Young tal­ent as­tounds

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

A con­tin­gent of 130 su­per-ta­lented young per­form­ers gave an out­stand­ing con­cert in the Re­gent on Broad­way on Sun­day night.

From the Far North to In­ver­cargill, the per­form­ers aged from 15 to 24, per­formed across four dis­ci­plines – High­land Dance, In­stru­men­tal, Mod­ern Dance and Speech & Drama. Among them were 12 from Manawatu with five mak­ing the semi­fi­nals of their artis­tic dis­ci­plines, and one break­ing through to a fi­nal.

With all 130 nom­i­nated by their re­spec­tive per­form­ing arts so­ci­eties, this is a head­line event for the Per­form­ing Arts Com­pe­ti­tions As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand or PACANZ.

Held in Palmer­ston North for the sec­ond year, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s Nikki Cun­ning­ham says this is the sec­ond cy­cle of PACANZ’s eight dis­ci­pline sched­ule.

Last year, the city and its venues hosted Bal­let, Tap, Vo­cal and Pi­ano.

‘‘This cy­cle is slightly more niche, but the stan­dard was ex­tror­di­nar­ily high, es­pe­cially for the in­stru­men­tal­ists who have an av­er­age age of 16 – 17.’’

With its ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ences, Nikki says Palmer­ston North is ide­ally equipped to han­dle the large scale com­pe­ti­tion. The pre-judg­ing and semi­fi­nals rounds on Satur­day and Sun­day were spread be­tween the Spiers Cen­tre, the Globe and the Re­gent on Broad­way. ‘‘The venue is just su­perb.’’ This year had the high­est num­ber of nom­i­na­tions yet.

Of the lo­cal per­form­ers who made the semis – vi­o­lin­ist Nathan Pinkney, high­land dancers Ni­cole Harvey and Sarah Rob­son and mod­ern dancers Char­lotte Gil­mour and Meg Mor­ri­son – only Meg, year-12 at Palmer­ston North Girls’ High and a pupil of Mau­reen Ax, made it to the fi­nals.

Given the large size of the mod­ern danc­ing sec­tion, with 69 com­peti­tors, Nikki says mak­ing it that far was an ex­tra­or­di­nary feat. ‘‘They all did re­ally well. ‘‘For some this will be the high­light of their per­form­ing arts ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘For oth­ers this will be the cat­a­lyst that pro­pels them into a per­form­ing arts ca­reer.’’

Sol3 Mio’s Pene Pati won the vo­cal sec­tion in 2010, and his trio is steadily pack­ing out Arena Manawatu’s March con­cert.

PACANZ re­turns to cel­e­brate its 40th next year with a spe­cial groups and troupes sec­tion.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ I

Manawatu mod­ern dance fi­nal­ist Meg Mor­ri­son, a pupil of the Mau­reen Ax School of Dance, flies high dur­ing her fi­nals PACANZ per­for­mance in the mod­ern dance sec­tion on Sun­day night in the Re­gent on Broad­way.

PHOTO: AM­BER GRIF­FIN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY/

PACANZ win­ners (from left) High­land Dance and Au­di­ence Choice, Sarah Gluyas (Dunedin); Speech & Drama, Alex Lye (Oamaru); In­stru­men­tal, Matthias Balzat (Waikato); Mod­ern Dance, Ngaere Jenk­ins (Welling­ton)

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