Young talent astounds
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.
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.
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)