Auditions for Bay’s first dance company open

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Neriah Plaatjies, 17, and Kyle Adams, 23, from Toynbee Ballet Academy, will be auditioning for a position in the Contemporary Junior Dance Company
Dance company OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Neriah Plaatjies, 17, and Kyle Adams, 23, from Toynbee Ballet Academy, will be auditioning for a position in the Contemporary Junior Dance Company
Image: Dirk Moggee

In a first for Port Elizabeth and the region, an official dance company — the Contemporary Junior Dance Company — has been launched.

In keeping with dance companies around the country and the world, dancers are offered the opportunity to audition for a prestigious show unrelated to the studio from which they receive their ongoing training.

The choreographer for this contemporary showcase at the Opera House in May 2020 is Candice Johnstone.

Johnstone said it had always been a dream of hers to present an opportunity like this to all dancers in Port Elizabeth.

“It is an opportunity without prejudice for all who are aspiring towards a career in dance, to see what it’s really like,” Johnstone said.

Open auditions for all dancers — with a minimum age criteria of grade 8 in 2020 — will be held on Saturday.

Those selected in the first set of auditions need to attend a master class on the same day as part of the selection process.

Dancers must perform a piece of their choice, either choreographed by themselves or a piece with permission from their teacher, for the duration of 1½ minutes.

Johnstone established herself as a promising dancer in 1992 when she graduated from Pretoria Technikon with her National Diploma in Ballet and her National Higher Diploma for Ballet with distinction in 1993.

The Performing Arts Council of Transvaal (Pact) Dance Company secured the talented dancer from 1992 to 1997.

Johnstone set the industry alight by being nominated and winning a number of awards during this time, including the IGI Life Vita Award for Most Outstanding Contemporary Female Dancer of the Year, First National Bank Young Vita Award for Choreography and the International Ballet Competition Sanlam Award for Best Choreography.

One of Johnstone’s highlights was being selected to perform at president Nelson Mandela’s inauguration concert in 1994.

In 1997, Johnstone won a bursary from the Flemish ministry of culture in Brussels and trained under world-renowned choreographer Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker.

Johnstone is now a Cecchetti Classical Ballet Associate and received her Advanced Associate Modern — Honours with Distinction in 2014 and recently received her Associate Diploma for Ballet.

The auditions will take place in Walmer on Saturday.

To reserve an audition time contact Tanya van Bergh on 082-492-1304  or contemporaryjuniordancecomp@gmail.com 

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