Adrian de Leeuw and Yukiho Kiriu with the Victoria Academy of Ballet

Ballet students take centre stage in New York

Eight dance students are getting a rare opportunity to perform on stage in New York.

Eight dance students are getting a rare opportunity to perform on stage in New York in front of some of the best ballet dancers in the world.

Miki Takahashi, Rin Nagakura, Yuka Otsuki, Airi Miyata, Azusa Okamoto, Marika Nakama, Yukiho Kiriu and Adrian de Leeuw with the Victoria Academy of Ballet have been selected to perform at the Youth American Grand Prix finals in New York City in April.

“It’s pretty thrilling. We get to represent the school, the studio, the programs as well as the training and the dancers,” said Kerry Lynn Turner, director of the academy’s post-secondary bridge program.

“This is a lovely opportunity for them to be seen, as well as perform on a larger scale . . . it’s an excellent experience for them as they move into the professional industry.”

The academy has sent dancers to the Grand Prix in Seattle in the past, however, this is the first time dancers have been selected to perform at the finals in the Big Apple.

Six of the dancers will perform Danse Espagnole, a Spanish-inspired dance that’s vibrant, energetic and precise in movements and choreography.

Twenty-year-old Yukiho Kiriu and 17-year-old Adrian De Leeuw will be performing the Pas De Deux from the ballet Coppelia, about a doctor that creates a life-size dancing doll.

In the ballet, the doll is so lifelike that Franz, a village youth, becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his heart’s true desire, Swanhilda. Swanhilda then dresses up as the doll, pretending it comes to life to show Franz his folly.

The duo will perform the final scene of the ballet in which Swanhilda and Franz get married.

According to Andrew Pronger, principal of the school and choreographer, the dancers complement each other in a ballet that’s very “tender and loving.”

“It’s very important to get the rapport between the two dancers,” Pronger said.

“Yukiho has a lot of tenderness in how she works, she’s very soft in her dance style and we felt that would actually help Adrian with the Pas De Deux to have his strength with her tenderness.”

The dancers (all of whom are between the ages of 17 to 20 years old) have spent the last six months rehearsing for the two performances. They rehearse six days and close to 40 hours a week, fine tuning the choreography and timing in preparation for the competition.

“I like that I can convey my feelings directly (through dancing) and see how the audience will feel,” said Kiriu, who came to the academy a year-and-a-half ago to learn a more contemporary style of ballet.

Though they admitted they are nervous to perform at a larger venue, the dancers are excited about the potential to be seen by other ballet company directors.

“Ballet is my favourite. It’s very special to me to perform on stage in front of an audience,” said Otsuki, who has been dancing with the academy for the past three-and-a-half years.

The Youth American Grand Prix takes place from April 22 to 29 and brings together more than 1,200 dancers from around the world to participate in workshops, scholarship auditions and master classes.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria police investigate dumpster fire in gated alleyway

VicPD and Victoria Fire Department respond to fire on Johnson Street

Pacific FC signs 24-year-old defensive midfielder from Panama

González joins the roster following the team’s 2-2 tie game against York9 FC.

Pacific FC game ends with tie against York9 on Saturday

PFC’s defender scored an own goal off a deflection, putting the game at 2-2

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

Mighty Garage Sale offers boost to Metchosin groups

Metchosin Community Association holds annual sale on May 25 and 26

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Most Read