No shrinking violets in 2016 Youth Dance Festival

“BE LOUD BE HEARD!” is the theme for Ausdance ACT’s 2016 Youth Dance Festival, kicking off tomorrow at  the Canberra Theatre.

St Francis Xavier College Dance Ensemble this morning

St Francis Xavier College Dance Ensemble this morning

A genuine stayer on the feature on the Canberra arts and education calendar, the festival is now in its 32nd year, now celebrating (at least) a second generation of participants, with over 1500 students from 40 schools on three big nights.

This morning the Canberra Theatre was abuzz as students from St Frances Xavier College  rehearsed under lights  for the three-day event that annually attracts students from all over the ACT.

Last year's Dance Fest, Calwell High School. Photo by Art Atelier

Last year’s Dance Fest, Calwell High School. Photo by Art Atelier

This year’s Dance Fest  creative director,  choreographer Jamie Winbank, says, “The aim of this year’s … was to encourage participating students to think about the world they live in; to hear about and share stories of things that are relevant to them, to provide a platform and opportunity for young people to make a statement, to be brave and bold and stand up for what they believe in.”

In Winbank’s view, the event empowers young people to think about things differently and to think about how the arts, in particular how dance can be a vital medium of self-expression and self-identity.

Marist College dancers in 2015. Photo by Art Atelier

Marist College dancers in 2015. Photo by Art Atelier

Ausdance ACT’s Youth Dance Festival is and has always been a non-competitive celebration of dance where  students are provided with a safe and supportive environment to be creative, self-express and partake in the artistic process.

Ausdance ACT project & marketing manager Emma Dykes adds that the process of creating a concept, translating that concept into dance and presenting the work on Canberra’s premiere stage becomes a lifetime memory for the 33,000+ students who have been involved since it first began.

From years of observation, “CityNews” can affirm that.

Ausdance ACT’s 2016 Youth Dance Festival,  Canberra Theatre,  September 7+8+9, bookings to canberratheatrecentre.com.au  or 6275 2700.

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