Community theatre project Under the Big Top

Heart and Soul Dance and Theatre Collective are offering an opportunity for Elk Valley youth to take centre stage.

Heart and Soul Dance and Theatre Collective are offering an opportunity for Elk Valley youth to take centre stage.

Heart and Soul is a project-oriented initiative to promote the performing arts, dance and theatre in Fernie and the surrounding area with an emphasis on collaboration, creativity and community.

Their first performance project will be Under the Big Top, which will be performed May 13 and 14 at The Fernie Arts Station.

Told through the medium of dance and drama, it’s a story about friendship, love and finding your way among the sights, sounds and characters of the Circus.

This project is open to youth in Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford and the South Country who are aged 12 to 18. Future projects may include different age groups, but this story calls for a small, older cast.

“The Fernie Arts Station has been a great support and we will be rehearsing and choreographing in their space,” said Alana Minifie-Rybar, director of The Creative Energy Group. “It’s very exciting because nothing like this has ever been done before in the valley. It’s very collaborative.”

The project is being supported by the Creative Spark Arts Starts program, an offshoot of the Columbia Basin Trust. Six dance and theatre professionals from Vancouver, Alberta and the U.S. will be working with the cast of 20-25 youth performers. It also includes local dance professionals, Caitlin Javier from Fernie and Kelly Stoffels from Sparwood.

“I created and wrote the show and will produce it, and the team and I will choreograph it. It’s a really nice story with a happy ending. It’s meant to be uplifting and inspiring,” said Minifie-Rybar.

Applications are online at Heartandsouldancecollective.org. Deadline for application is March 17. It is a six-week project, April 1 to May 14. The cost for participating dancers is $70, which will go towards costume and rehearsal fees.