Students took part in a class by Dianne Pokorny, a Cecchetti examiner based in NSW. The class was viewed by the judges; Marilyn Jones, former Australian Ballet principal dancer and Artistic Director, who has recently been seen performing in Graeme Murphy’s Nutracker, The Story of Clara, and Simon Dow. Having trained with Lucie Saronova as a young dancer, Dow is a former Artistic Director of the West Australian Ballet, Washington Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet.
The students then performed a series of solos for the audience. Compliments to their teachers, they all displayed a high level of technique, performance quality and maturity for such young dancers. They were a delight to watch. With such talent and dedication, they are sure to have great futures in dance.
The finalists were awarded a certificate and a prize pack supplied by dance wear specialists Energetiks, with the medal winners added to the perpetual trophy and awarded a cash prize. The silver medal and $500 cash prize was awarded to Evan Loudon. The judges selected Lucy Kate Gold, a beautiful young dancer, for the Gold medal and $1000 cash prize.
To end the evening the audience were treated to a performance by Sydney’s youth contemporary company, You Move. They showed a new work from their This Way Up season, titled Human Meter. The dancers performed strongly, and although the humour in the work was not always felt by the audience, I enjoyed the piece.
The awards were followed by a two day teacher conference, open to all ballet teachers, but attended predominantly by Cecchetti instructors. The conference covered a variety of subjects including syllabus presentations, pointe work, allegro, teaching with imagery, and nutrition. Highlights were a choreographic workshop with Graeme Murphy, tribute to Valrene Tweedie and a session on motivating boys, with guests Colin Peasley, Graeme Murphy, Simon Dow, Hilary Kaplan, and Athol Willoughby.
The awards and conference were a great event, celebrating Cecchetti Ballet’s strong history in Australia and exciting future ahead.