On December 9, Murrumbateman’s own Dazzle Dance Academy will host its annual end-of-year ballet production.
And this year, the academy has decided on an exciting new performance piece for its dancers: Moana.
The Disney animated movie, which was released at the end of 2016, will be brought to life by Murrumbateman’s young dance talents, and dance instructor and owner of the academy, Elle Morris, said that the kids couldn’t be more excited.
“There were plenty of squeals [when Moana was announced],” Morris said.
“That’s usually the reaction we get each year … so, so far, so good.”
Each year, the academy alternates between a classical ballet piece – last year was Beauty and the Beast – and a more contemporary choice.
Moana will provide an interesting challenge for Morris and the rest of the teaching staff. It requires them to incorporate some of the traditional aspects of Hawaiian dance (which were prominently featured in the film) into a traditional balletic style.
“It’s a great learning process for the children,” Morris said.
“Rather than just learning dance as a series of movements that you perform to music, it allows them to also understand that ballet for many, many years has been a way of telling stories.
“I guess it helps them take their mind out of their usual headspace of ‘oh, I’ve gotta learn this trick and master this skill’, to ‘okay, now I’m going to become a character and tell a story’.”
Each year, the children are required to audition for primary roles in the performance, which can be nerve-wracking for those who are newer to the club.
“Most of our students have done the auditions before,” Morris said.
“But we have one class in particular who, many of those students have only just started learning ballet this year.
“I think for many of them it was an experience that perhaps took them out of their comfort zone, but we find it’s an excellent way of boosting the kids’ confidence and getting them accustomed to stepping into the role of the character really.”
The announcement of this year’s performance was met with warm support from the community.
This is due to the academy’s dedication to high-quality shows, and Morris said that, “we work very, very hard to put on a really entertaining performance.
“We use a lot of visual effects as well, to really engage our audience, and we aim to have people walking out of the auditorium goind ‘wow, that was amazing’, which does set a very high bar.
“It is very rewarding when we see not only our audience have a fantastic experience, but our dancers really thoroughly enjoy the experience.”
The performance will include dancers across a wide range of ages, and each age group will have a dance choreographed according to their experience and skill level.
The performance will take place on Saturday December 9 at the Gungahlin College Theatre.