Dancers get into the groove at arts festival

CHAMPIONS: Ann Holland School of Dance pupils perform at Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts.
CHAMPIONS: Ann Holland School of Dance pupils perform at Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts.

Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts’ dance section ended on a high on Tuesday night after four days packed with performances that thrilled spectators.

The dance programme for the 91st festival culminated with the song and dance solo category for 15 to 18-year-olds, tap solos from 13 and 14-year-olds and the ever-impressive modern groups category for 13 to 18-year-olds before awards were handed out to more than 40 winners.

Dance section of Sudbury festival of performing arts.This is the modern groups aged 13-18 section''Pictured: Ann Holland School of Theatre Dance from Barrow won the catagory

Dance section of Sudbury festival of performing arts.This is the modern groups aged 13-18 section''Pictured: Ann Holland School of Theatre Dance from Barrow won the catagory

Mary Davies, chairman of the festival, said: “The performers were amazing. We had some brilliant song and dance soloists and there was a lovely variety.”

Kerry Ellis. star of numerous West End productions including Oliver!, Les Miserables and Wicked, attended the festival she performed in between the ages of three and 16 and presented the Kerry Ellis Award for a song and dance solo to Lucy Barnes.

Mrs Davies said: “Lots of the singers and dancers were able to chat to Kerry about her career. She is very supportive of the festival.”

The festival managed to overcome a few issues in the build-up to Tuesday’s finale as Ormiston Sudbury Academy, which hosted the festival, pulled out from performing, while the adults’ section did not pull its usual crowd.

“It was a full house at the end for the groups but the adults section on Sunday evening wasn’t as well supported.

“It used to be really popular but the enthusiasm wasn’t quite there this year,” said Mrs Davies.

“Those who were there were fantastic, though.”

Janet Penfold, who helps organise the festival, thanked adjudicator Geoff Lucas for his efforts and constructive advice to performers.

Mr Lucas’ career saw him spend two years in Cats as well as roles in Camelot and Jesus Christ Superstar.

The music section of Sudbury Festival of Performing Arts begins at the Delphi Club in Newton Road on Tuesday afternoon and continues until Sunday, March 3, with some performances at All Saints Middle School on Saturday, March 2.