YOUTH DANCE FESTIVAL CELEBRATES FRESH TALENT!
It was grand night of dance talent when the best and brightest dancers and choreographers in NSW competed at the gala Awards Grand Final of the fifth annual Fast+Fresh Dance Festival last Saturday.
More than a hundred young artists from inner Sydney to the North, the Hills District, Liverpool, Sutherland Shire, Penrith, Campbelltown, the Central Coast performed 30 short dance pieces in two heats on Wed 14 and Thurs 15 Nov. The best that impressed the panel of top industry judges won their way into the final on Sat Nov 17.
Best New Talent winner was Brandon Atoui of Peakhurst who performed his own piece “Unknown Fear”. Brandon is a student of the Urban Dance Centre in Glebe.
The Audience Choice Award went to St Columba High School, Springwood students Maria Esquivel and Brett Hartnett of Linden who performed “I’m Not Yours”, choreographed by Maria.
Most Outstanding Choreography was won by Isabelle Leonard of East Maitland (a student at the International College of Dance), for “Silk”. It featured herself along with Central Coast dancers Annabelle Sammut, Cristina Commisso, Sharlene Roberts and Rebecca Dewar.
Best Male Dancer was William Keochavong of Green Valley for “Ben “. William studies at the Ev and Bow dance school in Kirrawee.
Best Female Dancer was Minchinbury-based dancer Demi-Jo Manalo for her performance in the duet “You” with choreographer Kei Ishii (from Jannali). Judges commended this stunning and very sensitive contact improvisation – beautifully performed with the dancers very responsive to each other.
Director, FORM Dance Projects (presenter of Fast+Fresh Dance), Annette McLernon said the judges found it very difficult to choose and the festival would need more awards next year!
“The calibre of the works this year was exceptional; we are thrilled with this young emerging group of performers who are passionate about dance and about creating and performing original dance works.” Next year’s festival will also include a heat at Casula Powerhouse.
Prizes included dance summer camp, classes, show tickets and season passes, dance company placements, dance wear, filming sessions and cash prizes. Judges (who met the young artists and presented the awards) included Marko Panzic (from So You Think You Can Dance and Everybody Dance Now) and Jason Winters of Brent Street Studios as well as award-winning choreographer Martin del Amo.
Fast+Fresh Dance 2012 was presented by FORM Dance Projects in association with Riverside.