15 September 2014
Last Sunday night, a jazz dance team from the Commotion School of Performing Arts, Mount Annan, won the Sydney Eisteddfod Dance of Champions before a full house at the Science Theatre, University of New South Wales. The group scored this victory performing a sensational number entitled Fly Away with Me, that the school principal Ben Stokes choreographed on a holiday travel theme.
Earlier this year, the team won the Jazz Dance Group (any age) performing this number at Sydney Eisteddfod’s annual Dance Day at Sydney Opera House. Through this success, its members qualified for a place in the Dance of Champions that traditionally brings the dance section of the annual McDonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod to a rousing end. When the Commotion kids presented this number at the Opera House, they stunned adjudicator Tia Jordan with their excellent dance work, humour, dynamics, style and phenomenal acrobatic tricks. Describing the choreography as ‘awesome,’ Ms Jordan congratulated Mr Stokes for coming up with such a fantastic concept. Then, after rewarding the dancers with a score of 97/100, she paid Stokes and his students the ultimate compliment by saying ‘I’m so glad I got to see this one.’
Since then, three months have passed, and from their performance at the Science Theatre on Sunday, it was clear the Commotion dancers had polished their act even further. They gave a truly sensational performance, and as the stand-out troupe in a field of champions, scored a well- deserved win.
Introduced into the Sydney Eisteddfod program in 2008, Dance of Champions carries a total prize purse of $28,000 and shapes as a final dance-off between teams of all types. Both the jury and the audience choose their own set of winners and award first, second and third prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 to their favourite groups. This year, 19 groups competed in the event and, by winning the coveted Jury Vote, the Commotion School of Performing Arts emerged as champion of Champions.
The show was filmed for television and will screen nationwide on Network Ten on Saturday, October 25 at 3pm.
Jennie Lees, PhD
Media Liaison & Public Information