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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Championship dancers tear up stage

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Josh Price was the only male dancer in the Under 14 Ballet Championships.
Josh Price was the only male dancer in the Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts Under 14 Ballet Championships.

Eve Jeffery

This week the soloists hit the stage at the 83rd Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts.

One section which created a stir because of the level of competence and talent was the Under 14 Championships on Wednesday evening.

Dancers competed in tap, ballet and modern categories and the performances were outstanding.

Denon Minnikin, Lisa Hegedus and Chantelle Bing each performed a slow tempo and a speed tempo piece in the tap section. All three girls were absolutely fabulous and it was a hard task for adjudicator Chontelle Morrison to separate these three young soloists.

In the end it came down to splitting hairs and the winner was Denon with Lisa as runner-up and Chantelle in third place.

The ballet championship was another treat for dance-o-philes, as the level of ability rose above and beyond the years of the competitors.

Nae Kojima was simply magnificent in both her classical and her demi character, and there was really no question of who would win the event after her stellar performances. It is quite clear that the ballet world will be seeing much more of Nae in one of the great troupes of the world within the next few years.

In saying that, the performances of all the competitors were a pure pleasure to watch, with Lily Kate Folpp’s shiny spider helping her to achieve a second place and Emily Dale’s disturbing yet brilliant pyjama-clad demi being rewarded with a highly commended.

Another excellent performance was delivered by young Josh Price.

At just 14 years-of-age, Josh was the only male dancer in the Under 14 championships event. Josh is already a veteran of dozens of eisteddfods. At this year’s Murwillumbah event, in his division, he won a first place in classical, demi and contemporary; a second in his lyrical; third in the classical championships; third in jazz improvisation as well as gaining a highly commended in jazz.

Josh lives at Elanora, but he travels the country and internationally for competitions. He competes in RAD scholarships, eisteddfods, Cecchetti state medals and Cecchetti national medals. This year he is also doing his RAD advanced 1 and Cecchetti advanced 1 and studying year 10 and 11 subjects via distance education.

Josh and his mother Donna left for Sydney the morning after the championships for ten days of competition including the McDonald’s Sydney eisteddfod and the Cecchetti Lucie Saranova national medals as one of only two Queensland representatives in the silver section.

Josh received a wonderful surprise recently when he was named the most outstanding male dancer of the Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge (BPAC) last month and was awarded a bursary.

His was certainly an outstanding performance in the MFoPA championships and Josh and all of the championship dancers are to be congratulated for quality performances. Their futures are now under the microscope as we avidly watch their progress.

The Ballet Scholarships event will be held on Saturday evening from 6.30pm. Fourteen hundred dollars is up for grabs for outstanding ballet students. This event is open to the public and will showcase the absolute best that the eisteddfod has to offer in classical dance.

For more information visit the Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts website.


~ Photos of the Under 14 Tap Dance and Ballet Championships by Eve Jeffery

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