Haunting melody inspired dance dedicated to relatives who passed away

Brigadoon Dance Academy presents its 17th annual A Christmas Eve in Scotland and Ireland Sunday (Dec. 9) at the Port Theatre at 2:30 p.m. - Photo Contributed
Brigadoon Dance Academy presents its 17th annual A Christmas Eve in Scotland and Ireland Sunday (Dec. 9) at the Port Theatre at 2:30 p.m.
— image credit: Photo Contributed

From haunting melodies to roar-out-loud funny routines, the Brigadoon Dance Academy’s annual Christmas show offers the spectrum of emotions this holiday season.

A traditional favourite among the dancers and audience members is the piece performed to Auld Lang Syne, the Dougie MacLean version. It was created in memory of Ron Skipsey.

“It makes everyone cry. It’s quite beautiful,” said Diena Henry, principal instructor of Brigadoon Dance Academy. “It’s quite a haunting Celtic piece.”

The dance has remained and is performed every year. After Skipsey’s passing two other senior dancers lost their parents.

Henry said the academy decided to dedicate it to all the relatives of members who have passed away over the years.

While the Christmas performance is filled with poignant pieces such as Auld Lang Syne and a piece performed to  Amazing Grace there is also comedy as well.  The performance to Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, a song by the Irish Rovers, adds comic relief before people break for intermission.

“It’s hilarious,” said Henry. “Everyone goes into the intermission laughing because it is quite funny.”

The dances are part of the academy’s 17th annual A Christmas Eve in Scotland and Ireland Sunday (Dec. 9) 2:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre. It features more than 150 dancers, ranging in ages from three to 24-years-old, who will perform various highland, Irish and Celtic choreography.

This year Nanaimo dancers are joined by special guest performers Cameron Collins, Tamara Cameron, The Pacific Gael and Mairead Supple. Collins, from Vancouver, has been a representative for Canada’s interprovincial champion 12 times. He placed third runner-up in the junior world championships and fifth runner-up in the adult world championships. Cameron is a piper from The Pacific Gael.

The Pacific Gael will play a pre-show in the Port Theatre lobby starting at 2:10 p.m. and Estemmed Chics will be in the Port Theatre lobby, before and after the performance, selling jewelry to raise money to send Nanaimo girls to summer camp.

Tickets are $20 for adults/$15 for students and groups and $10 for children under five years old. They are available by calling 250-754-8550, at the Port Theatre box office of www.porttheatre.com.


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