70,000 aspiring performers on stage
By SHIRLEY BROUN
THE Gold Coast is set for an influx of talented young performing arts students, teachers and families for the 32nd Annual Gold Coast Eisteddfod which runs for seven weeks from August 8.
Over 70,000 competitors have signed up for this year’s Gold Coast Eisteddfod which began modestly as part of the Tropicarnival Festival in 1982 with just 600 entries and has grown to be the largest in the country.
Gold Coast Eisteddfod General Manager Judy Ferber, who has been involved with the eisteddfod since its inception, said this year’s event will be the biggest ever held. “There will be 70,000 competitors in 600 sections and the entrants are coming from all around Australia,” she said.
Mrs Ferber said people often under-estimated the importance of the eisteddfod on the Gold Coast and the underlying cultural interest it nurtured and put on the big stage. “The difference today is that schools have embraced creative arts and now have great programs for primary and secondary schools,” she said.
“Performing arts have become a very important part of the school curriculum. These days children can take subjects in dance at school and as a result the Eisteddfod is now catering for this part of the market as well. We have 229 entries in the Primary and Secondary Schools Dance Clubs which is quite remarkable!”
She said the Eisteddfods are popular because they play such a vital role in the development of new talent and has provided a springboard to full time careers in the performing arts for many talented artists.
Great training for stage career
“Artists like Sophie Monk and dancers Drew Anthony and Christopher Horsey went through our eisteddfod when they were growing up,” said Mrs Ferber. “Many more have gone onto wonderful careers on stage and behind the scenes around the world, including at the Moulin Rouge and as choreographers on movie sets.
“The eisteddfod gives them a chance to cultivate their area of expertise – whether it be as a vocalist, dancer, instrumentalist or actor – and teaches them stagecraft, discipline and the art of performing before a live audience. They can also see what their competitors are doing and experience a big stage.”
Dance sections excel
The dance sections have come out strongly at this year’s eisteddfod with students from 130 dance schools from around the country set to perform. “There are a record number of group dance sections with 1250 separate group items. Plus there are 160 choirs, 310 bands and orchestras and 250 speech and drama.
The eisteddfod will also include a Special Needs Section for young adults and children to be held at the Robina Community Centre.
The public is welcome to attend the eisteddfod and show support for the aspiring performers. Entry is just $8 for three hours with tickets available at the Gold Coast Art Centre, Robina Community Centre or Albert Waterways Community Centre. Programs are available at the Arts Centre Box Office, at each venue, or directly from the Gold Coast Eisteddfod office at Robina – Level 2, Robina Community Centre, 196 Robina Town Centre Drive.
The Eisteddfod program to run August 8 to September 16 includes: Strings Wind & Brass & Piano – August 8-11; Choral – August 12-15; Dance – August 12 to September 2; Bands – August 19-23; Special Needs – August 22; String Orchestras – August 26-28; Speech Choirs – August 29; Speech & Drama – September 3-12; and Vocal – September 13-16. The winners will be announced after each section.
For further information contact the Eisteddfod office on (07) 5689 1651.Tweet