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Lagos dance school gets gold in world cup

A group of students from the Escola de Dança de Lagos were placed first in the Dance World Cup 2012 in Austria, under the category National and Folklore Dance Group.

The group of 13 dancers aged between eight and nine competed last month and won the gold medal with the traditional dance ‘Lesginka’.

In the category, the Lagos dance school competed against countries including Germany (second and third place), Austria (fourth place) and Italy (fifth place).

Topping off their glory, the Portuguese group also achieved the highest marks of the entire competition, scoring 96.3 out of 100.

According to their teacher, Liliana Silva, the moment that their classification was announced was  “very intense” and the whole group cried out of happiness on stage. “It was undoubtedly the best time we have ever danced,” she said.

In acknowledgement of their achievement, Lagos Mayor Júlio Barroso said: “To all who made this success possible and particularly to those who cooperated and participated in the competition, I give my congratulations and thanks for the good work done, and the positive promotion of our county’s name.”

World class act                                                  

By Naomi Jane Leathem

On Wednesday June 27, 13 young girls from the Associação de Dança de Lagos, after a long journey to the city of Villach in Austria, performed with such passion, panache and precision to win Gold at the Dance World Cup.

Thefolklore dance not only impressed the judges, gaining one of the highest marks of the competition 96,3/100 and another prize for Best National Group,  but won the admiration of a critical and knowledgeable audience.

The girls of 8 and 9 years old from the Escola de Dança  of the A.D.L, accompanied by Professora Liliana da Silva,  performed the ambitious Lesginka dance, originating from the mountain regions of Georgia ,Tajikistan, Chechnya, Kazakhstan and choreographed for them by Professora Marina Khametova. This dance involves an intricate design of flawless timing, traditional footwork and jumps and an energetic routine of pirouette solos on feet and knees, with different dancers taking centre stage. Since first performing this in their qualifying competition in Dançarte, Faro earlier in March, these young ballerinas have won acclaim in subsequent shows locally, and have now proved that the technical and artistic level of their interpretation of this traditional dance is now truly worthy of this respect.

The Dance World Cup has been a recognised competition since 2001 and has been organized in Greece, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, Canada, Jersey, Sardinia, France and this year VILLACH, Austria.

The event takes in Ballet, Tap, Modern or Contemporary, Jazz or Show, Song and Dance, Hip- Hop or Street Dance, for the under 10’s,under 14’s, under 18´s, and over 18 solo, duets, trios or quartets or in groups. This year there were over 2000 participants representing 139 ballet schools from 25 countries from as far afield as Sri Lanka and Malaysia, both of which marked their presence with impressive wins too. The biggest group of schools entered this year was from Germany, but the United Kingdom was widely represented.  The aim, according to the organizer John Grimshaw, is to bring together the next generation of dance enthusiasts or future professionals from around the world in a friendly but keenly fought competition, a  demonstration of all styles and an enthusiastic, lively and colourful celebration of the young peoples’ talents.

Other local dancers from the Companhia de Dança do Algarve, Faro, also performed well and brought home some medals for Portugal, and one outstanding young man Francisco Patrocinio, 15, from Centro Norton de Matos, won gold for his classical interpretation of the Corsair and Best Performer.

The group of the ADL returned from Austria to receive an official vote of congratulation at a civic ceremony by the Câmara Municipal of Lagos on Wednesday July 4, and RTP are interested in the girls performing on television in the near future.

The girls are now looking forward to repeating their success by qualifying for Brighton next year and discussions are ongoing to bring the championship to Portugal in 2014, so watch this space and keep supporting our local dance schools.