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Message on climate change highlighted in Canmore dance show

CANMORE – A message through dance.

The 2023 Canmore Dance Corps year-end performances, which have 130 dancers taking stage this week and weekend, includes Earth Dances, a show about wildlife, environment and climate change.

The studio's owner and director, Jill Danielson, said she wanted to switch things up by adding a political statement while still keeping the much-loved elements of the year-end extravaganza intact.

"We are celebrating the beauty of planet Earth, but also commenting on the delicate state of the environment," said Danielson. "I really just go with my gut every year [when finalizing the year-end concept] and, this year, I felt really inspired and compelled to be doing something about the planet."

In the past decade, Canada has stepped up its fight against climate change and its plans and targets include net-zero emissions by 2050, carbon pollution pricing, climate change adaptation and resilience, clean technology and jobs, and expert engagement on climate action.

One of the local performers, Sloane Donnelly, is inspired to be a part of a production that includes art and an environmental statement.

"I think it's super cool. I've never done anything like this and just to like spread awareness, especially through dance. It's a great way to do it," Donnelly said.

Canmore Dance Corps even made business changes to become a more environmentally friendly space.

As part of Earth Dances opening segment, there will be a sildeshow with the performers giving answers about what they love about the planet and what concerns they have for the future.

'We really need to give spaces for kids and to have their voices heard," said Danielson. "Some of the answers are very honest and a little sad, but I think that's really good because people need to hear what our kids really think and feel about it. These kids are so smart and so sensitive and aware so I always want to give them a platform to be heard, even if it gets one person to think about recycling more."

The year-end dances get underway Thursday and Friday (May 18-19) with the competitive team showcase. On Saturday and Sunday (May 20-21), the performances switch to Earth Dances and a hip-hop showcase. All four days take place at artsPlace. Every performance is sold out.

The shows feature dancers aged five to 18 performing in hip-hop, acro, ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, tap and Broadway.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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