All last week, the Jazz Productions Association of British Columbia presented the BC Annual Dance Competition at the Lester Centre of the Arts in Prince Rupert.
To finish off the seven-day competition, JPA held the 22nd Annual Gala Night full of performances from the top two competing groups in each category, with an awards presentation following the performances.
The emcee of the gala was Paul A. Gordon, who was also an adjudicator throughout the week, along side Taylor Roper, Tammy McVicar and Natalie Lafabre Gnam.
The gala started with all of this year’s Performers of the Year hopefuls in both the junior and senior categories. Dancers from Canada, and even one Australian dancer, grouped together and sang and danced to “Just like Paradise”, a number choreographed by adjudicator Taylor Roper.
The first Prince Rupert group to perform was E-Motion in the Small Group 12 and under category, performing “Eimeresque”. The all–girl quadruplet won the first place prize in their category, followed by Contemporary Collective from Terrace.
The next Prince Rupert group to perform was a large group from E-Motion performing “Sailing for Adventure” in the category Variety Group 12 and under. E-Motion placed second for their performance, with Prince George’s Performer’s North taking first place for “Modern Dance Is”.
Prince Rupert’s own Matrix and E-Motion took the top two spots in the Demi-Character category. Matrix’s “Raggedy Anne and Andy” routine placed second in the category, with E-Motion’s “Gatsby Girl” placing first.
In the Musical Theatre Group category, where competitors had to dance and sing, Prince Rupert’s own E-Motion placed first for “The Little Mermaid”. In second place was Prince George’s Performer’s North for “Medley-Fame and Flashdance”.
Prince Rupert’s Matrix group performed “Loser Like Me” for the Song and Dance category, a routine they were awarded second for. Coming in first place in the Song and Dance group category was Prince George’s Performer’s North for “Footloose”.
Finishing off the first half of the gala was E-Motion with “Tribe Vibe”, a routine in the Jazz Group 12 and under category. Rupert’s E-Motion took the silver spot in their category, with Precision from Campbell River taking home the gold for “Glam”.
After intermission local Emily Jack, who was named the Junior Performer of the Year in 2011 and Emily Seymour, the Australian Senior Performer of the Year performed “If They Could See Me Now” together, and showed why they were given the titles last year.
The next Prince Rupert group to perform was E-Motion’s Modern/Contemporary dance to “Hold On”. “Hold On” came in second place, with Performer’s North placing first for “Autobio in 5 Short Chapters”.
Then Emily Jack took the stage again, performing her solo to “Paper Skin”.
The final group from Prince Rupert was E-Motion’s Tap Group 13 and up, who were named the runners up in their category, coming behind Precision from Campbell River.
Finishing off the performances was Australian Performer of the Year Emily Seymour with a solo dance.
Last year both the junior and senior Performers of the Year were from Prince Rupert, however this year both winners were from out of town. Campbell River’s Zoe Garlinski-Gonsky was named the Junior Performer of the Year, and Prince George’s own Tristan Ghostkeeper was named Senior Performer of the Year. Garlinski-Gonsky accepted a cash prize and Ghostkeeper will be attending and competing in the Australian Showcase in Gold Coast, Australia in January 2013.
Additionally, each year a volunteer that has given a tremendous amount of support to the competition in the past is awarded with the Mary Lester Service Award, with this year’s recipient being Peter Witherly.
The BC Annual was started over twenty years ago by local Teresa Mackereth, and has grown from three-days to a week, and now has some of the largest cash prizes for dancers in the country.