Gabriola Dance presents The Jungle Book

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, June 7 2016

Fifty of Gabriola’s brightest young dancers will bring to life the much loved Rudyard Kipling stories that were first published in magazines in 1893. The story centres around a young boy called Mowgli, an abandoned man cub raised by wolves in the Indian Jungle. It will include Gabriola dancers from ages three to 18 years of age. All the main parts will be played by the senior ballet class from Gabriola Dance.

The cast of the jungle book. Photo courtesy Christy Wilson 

“My focus was always on technique, and having well-trained dancers who could jump into other styles. The senior class has been training for seven years and they could all choose to have dance as a career if they wanted. They are quite accomplished,” says Mara Brenner of Gabriola Dance. There will be no speaking roles, and unlike other variety type shows, the play is a continuous piece done like the Nutcracker for 45 minutes.

Brenner says people can expect to see pre-professional dancers raised and taught locally as well as adorable little munchkins playing the animal roles.

“The senior class has been dancing with me some at least three hours a week, some eight. I’m so proud of how versatile this senior group has become, and how hard they’re working on their technique. It’s just gratifying to watch these kids grow into artists and athletes. Dance is the most unique form, some people will call you an artist or some will call you an athlete, but when you’re good, you’re both.”

Brenner has a degree in musical theatre and had a career spanning 40 years of dance. She is primarily a choreographer and teacher now. Something she loves because she says her students are so keen.

“I like being able to inspire children, and I love to watch them get a new skill or move in a way they never thought they could or express themselves through movement. Sometimes it surprises them that they’re able to do that.”

Production times are June 11 at 5:00 p.m. and June 12 at 5:00 p.m. at The Haven. Seating is limited, and admission is by donation of cash or canned food to the People for a Healthy Community Society. Doors open 15 minutes before show time.

Brenner wants the community to know that for the first time she is offering full summer programming for dancers and non-dancers. 

There will also be a conditioning portion everyone is invited to attend and classes every day of the week. For more information visit her Facebook Page Gabriola Pilates and Dance.