NAC Dance Masterclasses open new horizons for students

Students at the barre, Ballet masterclass with Alberta Ballet's Ballet Master Beverly Bagg.

Kirsten Andersen

Akram Khan Company masterclass with rehearsal director Jose Agudo.

Kirsten Andersen

Master class with Associate Artistic Director Ms. Lee Ching-Chun of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan.

Kirsten Andersen

Ballet masterclass with Alberta Ballet's Ballet Master Beverly Bagg.

Kirsten Andersen

Akram Khan Company masterclass with rehearsal director Jose Agudo.

Kirsten Andersen

It’s only 10:30 on a Saturday morning but a group of eager dance students have already worked up a sweat. The students are in the middle of a masterclass at the NAC with Pierre Lapointe, principal ballet master with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal, and he’s really putting them through their paces.

“Pierre Lapointe took an interest in each and every dancer,” says participant, Madelaine Saginur. “His exercises were easy to learn but challenging. He made us really work.”

The opportunity to work hard and learn from the best is a big part of the reason hundreds of dancers sign up for dance workshops and masterclasses at the NAC each year. And there are other benefits as well.

“It’s a chance for students to learn outside of their own studios and be inspired by different dancers and different styles of teaching,” explains Kirsten Andersen, former Education and Outreach Coordinator for Dance at the NAC.

Virtually every student who participates in a masterclass at the NAC has also seen the company perform on our stage. In fact, Andersen says, the class often offers excerpts from the show’s choreography. “The class is a link to the incredible artistry the students see on stage. They can then approach the choreography with their own artistry.”

It’s an opportunity you help make possible with your support and one more way you help the NAC serve as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning. “Working with critically acclaimed artists like Pierre Lapointe is so important for artist development,” says Andersen. “These masters give direction into what it takes to be a professional dancer. They inspire, show what is possible, and open horizons for students who are looking to them for their future.”

If you would like to support the next generation of performing artists, please donate to the National Arts Centre Foundation today.

Diana Boehm

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