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Civic Orchestra raises the barre with dance concert

PREVIEW Raising the Barre - A Celebration of the Art of Dance When: Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Where: Oak Bay Secondary Performing Arts Theatre Tickets: $20 regular, $15 students/seniors, $10 student rush, kids 12 and under free.
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From left, Katia Puritch, Katie Tucker, Ashley Popham and Mackenzie Poland perform as cygnets from Swan Lake in Raising the Barre, set for Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

PREVIEW

Raising the Barre - A Celebration of the Art of

Dance

When: Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.

Where: Oak Bay Secondary Performing Arts Theatre

Tickets: $20 regular, $15 students/seniors, $10 student rush, kids 12 and under free. Available in Victoria at Larsen Music, Long & McQuade and Munro's Books; in Oak Bay at Ivy's Bookshop and La Tavola Kitchenware Boutique; in Sidney at Tanner's Books; and in Cadboro Bay Village at The Sheiling Cards and Gifts.

The Civic Orchestra of Victoria will add movement to its music, with a special concert dedicated to dance.

Raising the Barre not only features dance music from classical ballets to ragtime, but is animated by dance performances on stage. "The theme is music that was written with the intention of being danced," said dance director Amalia Schelhorn - everything from tango and rumba to a Renaissance-inspired dance.

Music director Giuseppe Pietraroia will conduct the concert. Dancers include Ivana Ho (former professional dancer with the Czech National Ballet and Robert Desrosiers of Toronto), Ballet Victoria's Bethany LeCorre, figure-skating coach Derek Wong and several other professional and amateur dancers. Four young dancers from Dansko Studios will be the cygnets in an excerpt from Swan Lake.

"I've worked with them over the years and they're all great people," said Schelhorn, dance chairwoman at the Canadian College of Performing Arts, dance teacher at Dansko and Lynda Raino Dance Studio and former ballet mistress for Ballet Victoria.

"It's really impressed me how enthusiastic and supportive they've been."

Many were professional dancers, but have since reoriented their careers or given them up for families. They have donated their time to perform in the show.

"These are all people who are passionate about dance and who love to perform," she said.

The concert features music by Respighi, Smetana, Borodin, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Lehar, Khatchaturian, de Falla, Benjamin, Gade, Farnon, Rodgers, Ashwander, Lamb and Offenbach.

asmart@timescolonist.com