Entertainment

Review: Cowichan Music Festival thrills with annual garden of stage delights

Dancers from Carlson’s School of Dance performs the demi-character ballet selection Libertango during Wednesday’s edition of the 65th-annual Cowichan Music Festival Highlights Concert at Cowichan Theatre. - Andrew Leong
Dancers from Carlson’s School of Dance performs the demi-character ballet selection Libertango during Wednesday’s edition of the 65th-annual Cowichan Music Festival Highlights Concert at Cowichan Theatre.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

The hit of Wednesday’s wonderful Cowichan Music Festival Highlights Concert was arguably the mechanically perfect routine by Raw Robots.

But that tip-top hip-hop act, by 10 well-oiled male dancers from Carlson’s school, was just one of 22 routines illustrating Cowichan’s annual crop of awesome talent.

So much talent that nine acts are bound for June’s provincial competitions in Penticton.

Those skills span all genres and ages — from six tiny Highland hoofers in Dance, Puppet, Dance; demi-character ballet; and Brenna Bazinet’s classical vocals, to Gabiro Nabea-Bucyana’s musical-theatre romp; terrific tap during Routine 1; and pianist Owen Laurie’s fluid work on Waterfall.

George Bonner Elementary School’s jumpin’ jazz band played two rousing numbers — sadly, a swan song as Grade 6 and 7 band programs are being scrapped by school-board budget cuts, CMF organizers noted.

Still, our festival soldiers on, without government funding, leaving local patrons kindly supporting some $49,000 worth of annual excellence.

That’s certainly money well spent on our priceless artists.

Music festival rating: 10 stars out of 10.

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