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Pictou County dancers to join with orchestra for Celtic-inspired performance

Ainslie Salter, Katey Aucoin, Alaina Bryce and Ellen Coffin take a break from practice their part in the upcoming Caledonian Show, to pose for a group shot.
Ainslie Salter, Katey Aucoin, Alaina Bryce and Ellen Coffin take a break from practice their part in the upcoming Caledonian Show, to pose for a group shot. - Sam Macdonald

Several Pictou County Highland dancers will be able to display traditional talent, all set to the backdrop of Scottish orchestral sounds this weekend.

Highland dancers Ainslie Salter, Katey Aucoin, Alaina Bryce and Ellen Coffin will be performing with the Caledonia Orchestra, serving as the Caledonian Show Dancers.
According to their dance teacher, Brenda MacKay, the Caledonia Orchestra specializes in traditional Scottish music, featuring the sounds of fiddles, accordions, flutes, piano, bass guitar and drums. And true to the theme of the music, some local highland dancers will also be featured in the show.

The girls’ dancing will be part of a performance that mingles Celtic dance and music together. In an email to The News, MacKay wrote that the girls first performed with the Caledonia Orchestra as part of a dance performance group during the Festival of the Tartans several years ago.

Although their first performance together was a one-evening event, MacKay noted that Nelson Ferguson, conductor of the Caledonia Orchestra, was impressed with the girls’ dancing, and “enjoyed the addition of the dancers and pursued the idea of creating more of a variety show to also include singing and dancing” as part of the Orchestra’s regular performances.

About a year ago, MacKay collaborated with Nelson to integrate a dance component to the orchestra’s show. The resulting routine will be unique because it won’t be traditional Highland dances, “but rather numbers that have been specifically choreographed to the music of the orchestra,” she said.
MacKay added that the Saturday performance in Stellarton in which the girls will be dancing will be the first of many collaborative performances between the dancers and the orchestra.


 

What: A performance of local Highland dancing set to the sound of traditional Scottish orchestral music.

Where: Sharon St. John Church in Stellarton

When: April 28 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.)
Admission: $15

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