Ararat pre­pares for week of danc­ing

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Dance com­peti­tors and their fam­i­lies from across the state are set to gather in Ararat from Fri­day for the 63rd an­nual Ararat Eisteddfod.

The eisteddfod, one of the largest events of its kind in western Vic­to­ria, has again at­tracted record en­tries as part of a growth trend.

It will be at Ararat Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre from Fri­day un­til Septem­ber 29.

Eisteddfod sec­re­tary Chris Har­ris said the week-long com­pe­ti­tion pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple who en­joyed danc­ing and per­form­ing in front of an au­di­ence, to make new friends and share their ex­pe­ri­ences.

“They also re­ceive cri­tiques of their per­for­mance from our ex­pe­ri­enced ad­ju­di­ca­tors, which en­ables them to con­tinue to strive for self im­prove­ment and de­velop as an artist,” she said.

“Our ad­ju­di­ca­tors this year are Ja­son Duff and Claire Hey­wood from Mel­bourne, who will be kept ex­tremely busy.”

Com­peti­tors will com­pete in a va­ri­ety of dance gen­res from jazz and tap to con­tem­po­rary and clas­si­cal bal­let in solo, duo and trio items.

Pa­trons will be able to watch per­for­mances on every day of the com­pe­ti­tion from 9am un­til about 9.30pm.

A Fri­day night ‘Troupe Day’ ex­trav­a­ganza at Ararat Town Hall on Septem­ber 27 will fea­ture per­for­mances from 110 troupes from 18 dance schools.

“Troupe Day is a tra­di­tional high­light of the eisteddfod and we en­cour­age the com­mu­nity to come along and wit­ness the per­for­mances of these stu­dents,” Ms Har­ris said.

“Ses­sions be­gin at 9am, 1.30pm and 6pm with en­try $10 per ses­sion.”

Ms Har­ris said se­nior cham­pi­onship sec­tions had at­tracted ‘ex­cel­lent’ en­tries.

“This Satur­day dur­ing the evening ses­sion 13 stu­dents will com­pete in se­nior tap and se­nior jazz cham­pi­onships,” she said. “On Tues­day the mod­ern cham­pi­onship will have 15 com­peti­tors and the se­nior bal­let cham­pi­onship 23 com­peti­tors vy­ing for the tro­phies.

“The stan­dard pre­sented in this cham­pi­onship will be very high with a num­ber of the en­trants hav­ing re­cently com­peted at the Syd­ney Eisteddfod in Au­gust.”

The ju­nior cham­pi­onship will be on the fi­nal day of the eisteddfod, Septem­ber 29.

“There will be plenty of en­ter­tain­ment for all through­out the week and we in­vite ev­ery­one to come along and wit­ness these en­joy­able per­for­mances where every stu­dent strives for their per­sonal best,” Ms Har­ris said.

Ms Har­ris said fi­nan­cial sup­port from Ararat Ru­ral City Coun­cil and Cre­ative Vic­to­ria helped Ararat Eisteddfod cover fa­cil­ity and ad­ju­di­ca­tor ex­penses.

“Many lo­cal busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als also con­trib­ute by spon­sor­ing sec­tions or con­tribut­ing to the prize fund,” she said.

“Ararat Eisteddfod com­mit­tee is grate­ful for the gen­er­ous sup­port of all donors.

“We hope busi­nesses will wel­come many vis­i­tors dur­ing the week as they visit the shops, restau­rants and cafes, mo­tels and tourist at­trac­tions of Ararat.”

Ms Har­ris said the event also re­quired many vol­un­teers through­out the week to en­sure it runs smoothly.

“The Ararat Eisteddfod com­mit­tee con­sists of 11 hard-work­ing vol­un­teers who pro­vide a won­der­ful com­pe­ti­tion, known through­out the dance com­mu­nity as a well-or­gan­ised and ef­fi­ciently run com­pe­ti­tion, which is friendly and lots of fun,” she said.

“The com­mit­tee is sup­ported by par­ents of dancers and per­sonal friends who vol­un­teer for shifts through­out the week.

“Many of our com­peti­tors and their fam­i­lies re­turn year af­ter year be­cause they love our com­pe­ti­tion and the friendly Ararat com­mu­nity.”

AN­NUAL PER­FORMER: Kate­lyn Bar­entsen, from Magpie, per­forms a clas­si­cal solo at the 62nd Ararat Eisteddfod. Picture: PAUL CAR­RACHER

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