Director Ivana Ho (second row, right) and the members of Bohemia Ballet are getting the chance to tour B.C. schools as part of the ArtStarts in Schools program. (Photo courtesy Daiki Katayama)

Nanaimo’s Bohemia Ballet to tour with support from charity ArtStarts in Schools

Dance company will tour B.C. schools from September to June 2019

Nanaimo’s Bohemia Ballet dance company will be bringing dance to schools on Vancouver Island and beyond with the support of an arts advocacy charity.

After an unsuccessful application last fall, director Ivana Ho said she was surprised her dancers were accepted into the Showcase program offered by ArtStarts in Schools, a Vancouver-based organization that works to connect young people to art through education and programming.

“Two years ago when I applied and I didn’t get it I was super disappointed, so this time I didn’t even expect that we were going to get it because it’s really hard,” Ho said.

On Monday, Feb. 26 Bohemia Ballet will perform with the other successful arts groups at the ArtStarts Showcase at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre. There Ho will have the chance to meet with educators and school board representatives interested in booking her dance company.

“If you get in [ArtStarts] now, you can stay in the system and you can perform every year for the next 10 years so it’s really good because we can change our show and do something different next year and then people already know who we are,” Ho said.

Bohemia Ballet, which, despite its name, covers modern, jazz, tap and street dance, will be touring from between September and June 2019. Ho said the dancers will visit elementary, middle and high schools, performing two shows each day. Bohemia Ballet’s program covers the history of dance and the attendees will be taught a break dancing routine.

“For the dancers, it will give them the opportunity to perform a lot,” Ho said, adding that, “touring, for a dancer, is the fun part.”

“Every day you’re somewhere else and you go as a group and it’s a community kind of feel and when I was young I used to love touring because it was every day’s a different city, different people, different schools and the reaction you get back is so satisfying and rewarding.”

Ho expects most of the group’s performances will be on the Island, as Bohemia Ballet was the only Nanaimo-area dance company to get into the program, but they may travel into the interior if schools show an interest.

“Maybe people like us so much that they will go, ‘Hey, come to Prince George.’ And then if we go so far away ArtStarts will book us a whole tour so we’ll do a whole week or two weeks and every day we’ll do a school in that area,” she said.

Ho said she hopes the touring gives her dancers a taste for what it’s like to perform professionally and helps prepare them for future jobs in dance.

“They will already know what’s required from them: I have to be on time … I have to stay fit, this is what I’m going to have to eat if I want to stay fit, I have to rehearse really hard and then perform for an audience and use everything I can in that show because it’s my job.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: Premier promises Nanaimo byelection before February budget debate

Historically safe NDP seat will be vacated by longtime MLA Leonard Krog

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Northfield intersection realignment won’t improve traffic flow

Is the new design actually any better, asks letter writer

Suspect who died at Nanaimo ferry terminal shot himself at the same time police fired

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Explosion at homeless camp causes brush fire along Millstone

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews haul hundreds of metres of hose down ravine

Cedar residents protest homeless encampment near Nanaimo River

Residents raise concerns about environmental impact and crime, but offer also assistance

OPINION: Nanaimo not only voted, but voted with purpose

Nanaimo’s civic leadership will see the change that so many wanted

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read