An ex­pres­sion of cre­ativ­ity

The Tribune (NZ) - - PERFORMANCE -

Twelve Manawatu dance schools with a com­bined corps of more than 200 jigged, jived and pirou­et­ted across the Re­gent on Broad­way stage at the week­end.

The bi­en­nial Palmer­ston North Dance As­so­ci­a­tion (PNDA) show­case pro­vides dance teach­ers and their pupils with an op­por­tu­nity to show off in a non­com­pet­i­tive way, ac­cord­ing to as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Maryanne Mechen.

"It’s all about the dance schools, and as an event, it al­ways ex­ceeds ex­pec­ta­tions. It’s much more re­laxed than the com­pe­ti­tions, and the kids just go for it.’’

Part of the at­trac­tion for the young dancers is get­ting to per­form on the large Re­gent on Broad­way stage. For the teach­ers, it’s the op­por­tu­nity to rub shoul­ders, com­pare notes and brag a lit­tle about the cal­i­bre of tal­ent they are chan­nelling.

‘‘It’s a com­bi­na­tion of cre­ativ­ity, artistry, pas­sion and raw en­ergy. The dancers re­ally throw them­selves into it. We put it [the event] on for them, and they put it on for us.’’

A feature of the PNDA’s cal­en­dar since 2000, this year’s cel­e­bra­tion of dance in many of its var­ied forms, saw three new schools take part Anom­aly, Hip­no­tise Belly Dance and The Gap. Anom­aly turned up with an all-age troupe of 50 dancers.

Dance 2016guest per­form­ers were bal­let dancer Char­lotte Gil­mour, mod­ern dancer Meg Mor­ri­son and tap dancer Mar­ion Sun, all PNDA nom­i­nees to the Per­form­ing Arts Com­pe­ti­tion Na­tional Young Per­former Awards.

PHOTO DAVID UNWIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Meg Mor­ri­son from Mau­reen Ax School of Dance per­forms dur­ing the Palmer­ston North Dance As­so­ci­a­tion’s spec­tac­u­lar Dance 2016 on Sun­day.

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