Glittering performance shows love of dance

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Live Love Dance had all the glitter of a Broadway production and all the smooth flow of a professionally stage-managed show. But the true highlight was the dancers themselves. The Coast Academy of Dance (CAD) students, from the little ones through to the pre-professionals, danced their hearts out at the Raven’s Cry Theatre last weekend during four shows that drew nearly 1,000 people to this hot ticket.

With 48 performances in a single show, there was much that was memorable. Ballet Adagio, choreographed by Kathleen Holmes, was quietly beautiful with its advanced ballet dancers showing their reverence for the art. The sequences involving acrobatics were outstanding. The bronze and silver tap students had fun, tap dancing to a lively Beatles medley choreographed by Baylee Higgins. The little primary dancers in their garden flower costumes showed promise of future abilities in a piece by Shirley Jackson.


The pre-professional dancers, seven students who keep up their high school work along with intensive dance training, performed on several pieces. Tangled Up gave a good demonstration of their work and showcased guest Luke Hansen, who got a few wows from the audience.


The collaborations of younger and older students in different disciplines such as jazz and modern made for great entertainment. The teen/adult flamenco dance worked well, with the older and younger students displaying a level of confidence. When one young dancer couldn’t open her Spanish fan easily, she smiled, prised it open and went on dancing with great poise.

Emilie Bland, who trained on the Coast and went on to dance success in the city, returned for a solo performance. Michelle Millican, one of last year’s pre-pro dancers, also gave a dynamic solo. The CAD’s artistic director Julie Izad tapped up a storm along with Bryn Rasmussen in a dazzling, show-stopping number.

CAD shows are paced well — they must run like clockwork to accommodate the many students on stage and backstage. For this, the school needs the help of many parents who chauffeur and herd kids, work behind the scenes and sew costumes. What Parents Do for Love was an adult ballet piece by Shirley Jackson that honoured six moms, their children’s costumes in hand, working until 2 a.m. to prepare for the show. Another behind the scenes piece was the delightful Sylphides and Such, with ballerinas practising at the barre, dressing for a big show and performing.

Deb Proby as front of house received special thanks, as did Doug Proby on lights and James Raynor on sound. Coast TV videotaped the show for later broadcast.


A variety of summer dance workshops at CAD will be offered for all ages. Call 604-885-2263 or 604-741-3004, or email for more.


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