Spring Seminar

The Spring Seminar is a week-long workshop for dance students aged 11-18. During March break, we bring in accomplished choreographers and dancers from Canada and abroad to lead the week-long dance intensive with young students. We offer 2 levels of classes, Intermediate and Advanced. Students spend half the day in ballet classes and half the day in contemporary classes.

At the end of the week, the students present a performance in the Faris Theatre. The guest faculty select students who will be awarded scholarships. Each year we fund raise to be able to offer numerous scholarships to young dancers. In 2017 we were proud to provide more than $15,000 in scholarships to dancers from British Columbia. We have been proudly supporting young dancers with scholarship funds for over 20 years.

Our 2018 Spring Seminar Coaches are
Avatâra Ayuso and Véronique Jean

Avatâra Ayuso is currently working in Germany for the transcontinental project Shifting Realities that unifies African choreograpehrs with European ones. She will continue working in Dresden with refugee women and back in the UK Avatâra will work in a new work for the talented students of Northern Contemporary Dance School in Leeds. She trained in ballet (Degree by Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Mallorca and with Carmina Ocaña) and Linguistics (BA and MA, Universidad Complutense de Madrid). In 2005 she became part of the D.A.N.C.E. programme where she worked and performed internationally under the artistic direction of William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Frédéric Flamand and Angelin Preljocaj. She is Associate Artist of the European Center for the Arts Hellerau Dresden and her company is Associate Company of Creative Academy Slough (UK). She was nominated for the 2015 National Dance Awards in the UK.

Avatâra founded her company Ʌ.V.Ʌ Dance in 2008 developing relationships with artists from different cultures and disciplines (from architecture, to poetry, visual arts and costume design). In her most recent projects, she has collaborated with artists from Burkina Faso, Japan, Senegal, Malta and Morocco. Avatâra has created and produced both short and full length productions, and has been commissioned by the European Centre for the Arts Hellerau Dresden, Tanzhaus Düsseldorf, Malta University, Los Teatros del Canal de Madrid, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, The British Spanish Society, The Place, Palucca Schule Dresden, Youth Dance England, Karlovac Dance Festival Croatia, Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, Middlesex University and National Taipei University of the Arts. Her work has been shown in Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Taiwan, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Malta, Croatia, and in UK at Lilian Baylis Sadler’s Wells, The Place, South
Bank Center, Hackney Empire, Halcyon Gallery, Hospital Club Gallery, and Dance Base Edinburgh. Her latest works have been supported by Arts Council England, the British Council and The Spanish Embassy in London.

Véronique Jean is based at the Conservatoire de la Rochelle and travels to cities all over Europe giving master classes. In 1991, she joined the corps de ballet of the Ballets de Monte Carlo under the direction of Jean-Christophe Maillot – she spent twelve years working on Balanchine, Nacho Duatto, John Neumeier, Jiri Killian, and Forsythe, as well as his own personal repertoire. In 2000, she joined the Alterballeto company under the direction of Mauro Bigonzetti.

She began teaching at the “Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden” under the direction of Jason Beechey in 2005. There, she developed her own method, investing herself in a multifunctional universe where boundaries are erased. She relied on the individual identities of her students in order to develop the energy necessary for learning, because everything relies on that premise: each individual identity is a source of energy. When working on classical language, she would look for a musical approach that was more swing, more groove, to obtain a body dynamic to modulate. Each gesture must have meaning; each movement must be made with love and be pondered so as to bring value to its intention. The dancer then knows how to “occupy” space, knows the value of each of his or her steps, and anticipates the visual force of the movement. Thus, the dancer, always attentive, inhabits silence while knowing how to trust him or herself.

Past coaches have included:
Elena Glurjidze,  senior principal ballerina at the English National Ballet
Colleen Thomas, a New York based choreographer and performing artist, and the Artistic Director of Colleen Thomas Dance
Caroline Gruber, Ballet Master at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Ori Flomin,  an independent choreographer and dancer based in New York City
Bruce Wells, a Choreographer who has created over 50 ballets
Katharina Christl, Head of MA Choreography at Palucca University, Dresden