pointe for ballet or in street gear for hip hop. Caitlin Bartley tapped her way into becoming an audience favourite in her piece, Country Girl, coached by instructor Shantaya Purjue. It wasn't that long ago that Purjue was a graduating dancer herself.

Corinna Allenback in adult contemporary dance and Ciara Cassidy in ballet proved the worth of their years of training. Elizabeth Waite's ballet variation on Don Quixote was sultry and dramatic, and Nicholas Allenback appeared in many of the pieces, including his jazz dance piece and a ballet duet with Cassidy.

Pre-teen and teen acting classes put on several interconnected pieces based on folk tales with scripts written by Marcie Tentchoff. The Acrobatics classes were dazzling with their intricate routines especially The Sound of Silence performed by the more advanced dancers.

The intermediate modern dancers waited on stage during the Friday evening production for their music to start. It's always an awkward moment when the cues don't work, but it did not throw the dancers off their game and the wait was worth it. The Grade 5 ballet dancers using laser swords and rousing music from Star Wars brought a bit of cinematic colour to their dance.

One of the crowd favourites was the Austin Powers dance number from the Broadway Jazz group. Groovy, baby! Some of the same jazz dancers showed up in the competitive hip hop pieces exhibiting limitless energy.

Some of the best dances were those in which each dancer had a mini-solo and a chance to shine, for example, Beach Days from instructor Jessica Crombie by the ISTD Tap I and II class performed with sunglasses and lots of attitude.

The junior dancers were not present in this evening production but had their own show, Aladdin, that same weekend.

Danceworks begins their summer intensive program in July for intermediate and advanced programs, as well as a few one-day workshops in various subjects. They are also hosting a fun summer dance camp for kids beginning July 15. See www.dwasummerdance.com for more information.

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