The Forrester Dancers have been under the direction of Eileen Pottie Forrester since 1965. Her talented daughter, Shannon Forrester McMullen has been teaching and directing alongside her mother since 1991. Since the early ‘60s, Eileen and her dancers have represented Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Canada during many International festivals in Asia, Europe, Canada and the United States – which included 22 shows at Walt Disney World’s Epcot main stage. Representatives of the dance company are thrilled to be invited once again to Celtic Colours showcasing their traditional and specially choreographed Highland, Scottish National, and Celtic Step Dancing.
Tag Archives | Stepdance
Normand Legault is a dancer, jigger and musician from the vibrant, dance culture in Quebec. He studied art and folk traditions at Université Laval. He has also studied the cello and the classical guitar. He is a noted dancer and instructor, specifically highlighting the traditional aspects of the dance culture in Quebec, and how it interrelates and responds to the music. Normand has also been a member of À pied levé, a group which won the bronze medal in the cultural program of the Jeux de la Francophonie in Madagascar in 1997.
Rodney MacDonald is an accomplished Cape Breton performer who has toured throughout Atlantic Canada. He is the grandson of the great fiddler and composer, Donald Angus Beaton. He began learning stepdancing from his parents at the age of four and soon picked up the fiddle. Rodney recorded his own solo recording in 1995 entitled Dancer’s Delight, Traditionally Rockin’ in 1997(with Glenn Graham), and was included on the 2004 Smithsonian release The Beaton Family of Mabou: Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music. The former Premier of Nova Scotia is working on a new CD for 2014.
Shannon is Artistic Director, performer, and choreographer with the Forrester School of Dance in Sydney, currently entering its 49th year of teaching dance excellence on Cape Breton Island. Shannon has been dancing since the age of 4, under the direction of her mother, champion dancer Eileen (Pottie) Forrester. Shannon is an award winning dancer and choreographer who specializes in Highland Dance, Cape Breton Step Dance, Celtic Step Dance, Scottish Ballet and Liturgical Dance – and has garnered a reputation as a versatile instructor, performer, and choreographer. During this year’s festival, Shannon will be featured in shows as a solo performer as well as performing alongside members of the school’s senior dance company.
Sabra is a champion highland dancer, a stellar step dancer and a musician who has performed and taught across Canada, the United States, Australia, Scotland, and Ireland. The 5-time provincial champion highland dancer, 10-time representative for Nova Scotia at the Canadian Highland Dancing Championships, and 8th overall in the World Highland Dancing Championships in Scotland, is founder, director and choreographer of the Celtic Touch Dancers, a lively group of award-winning highland and step dancers. Sabra’s choreographies have garnered them top placings at the provincial and national level.
Wendy is an award-winning fiddler, piano player and step dancer from Creignish, Cape Breton who began performing as a stepdancer at age 5. At age 12, she began fiddle lessons with Stan Chapman. By age fifteen, Wendy was playing dances all over Cape Breton Island, forming the sound that makes her so recognizable today. With five records to her credit – including “Variations” with her Cape Breton Celtic Supergroup, Beolach – she is a favourite with traditional audiences everywhere. Wendy has toured all over the world as a solo performer, and with The Rankins, Mary Jane Lamond, Ashley MacIsaac and Beolach. Wendy’s critically acclaimed release “Seinn” is a partnership with long time musical collaborator, Mary Jane Lamond.
With roots going back six generations, this family of players shares a legacy of tradition. Ever since Joe Pete Chaisson formed the PEI Fiddlers Association and established the Rollo Bay Fiddle festival, the family has worked to preserve and protect traditional music and dance on Prince Edward Island. Joe Pete’s three sons–Peter, Kenny and Kevin–still set the standard for younger generations to follow. Peter’s masterful touch on the fiddle has never wavered through decades of play. An accomplished composer and player, Kenny has tunes to go on for days. And Kevin is one of the most sought after piano accompanists on PEI. Kenny, Kevin and Peter will be joined at Celtic Colours this year by J.J. Chaisson, Koady Chaisson and Elmer Deagle.
The Beaton Sisters Band consists of sisters Dawn (fiddle and dance) and Margie (fiddle, piano and dance) Beaton. Piano-player extraordinaire, Jason Roach from Cheticamp, Cape Breton is a lively rhythm based soloist and accompanist with a powerful beat to keep the tunes cooking! Kenneth MacKenzie, from Mabou, Cape Breton is a piper and fiddler. His roots are strongly Gaelic and his piping styling is up-tempo, made perfect for any step-dancer. Together, these artists will have your toes tapping and your legs dancing!