All systems go for month-end PE Dance Festival

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Port Elizabeth Dance Festival 2018Port Elizabeth dance enthusiasts should circle the dates from August 28 to September 1 on their calendars or mark them in their diaries. That is when the Port Elizabeth Dance Festival (PEDF), now in its 38th year, takes place at the Savoy Theatre in Adcockvale.

The Festival was founded by the late Jennifer Abrahams and Hermione Ballinger in 1981 to promote the love of dance.

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Nici Lovemore, daughter of the late Hermione, who is continuing her mother’s legacy as Chairperson of PEDF, is passionate about dance and aims to deliver a festival full of entertainment.

Amber Freeman of Defying Gravity Dance Studios - Port Elizabeth Dance Festival
Amber Freeman of Defying Gravity Dance Studios – Port Elizabeth Dance Festival

The Dance Festival will showcase a variety of dance styles (ballet, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, Spanish, Irish, Indian and African) and creates a platform for dancers of all ages to gain and enjoy stage experience.

“My hope is that many Eastern Cape Dance Studios give their dancers the opportunity to compete and enjoy this fun experience. We aim to encourage all teachers and dancers of a wide variety of dance disciplines to participate,” said Nici.

This year she has refreshed and relaunched the festival with a new logo, exciting new incentives for the top performers, as well as offering positive recognition for all participating dancers in the form of commemorative medals.

A huge coup this year is the confirmation that the hugely experienced Delia Sainsbury, well respected and internationally recognised dancer, actress, television presenter and theatre producer/ trainer and Principal of Cape Town’s Waterfront Theatre School, will adjudicate the 2018 PEDF.

An exciting incentive for aspiring dancers is the launch of the PEDF/Theatre Dance Association’s (TDA) Fabulous Trophy and Competition Entry Bursary for two talented dancers.

Delia Sainsbury will select her choice of the two ‘Most Fabulous’ dancers (Adjudicator’s Choice, including all dance disciplines) over the full event.

The two deserving dancers will each receive the Fabulous Trophy and entry into the sought-after Regional MOVE! competition in Cape Town in September this year.

This exciting prize will include flights and accommodation for the two dancers and their chaperones.

Move! Cape Town showcases a broad range of dance styles and offers fantastic prizes and the opportunity to compete in the national competition in Johannesburg.

In addition to the many by now oft-presented existing trophies and awards, every dancer will receive a recognition medal for their participation in the 2018 PEDF.

The Festival will culminate in a gala celebration performance which will feature the highlights of the Festival as well as the Awards Presentations.

Dance teachers from many studios in the Eastern Cape have registered their students for the Festival. For example, Heidi Sampson and Lauren McCarthy’s Defying Gravity Productions, based in Walmer, is one of 16 studios who will be showcasing their dancers at the annual Festival. They will be presenting a large variety of 56 solo dances, 6 duets and 21 group entries.

Extending over five days, tickets for the Festival may be booked now by contacting Megan van den Bergh on 079 969 0312, or at the entrance to the Savoy Theatre on each session of the event.

Daily session tickets are priced at R30, while those for the closing Gala Awards evening cost R85. There is a special reduced price of R55 for learners or senior citizens for the final gala evening.

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