Dance society finds home in Millennium Place 

The newly-formed Whistler Dance Society won't be dancing in the streets. In fact they're kicking up their heels after the news that they've secured space in The Maurice Young Millennium Place.

Although Millennium Place won't celebrate its grand opening until June, the Dance Society hopes to have its first workshops up and running by May. The schedules should be verified in the coming weeks but classes will be offered for adults and teens in a variety of disciplines, including ballet, funk, modern jazz and contemporary dance. Parents and pre-schoolers can take part in rhythm and movement courses. These spring courses will be 8 weeks and will also be staggered according to ability levels.

The Whistler Dance Society is the dream of world-renowned dancer/choreographer and Whistler local Trina Eby. Eby holds an MFA in Dance from Mills College and a BA in Dance and Kinesiology from SFU and York University. She has spent a number of years studying in Japan and teaching in Singapore. Professional performances include stays with the Arts Fission Company, Janice Garret, Danse Imedia, Viola Faraber and Pearl Lang. As Artistic Director of The Whistler Dance Society, Eby hopes to inspire the community with her diverse experience.

"We've been asked to participate in the Whistler Arts Experience in the first week of July. We're hoping to bring in a multi-media artist from Singapore and work with dance and technology. So people who are not necessarily dancers, but who are interested in how to shoot a dance video, or interested in dance on the computer, can get involved."

Eby is also hoping to bring in a special guest to conduct summer workshops. Marlise Yearby is the choreographer for the award-winning play Rent. Yearby does interdisciplinary work in contemporary dance and voice and dance for musical theatre. Other international endeavours will include a project in conjunction with the Dance Theatre of Oregon. The troupe is scheduled to perform May 5 as part of the Whistler Community Art Council's Showcase 2001 lineup. However, members will also conduct day-long instruction seminars in their unique and often humorous performance style.

For those particularily keen to excel, intense summer courses will be offered, meaning a full-time, week-long study period with a recital at the end of the program. More extensive programs will begin in the fall, where professional track students can sign up for semester-long courses involving three nights a week of interdisciplinary study. Ongoing recreational courses will be available with a commitment of just one night a week. And drop-in courses will be open for the curious.

For the immediate future, however, Eby is looking for local experienced dancers interested in participating in the society's first gala performance. It will coincide with the grand opening of Millennium Place and will also be the first fund-raiser for the Whistler Dance Society.

"I'm looking for dancers with some technical background," says Eby. "I don't want to scare anyone off by saying that you must have professional experience to participate. If people want to call me, we can discuss what ability levels will be needed.

"As well this will be a showcase of local talent of the first participants of the spring courses."

Eby encourages anyone and everyone to contact her at 935-0200 to discuss all levels and disciplines. She stresses dancing is not just for dancers. It can enrich everyone's lives on physical, social, intellectual and emotional levels.

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