CanCelt Events - Past and Present
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International Dancers 2019
SHUT-UP AND DANCE WITH ME
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Basel Tattoo 2018
In 2018 Canadiana Celtic assembled a team of fifty Canadian Highland Dancers representing Canada completely, from the west to the east coast and every province in between. The performance at the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland was yet again, a phenomenal experience for all. With the largest CanCelt team to date, we were humbled and honoured to perform four dances each evening in the show.
Starting the show with the Massed Pipes and Drums, organized by Captain (Retired) Stuart Samson MBE, traditional Highland Dance moves and attire added even more colour and enthusiasm to the opening number. Supporting the renowned Red Hot Chilli Pipers during their performance in the Tattoo was what came to be called the Mini Chilli dance, designed for crowd appreciation and participation during the band's energetic rock act. The third number in the show titled, The Scottish Act, was a haunting medley of iconic Celtic ballads involving yet again, the Massed Pipes and Drums, with the addition of the Massed Bands, under the musical direction of Christoph Walter. Joined with the Texas Kilgore Rangerettes dancers, CanCelt proudly framed and presented Scotland's St. Andrew's Cross flag.
The main CanCelt dance number was supported by the Celtic rock band, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who were accompanied by The Band of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), under the direction of, WO1 Barry Young. Appropriately titled, Red Hot Highland, this dance was fiery and fierce from the moment the dancers stormed on stage until the last snap of the foot and head on the final count. The dance was strong and powerful, filling the arena stage from end to end with a variety of shapes and patterns. Noteworthy were three concentric circles turning in alternate directions at the end of the dance, highlighting various elements of the music. The dance was complimented beautifully with costumes designed and created by Veronica MacIsaac.
Basel Tattoo 2016
MASSED PIPES & DRUMS
Canadiana Celtic 2016 brought together thirty-six dancers, aged sixteen to thirty years, for the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland. We were thrilled to choreograph two distinct numbers for the show including a traditionally styled dance and another of our own design.
The traditional style dance was designed with the director of the Basel Tattoo Massed Pipes and Drums, Captain (Retired) Stuart Samson MBE. This number featured the music and majesty of the entire massed pipes and drums dressed in full Scottish regalia, with all of the dancers in their colourful kilts and velvet jackets. The dance wove its way around and between pipers to fill the bloom of a thistle, shaped by the bands on the esplanade. Nothing quite compares to dancing traditional Highland dance steps alongside the cacophony of two hundred pipes and drums!
The second dance was a nautically themed number backed by the powerful band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, under the direction of LtCol. Nick Grace, accompanied by the stage band, The Band of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), under the direction of, WO1 Barry Young. The dance depicted the story of sailors leaving home to join their ship, then both the hard work and camaraderie of sailors in action on the high seas, ending with smooth sailing and dropping anchor. It was an honour to work with such talented musicians and dancers to see this dance come alive!
International Dancers 2013
2013 was not a CanCelt team specifically but is included here because it was largely organized by Canadiana Celtic administration, and both the majority of the CanCelt 2012 senior dancers, as well as both Stephanies, were part of this team. The International Dancers were requested by the Basel Tattoo to showcase a mature dance team, with the average age of the team being twenty-four years of age. The dance was choreographed and directed by the renowned, award-winning choreographer, Janice Macquarrie of Canada, and she was supported by dance directors Aileen Robertson of Scotland, and Shelly Van Gool of South Africa. The premise of the team was also aligned with Canadiana Celtic's mission to bring Highland dancers together for a shared experience in performance, celebrating our love of Highland dancing.
The music for this dance was arranged by pipers Captain (Retired) Stuart Samson of Scotland, Matt MacIsaac of Canada (brother of CanCelt's Veronica MacIsaac and longtime friend of the Stephs), Finlay MacDonald of Scotland, and musical director Major Christoph Walter supported by the Swiss Army Concert Band.
A smaller group of the International Dancers were involved in a special number and were proud to support the Band of the Life Guards, a part of Her Majesty's Household Cavalry. Music was from the hit James Bond film, "Skyfall", conducted by Major Paul Wilman.
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2012
Canadiana Celtic and the REMT Highland Spring Dancers were a combined sixty-strong dance company, and together performed an item entitled, Whisky, that told the story of the whiskey-making process. It helped celebrate the 'Year of Creative Scotland' as a light shone on some of Scotland’s creative assets. From sowing the barley to turning the mash, through the distillation and maturing processes and eventual bottling of the whiskey, the dancers presented the creation of a magical liquid known throughout the world as Scotch.
Stephanie and Stephanie supported REMT Dance Director, (Retired) Billy Forsyth MBE, who choreographed the dance item with world champion Highland dancer, Nicola Grant. The music was a piece from the Edinburgh Suite composed by harpist, Phamie Gow, and was performed by The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland with pipers from The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The entire number was supported by Glenkinchie distillery.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2008
Forty-five dancers from across Canada joined the Highland Spring Dancers of Scotland to create an impressive one hundred strong dance troupe, honoring Scotland and Canada's historic links. The lively item was largely choreographed by, (Retired) Billy Forsyth MBE, and in part by Stephanie Grant and Stephanie Turnbull of Canadiana Celtic, and told the story of Scottish migration to Canada.
The dance, featuring traditional Gaelic melodies and lively reel steps, helped illustrate the Scots emigrants' departure from their homeland and the Atlantic crossing. A special feature included half of the CanCelt dancers wearing hard-soled step dancing shoes, picking out the rhythm of the music and performing traditional Cape Breton style steps, in celebration of the arrival of the Scots on the eastern Canadian seaboard.
The musical arrangement of Strathspey and Reels was produced by The Royal Regiment of Scotland, under the direction of (Retired) Major Paul Wilman.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2007
The Massed Commonwealth Highland Dancers were originally assembled to help mark a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee at the 53rd Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2002. In 2007, the Commonwealth Dance Troupe was reunited and Canadiana Celtic joined the ranks alongside dancers from Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and South Africa, to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
Choreographed by (Retired) REMT Dance Director and former World Champion Highland dancer, Billy Forsyth MBE, the dance patterns were devised to mark the Queen's 60th wedding Anniversary through a series of kaleidoscopic diamond patterns. The complex, colourful, and rapidly shifting movements also incorporated extracts from famous Royal Balls, and finished with a formation representing an Edinburgh landmark, the Heart of Midlothian (pictured above).
This was the first international Tattoo experience for Canadiana Celtic, and we are still grateful to those involved who believed in our potential and encouraged us to continue bringing dancers together for the purpose of performance and love of Highland Dance.
Francie Stoutamire Photography
Photo by Stephanie Grant
Photo by Baselferien.ch
CanCelt is honoured to be invited back to the Basel Tattoo for the 2023 show. We are asked to bring 50 Canadian dancers and hope that you will join us!
Application deadline was February 19.
THANK YOU for your interest in CanCelt 2023
Canadiana Celtic 2023