VIDF REVIEW – Goh Ballet


Photo of Vlademir Pereira submitted by Goh Ballet

Thank you to to the 2018 Vancouver International Dance Festival, for inviting our student writers out to this 3-week festival of culturally diverse contemporary dance. You can see the full calendar of VIDF Events here.


The Goh Ballet, directed by Chan Hon Goh, Fiona Smith, and Tanya Phelps, was a showcase of numerous classical and contemporary ballet performances. Within the 50-minute show, there were seven different pieces. Styles ranged from variations of Paquita to traditional Chinese ribbon dancing. It was interesting to see the comparison and contrast between pieces. After a large group performed, a solo piece would change the mood completely.

Although it was a short show, audience members were treated to a variety of performances featuring multicultural costumes and several historical rhythms. Instructed by Ken Guan, Olga Iakovlevskaya, April Newton-Mason, Mann Pan, Monica Proenca, Isabel Yuan, Ying Zhang, and Yao Ping Zhu, the dancers clearly had a strong understanding of technique and congruency whilst using the appropriate facial expression in connection to its style of piece.

Held at the Yaletown Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, at times the stage felt a little bit packed. However, the lighting, sound, and staging all worked flawlessly together to conceal the dancers’ struggles. The dancers were skilled at making up for the lack of space through focusing on height and expression rather than distance and over extension. Nonetheless, it made for an entertaining and captivating performance.

The efforts by the youngest dancers were empowering and it was evident that they have a lot of potential in their professional futures.

It was apparent that there were a variety of ages featured in this performance. The efforts by the youngest dancers were empowering and it was evident that they have a lot of potential in their professional futures. As a whole, there was not much variety in skill level; the dancers had fantastic chemistry and were ultimately a team.

For an art form traditionally dominated by women, it was remarkable to see so many male dancers performing with such dexterity and so much passion. The costumes they wore complemented their muscles beautifully whilst keeping a masculine persona. The pas de deux (partner work) with the young female dancers was phenomenal; the connection between each pair was memorable and noteworthy.

The pointe work seemed effortless. The females looked like ferries couru-ing and balancing on their toes. The lines were flawless with their stunning costumes as a cherry-on-top. Audience members were constantly in awe to see all the dancers perform with such grace and finesse.

As an act in this festival, the Goh Ballet and the Vancouver International Dance Festival is highly recommended for audiences of all ages, especially those with a passion for art and music. It is price-friendly for students, and kind in terms of time for those busy individuals.

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