June 24th, 2024

LCI dance students ready to ‘Breakthrough’


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on January 19, 2023.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Members of the LCI Arts Academy Dance program run through a number from their latest production "Breakthrough" on Wednesday at the Yates Memorial Theatre.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge Collegiate Institute’s Arts Academy Dance program is getting ready to present their latest production titled Breakthrough at the Yates Memorial Theatre on Feb. 1 – 2.

Artistic director of the LCI Arts Academy Dance program, Geordan Olson, said the name Breakthrough comes from the fact that for the first time in a long time it feels like a normal year for them.

“I feel like it’s giving us a sense of joy and it’s giving us a renewed sense of ourselves, and that’s why it’s called Breakthrough, because I feel like this year, we’re really making a breakthrough,” said Olson.

She said there are 85 arts academy dancers ready to perform contemporary ballet, modern, locking, contemporary, hip-hop, house and breaking. The show has been choreographed by a collaboration of different artists from across Canada, including Olson and Koji Nagahama, the other artistic directors of the LCI Arts Academy Dance program.

“We bring artists of extremely high caliber, artists and choreographers from Montreal, Toronto Calgary and Vancouver and then we let those artists loose in the studio and we let them create whatever their heart desires,” said Olson.

She said they contacted the artists in the summer so they could be ready to go as soon as school started in September and they have been putting together Breakthrough ever since.

“We don’t necessarily pre-plan, we planned styles of choreography we want in the show, but we don’t ever tell a choreographer what to create, we give them free reign in the studio to create what they want to create and it always comes up pretty awesome,” said Olson.

She said first and foremost the artists teach technique and foundation to the students, because technique and foundation are the cornerstone of dance, and without those you cannot do choreography justice.

LCI grade 11 student and dancer, Eli Hironaka, said he is enjoying taking part in the production and it feels like everyone is ready for the show as they have been practicing a lot.

“We rehearse once a day during school…my class is first period and we have second period and third period and after school,” said Hironaka.

He said he has been part of the LCI Arts Academy Dance program since grade 9 as an option class thanks to his brother who was also part of it until he graduated, and then he got involved in grade 10 as part of the actual academy and plans to continue until he graduates.

For Breakthrough, Hironaka said he is break dancing and taking part in some of the hip-hop pieces.

“Breaking is what my brother did, he taught me a bunch of it and so that’s really what got me into it,” said Hironaka.

Breakthrough will take place at the Yates Memorial Theatre on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 with multiple shows.

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