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Perform Art Archive: North Shore News - Grand Opening

IAN Widgery (left) and Miranda Widgery -Webber are launching their new Lower Lonsdale performing arts dance school next month.

Perform Art studios offer unique courses & training

Deana Lancaster (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

LAUNCHING a new performing arts studio in Lower Lonsdale is the culmination of years of training and months of planning for Miranda Widgery-Webber and Ian Widgery .

The couple are opening Perform Art Studios on June 1, and what they hope o be offering the North Shore is both traditional and modern arts training . . . with a twist.

"We've been researching how children learn," explains Widgery -Webber. "And what we've discovered is that learning through the arts can help develop critical thinking and have a positive impact on communication skills.

"We want to give them a good start with art," she says.

The programs at Perform Art Studios have been designed by the pair to train the whole child: technically, intellectually and artistically.

Widgery -Webber, originally from Bowen Island is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). She trained at University of Durham and the Hammond School in England, and in Canada at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the Quinte Ballet School. She has spent the past several years teaching and choreographing in England, U.S.A. and Hong Kong. As well as ballet, she is trained in jazz and contemporary dance as well as flamenco and musical theatre.

Widgery is a music producer and DJ from London, and has spent the last 10 years producing records and working on production for artists such as David Bowie, U2, Duran Duran, B*Witched, and Jane's Addiction. His latest project Shanghai Divas Redefined is currently being released worldwide on EMI Records.

He met Widgery -Webber when she was training in England, "and my life has never been the same since," he laughs.

It was while the pair were recently working in Hong Kong that they began to talk about coming back to Canada and opening their own school.

"We feel that as well as classical training, we do have international experience, and we feel that we're bringing something new here," says Widgery -Webber.

For his part, Widgery is excited about the possibility of helping guide young talent.

"When I started there was nowhere for me to go to get answers. I had to figure it all out on my own. I'm really hoping I can guide people, and offer advice and support."

Not only is Widgery the music director for the school, but he'll be teaching what are likely the most unique courses to be offered by Perform Art Studios: DJ Lessons for students aged 12 to adult; and instruction on how to create music using Apple's GarageBand software, also for students 12 and up.

Other programs include: First Start for ages three to six - instruction in dance, drama, music and the visual arts, designed to develop creative thinking, communication skills, literacy, aesthetic awareness and physical coordination.

Perform Art Dance and Theatre Arts is for ages 3 to 18 and includes general dance and theatre art classes for students.

Perform Art Dance and Theatre Arts Associates is pre-professional training and Perform Art College is aimed at age 17 and above.

The couple have also started the Perform Art Youth Dance Theatre Company for students aged 11- 20.

Perform Art Studios is also offering summer programs, beginning in July.

The studio is located at 260 West Esplanade in North Vancouver. For more information, call 604-723-4594, send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit www.performartstudios.com

Story courtesy of North Shore News, News photo Mike Wakefield.