Dancer Jacklin Buckingham is one of several from different dance troupes on Vancouver Island that will perform at the Port Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. JULIA CARR PHOTO

Alberni dancers part of Dance Odyssey in Nanaimo

Dancers from Stagewest and Elite studios in Port Alberni will be among the featured groups at Dancestreams Dance Odyssey coming to Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 3.

This show has something for everyone—an extravaganza of outstanding youth dance, anchored by Vancouver Island’s premier youth dance company Dancestreams. Each year, the company brings together more than 200 top young dancers from dance studios from Victoria to the North Island, presenting a wide array of dance styles. From classical ballet to lyrical jazz, national, modern and contemporary- this show is a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm.

From its earliest beginnings, Odyssey has grown to be considered one of the dance events of the season, enthusiastically anticipated by participants and audiences alike. Dancestreams Youth Dance Company has a long history of bringing dancers together- for three decades the group has drawn professionally-minded dancers from a variety of dance schools throughout the Island.

These talented teens, including Port Alberni dancer Kaara Plater, a student at MacKenzie School of Dance, come together just one day per week for an intensive six hour rehearsal period, working with some of Canada’s top professional artists and choreographers. This year, they have been fortunate to work with acclaimed choreographers Julianne Chapple, Constance Cooke, Gioconda Barbuto and will work with Alison Denham in February. Premiering on Feb. 3 are the pieces by Gioconda Barbuto of Montreal and Constance Cooke of Victoria.

This year’s Odyssey performance includes 20 Island schools including Vibrant, Tempo, Harbour Dancentre, Gabriola Dance, Prism and Kirkwood from Nanaimo area; Rhythm from Ladysmith; Westcoast, Stages, Sooke, Dance Unlimited, and Victoria Academy from the south Island, Steps Ahead from the Cowichan area, Innovate from the mid-Island, Stagewest and Elite from Port Alberni, and Urban, Triple Heat, Ilha and Tinkler studios from the North Island. Tickets are available at the Port Theatre Box Office 250-754-8550. Presentation of bursaries at the 7:15 pre-show. Performance starts 7:30 and there are special rates for groups of ten or more.

During the day, more than 120 lucky dancers will take part in master classes with guest artist Vancouver choreographer and teacher Chengxin Wei at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. For more information, go online to www.dancestreams.ca.

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