A chance to dance like a star

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Calling all ballet students, teachers and lovers of dance – Dance Algarve is back for a third year of performances, lessons and masterclasses.

The annual course, this year held over four days between March 31 and April 3 in Lagos under the direction of Gwen Franco, Gillian Anthony and Bernadete Bishop, is open to all dancers over the age of 10 who have studied ballet for two or more years.

Gillian Anthony told the Algarve Resident: “I believe that a course like this helps contribute enormously to the culture in the Algarve as it brings like minded people together with dance as the catalyst.  It is not only students but teachers, parents and musicians from across the world who come together here.”

Lagos was the perfect location for the dance course thanks to the help offered by the local Câmara and the close vicinity of studios, accommodation and amenities for visiting students and parents: “Everything anyone could need on the course is within walking distance,” said Gillian Anthony.

Gillian, a trained ballet dancer, teacher and former examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance, has taught all around the world and sees the Dance Algarve programme as an opportunity to expand the horizons of dancers.  “We hope that students can look to the other dancers and performers on the course and see that it is possible to achieve great things with dedication, passion and determination.”

“This is a chance for dancers who are unable to progress any further at their current schools to take their dancing to a new level of expertise,” she added.

Although classical ballet is the central theme of Dance Algarve, other disciplines of dance are also taught with classes in Flamenco, Répertoire, contemporary dance and a mask workshop led by John Mowat focusing on expression and communication, integral performance aspects of ballet and all other forms of dance.

Gillian Anthony is proud to announce that Francesca Filpi will be the lead tutor on the ballet course.  Francesca Filpi is a first artist for The Royal Ballet based at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.  “I actually taught Francesca when she was 10 and she is an extremely talented dancer, not that I can take all the credit for that though!”

“We thank The Royal Ballet for allowing Francesca the time to come and teach in the Algarve.  It is also thanks to the Companhia Nacional de Bailado in Lisbon that we are able to welcome Maria Palmeirim as a tutor on our masterclass.”

For those who have long since hung up their pointes or lovers of dance performances in general, there will be a professional performance by the students for the public to be held on April 3 at the Lagos Cultural Centre, ticket prices as yet to be confirmed.

Participation for students in the course costs 260 euros per person and includes tuition in classes for approximately six hours a day.

For further information about the course and the shows, please visit www.dancaiberica.com (available in English, Portuguese and Spanish).