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Echoes of Armenia at skating festival

Adelle Thomsen, performing to the sounds of the duduk, an ancient Armenian instrument, at the Ivor MacDonald Memorial Rink in Thorburn.
Adelle Thomsen, performing to the sounds of the duduk, an ancient Armenian instrument, at the Ivor MacDonald Memorial Rink in Thorburn. - Fram Dinshaw

The hauntingly beautiful sound from a faraway land echoed across the ice as a young skater gracefully weaved and turned before the crowd at the Ivor MacDonald Memorial Rink in Thorburn, on Saturday.

Solo skater Adelle Thomsen was dancing to the sound of a duduk, an ancient double reed woodwind instrument native to Armenia, a nation whose history stretches back to Old Testament times.

It was Thomsen’s coach Sheri Burns who urged her to dance to the duduk’s rhythm, its sound captivating her audience watching the East Pictou Silver Blades’ 2018 skating festival, titled: “Get Animated.”

“It was the music she really liked when she was younger and she never got to dance to it, so she wanted me to,” said Thomsen of her coach’s choice.

Burns herself said the annual show was a chance for skaters of all ages and abilities to show off their new talents in front of their families and friends.

Many of the skaters’ loved ones do not have a chance to see their children or siblings at competitions, so the ice show at home gives them a chance to watch them perform.

The audience was treated to themes from a number of sources including The Flintstones and Minecraft, among others.

But Burns said the skaters and everyone else have been “glued to the Olympics,” during the recent games in Korea.

Indeed, it was the figure skaters who won Canada’s first gold medal of Pyeongchang 2018.

The achievements of Patrick Chan, Gabrielle Daleman, Kaetlyn Osmond, Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were watched with keen interest by the East Pictou Silver Blades.

“Maybe some of these skaters will aspire to that level of skating someday. It’s not out of reach for anyone really, if they love it and they are determined to work towards it,” said Burns.

For now, the club is visiting Halifax in April to watch Stars on Ice together. Burns also welcomed prospective new skaters thinking of signing up. The East Pictou Silver Blades takes anyone age three and up.

“We welcome all skaters at every level,” said Burns.

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