WAAPA dance students on Verge of 2016 Genee International Ballet Competition


Kristin Barwick (West Perth), Sara Ouwendyk (Ardross), front Evelyn Roberts (Ballajura) and Isabelle Leclezio (Cottesloe). Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Kristin Barwick (West Perth), Sara Ouwendyk (Ardross), front Evelyn Roberts (Ballajura) and Isabelle Leclezio (Cottesloe). Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

IT has been a big 2016 for first year WAAPA dance student Isabelle Leclezaio.

Not only has the 19-year-old been presented with a varied range of learning opportunities but she had to overcome an injury that stopped her dancing for two months.

“I love the creative aspect of dancing and I always feel like something is missing on days when I don’t dance; that experience taught me a lot about patience and perseverance,” she said.

Thankfully Leclezaio is back on her pointe shoes to perform in The Rehearsal, one of four works featured in WAAPA’s final dance season Verge at Geoff Gibbs Theatre until November 19.

The Rehearsal is a divertissement piece inspired by artist Edgar Degas, famous for his paintings of ballet dancers in rehearsals, composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and ballet master Enrico Cecchetti, who was instrumental in the development of classical ballet.

It features excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s greatest ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker and includes original choreography by Kim McCarthy and a modern version of the famous Four Cygnets by Graeme Murphy.

“The piece really is like a Degas painting brought to life,” Leclezaio said.

“It has that magical feeling of reality on stage; we are all just dancers in a rehearsal, enjoying watching each other and simply moving to the beautiful music.”

Leclezaio and fellow The Rehearsal dancers Sara Ouwendyk Evelyn Roberts and Kristin Barwick will finish the year by competing solo in December at the 2016 Genee International Ballet Competition.

The invitation-only competition is one of the most prestigious in the world, with the finals held at Sydney Opera House.

Leclezaio said she would perform classical and contemporary solos, the latter choreographed by second year dance student Barwick.

“I am really excited to take part and to represent WAAPA over in Sydney,” Leclezaio said.

“I never imagined I would have this opportunity, so I am definitely going to give it my all, have fun and learn as much as I can.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Verge

Where: Geoff Gibbs Theatre, WAAPA

When: November 12 to 19

Tickets: www.waapa.ecu.edu.au