Imbali scores big at dance competition

POSTED: 05/8/11 6:50 PM

St. Maarten – Students of Imbali Center for Creative Movement outscored competitors from across the region to take top honours at ‘Le Concours Federaton Regional De Dance Guadeloupe 2011’, in April.
 The students, who were trained by Imbali founder and director Clara Reyes, dance instructors Peggy Oulerich and Aparna Samaga, placed first in the group categories African dance and modern dance, and also as soloists in Bharatanatyan, African and modern dance.
Reyes explained that the competition was a one day annual event held by two separate organizations, one from Guadeloupe and the other from France. The morning contest was a regional session, while the one held later in the afternoon was an international one. The students placed high in both.  
According to Reyes the entire experience was indicative of the dedication and disciplined training with the students had approached preparation for the competition.
“The kids were really amazed that they placed so high. I mean we trained very hard, but I had warned them from before that the competition was extremely tough and that while we were going to compete, we were also going for the experience, to see what it was like to be exposed to competition on that level. So, in the back of my head, of course we wanted to win some prizes, but once they started to announce the winners and just kept calling up Imbali students, we were really, really astonished,” Reyes said.
  Jeremiah David, the only male Imbali student entered in the competitions this year, was a standout, placing 1st with honors, from amongst 26 other competitors.
  “The young people he competed against had a lot of skills and artistic interpretation and still he beat them all and placed 1st with honors, which is actually above 1st prize. For me and for him this was a big deal, because he was being judged by people who have been around the world and seen all different genres and levels of dance. It also allowed him to establish connection with important artists who got to see him and his amazing potential. I’m extremely proud of him and of them all,” Reyes said.
  “Guadeloupe had some remarkable dancers; after all, they have a strong tradition of competition dancers, who know what is expected of them. The dance school which hosted the event has a deep connection to the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and a tradition of using serious judges who have educated eyes for dance and they were really impressed with the Imbali students. This means our hard work is paying off and our vision of exposing our students to the infinite possibilities and opportunities in the area of dance is also materializing,” Reyes said.
  Reyes said that all of the judges were seasoned professionals who treated the competition with a seriousness which left an imprint on the minds of the young students.
  “These are people who look for both technical skills and a mastery of the artistry of dance and I pushed the students hard to get that. I repeatedly told them that it is not just about doing the steps, but also feeling the techniques and expressing that. After going to the competition and doing so well the kids are getting a clearer picture of what is possible with dance as a full career and not just as a hobby if that is what they want,” Reyes said.   
  Reyes explained that by placing 1st in the regional competition, students were eligible to compete in France in June 2011 in various categories against 2000 entrants from France and its regions. Their high winnings in the international competition ensured that they could participate in Euro Dance 2011 scheduled for October in Luxemburg.
  Jeremiah David and Diovanni Diaz will both be travelling to France come June, along with Reyes and a parent who will act as co-chaperone. Reyes noted that Imbali would now be initiating activities to raise funds to cover the cost of the four individuals’ travel expenditures.  
  The youngsters, who also took part in advance jazz and beginners ballet workshops while in Guadeloupe, were thrilled to be received by Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs Rhoda Arrindell upon their return to St. Maarten.

Did you like this? Share it:
Imbali scores big at dance competition by

Comments are closed.