LCI dance students learn from best
Students in LCI’s Arts Academy dance program had a chance to learn from a world-renowned dance instructor on Friday.
Allen Kaeja from Kaeja d’Dance was brought in by program instructor Geordan Olson, director of the LCI Arts Academy dance program. Kaeja spent part of the day with the students providing instruction in a workshop environment and choreographed a piece for the students for an upcoming dance show.
“He is one of my greatest dance mentors,” Olson said. “I know him from my time in Toronto. I know what a special and talented man he is. To have him working with my students is an absolute joy.”
Kaeja was an instructor at Ryerson University when Olson was attending in 2002 and the two have kept in touch. When Olson took over the dance program at LCI, she sought out Kaeja to come and teach a class.
Kaeja said he was honoured to have the opportunity to work with LCI students.
“It’s really beautiful working with these kids,” he said. “They have such a beautiful range of how much experience they have. And yet, as an ensemble, they have come together. They have found their flight together and their breath together.”
Kaeja d’Dance is an awardwinning contemporary dance company. Kaeja and his wife are coartistic directors and have been involved in more than 140 works, including live performances, touring shows, residencies, commissions and dance films. Kaeja d’Dance also works to bring dance into communities through public space animations, community performance projects, inclusive exchanges, appearances and dance education workshops.
Olson said the opportunity for students to learn from Kaeja is unique in Lethbridge.
“He brings 30 years of dance expertise,” she said. “And he’s bringing incredible choreography and skills that the kids have learned. He’s so positive and kind, and the kids have had a wonderful time.”
The piece Kaeja and the students were working on will be showcased at “Inertia,” which will be performed at Casa on May 15 and 16. The event will highlight the work done by the dance academy program in its inaugural year and feature pieces involving a number of guest choreographers.
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