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 fundraise 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 2019 Spring Seminar Coaches are
Céline Gittens and Jan Kodet
Céline Gittens joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2006 and was promoted to Principal in 2017. She was born in Trinidad and grew up in Vancouver, Canada, where her training, both with her mother and at Vancouver’s Goh Ballet Academy, led her to win the gold medal and audience choice award in 2005 at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance Genée International Ballet Competition, held in London. Céline is a dancer of immense strength and her powerful technique has been seen to such strong effect in performances in many leading roles which are garnering her plaudits such as Odette / Odile (Swan Lake), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Sugarplum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Swanilda (Coppélia, also performed at Buckingham Palace for HRH Prince Charles), Lise (La Fille Mal Gardée), the Striptease Girl (Slaughter on Tenth Avenue), the Gypsy Girl (The Two Pigeons), Fortuna (Carmina Burana), Bethena (Elite Syncopations) and a very demure and youthful Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Having spent all her professional life with a British company, however, Céline has developed a more understated side to her performances which is standing her in good stead for the classics. As a soloist, she debuted the dual roles of Odette / Odile in Swan Lake in 2012, and in 2015 performed this most taxing ballerina role on opening night in Tokyo, Japan, to great acclaim. Céline also gained a Master of Philosophy from the University of Birmingham in 2012.
Ballet master of the National Theatre Ballet and choreographer Jan Kodet began dancing in the University Artistic Ensemble of Charles University (later on the Dance Theatre Prague), a member of which he was for nine years. In 1991 he graduated from the Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts, where he studied pedagogy of modern dance.
In the past, he danced in a number of foreign theatres, among them: Dance Berlin, S.O.A.P. Dance Theatre Frankfurtand Ballet Gulbenkian, where he encountered such distinguished choreographers as Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Paulo Ribeiro, Itzik Galili, etc. The most important for him remains, however, the Portuguese choreographer Rui Horta, whose group he danced for several years, later on working as his assistant with a host of European ensembles (Culberg Ballet, Compagnie National de Marseille, Icelandic Ballet, etc.).
At the present time, Jan Kodet is one of the leading representatives of the contemporary dance scene. In the Czech Republic and abroad he has created numerous successful projects, for instance, Danse Macabre (Archa Theatre), 6x Eva, Evička, No End, Adam + Eva – Náhoda neexistuje (Adam + Eve – There Is No Coincidence), Gates (Trans Dance Europe), Cala Estreta, Jade (Gulbenkian Ballet Lisabon), Chrysalis (BDT Bratislava), About Firewomen and Other Stories(Hochschule FFM), Raumtraumen (St. Gallen), Lola & Mr. Talk (Archa Theatre – Theatre News and Sazka Prize for the best choreography of the 2003-2004 theatre season), Talking to Frida (Dance Conservatory of the City of Prague), The Legend of the Argonauts (Laterna magika), Duel – part of a performance Ballet Mania and A Goldilocks (both for Czech National Ballet in Prague), (e)MOTION PURE, Light Symphony and Kevel (Divadlo Ponec, the Audience Award at Czech Dance Platform in 2007), Camoufl▪AGE (multiartistic project – The National Theatre Ballet in Prague, Theatre News and Sazka Prize for the best choreography of the 2008-2009 theatre season), choreography of Dvorak’s opera Rusalka, Martinů’s opera The Miracles of Mary and Britten’s opera Gloriana (all three for the National Theatre Opera in Prague), Human Locomotion (Laterna Magica) and Midsummer Night’s Dream (Summer Shakespeare Festival in Prague), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and A Little Mermaid (Czech National Ballet in Prague).
Abroad he teaches modern dance technique, improvisation and composition at several dance schools (Hochschule für Tanz Frankfurt, Institut de Teatro Barcelona, Ballet Academy Stockholm, etc.), as well as dance groups and theatres in Germany, Sweden, France, Portugal and Switzerland and works as ballet master of the National Theatre Ballet in Prague.
Past coaches have included:
Avatâra Ayuso, founder of AVA Dance Company, Jean Veronique, 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