The Coast Academy of Dance (CAD) put on four fast-paced, energetic three-hour shows on June 9 and 10 at the Raven’s Cry Theatre with a hooting and hollering audience that clearly appreciated each dance. That this extravaganza of hundreds of junior and adult dancers goes together each year is an extraordinary feat of organization. To the audience, it appeared seamless.
This year’s theme, Dance Upon a Star, belonged to Disney, giving it a lot of scope for favourite characters and magical Minnie Mouse dancers. It’s difficult to pick highlights in such a densely packed show. Here are just a few. The intermediate tappers did a great job in an original piece, Seize the Day, choreographed by Jaime Butler. Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Shirley Jackson showed how a story could be conveyed in dance. The blue dancers represented the many pails of water and the yellow dancers represented the brooms with performances from grade 6, intermediate and advanced ballet.
Competitive hip hop by choreographer Elwin Alpuerto can be described in hip hop slang as “dope” (dope equals good). These were the height of dopeness. In fact, all the competition teams for jazz, acrobatics and contemporary were at the top of their form. It’s understandable why the CAD pulls in so many trophies every year.
Advanced competitive hip hop and the adult and teens dancing together in A-squad was fast and flexible. For the Sunday evening performance, a special guest arrived from Vancouver for one performance only, the Ruffnecks, with local dancer Becky Izad in their number. The CAD competitive hip hop dancers were excellent — but the Ruffnecks were just a shade faster and crisper. It was definitely a highlight.
The costumes were fabulous. The adult cardio cabaret team used them to advantage in Black and White Bank Account by turning from side to side to display their contrasting personas. Six teachers dressed as Disney villains had the audience roaring with laughter when they came on stage to parody such characters as Cruella de Vil – complete with a live Dalmatian dog – and Captain Hook. The comedy gave way instantly to the dainty Garland Ballet choreographed by Kathleen Holmes.
Don’t Forget About Me was choreographed by artistic director Julie Izad and featured some of the stellar pre-professional dancers who are graduating this year to teach or to continue with dance: Bronte Hansen, Alyssa Rive and Jessica Schweighardt. Current CAD teachers Jaime Butler, Molly Carpenter and Cora Nelson are also moving on to career pursuits.
The season’s classes are over, yet the summer 2018 dance camps start straight away from July 2 to 6 and July 30 to Aug. 3. See coastdance.com for more.