On Saturday night I went to a dance eisteddfod. This is a competition for dancers, in various categories, that is trained for and taken seriously by competitors.
It was held at a grand old theatre that has been recently painted inside with new carpet and a new colour scheme of gold and marsala.
The costumes were excellent, very detailed and professional. The standard of dancing was very high. The evening I went, all dancers were teenagers.
The food was homemade , cheap and really flavourful, and one of the reasons I go. I had lasagne, pumpkin soup, jelly slice, coconut lemon slice and cups of tea. It's necessary catering, because the dancers come from all over our region and further afield, with their costume and makeup bags. They are a good injection into the local economy. Each year, we start to see girls wandering around town with ballet buns or plaits across their heads, often with their parents, and we know the dance eistedddfod is on. There is also the occasional boy.
Our girl competed for awhile. It was interesting for her Dad. He didn't want to see the others perform much, only her. He would go out and sit in the foyer or on a street bench with a book, when she wasn't on stage. This Saturday I noticed other men doing similar, one was glued to his laptop.
I am sorry to have to report, that photos and videos of the performances weren't allowed by the audience, this is common in eisteddfods these days. I tried to find similar online, to give you an idea, the dancing was as good, but the costumes didn't do justice to what our performers wore. Indeed, in Australia the costumes are quite valuable, due to the hand beading etc on them, which is a task I did myself for awhile.
Categories I saw on the night, were :
Song and Dance Solo,
Classical Solo, 16 years and over,
Character Solo, 14 years and under 16,
Own Choreography Solo 16 years and over,
Classical Solo, 14 years and under 16 Open,
Jazz/Modern Solo, 12 years and under 14,
Contemporary Solo, 14 years and under 16,
Jazz /Modern Duo/Trio , Open age.
There were additional categories on other days of the eisteddfod. With the variety, I did not get bored.
Similar to the ballerinas I saw, but ours were a bit older:
Character dancing tells a story, the ones I saw were very good, similar to this
I won't bore you with too many details, but here is one section for example.
Section 57 -Character Solo 14 to 16 yo contained competitors from Beaconsfield, Traralgon, x2 , Stradbroke and Maffra. The standard of costumes and dancing was very high. The results were
- The execution of Anne Boleyn - 1st place
- The artful dodger - 2nd place
- The snow queen - honourable mention
- The war bride - honourable mention
- Juliet : the balcony scene - 3rd place
No. 1 had very good execution. After the judging and speech from the adjudicator I offered that opinion to her. She agreed in all seriousness. I was forced to explain the joke.
She appeared to be a very sweet woman who tried to give a prize to everybody on the night.
Person to watch on the night- Maddison Tosch, her dancing was TV quality, her movements whip sharp and fast.
The lifeblood of any Aussie country town are its volunteers.
Public domain photo