Vibe Dance Centre's performances are always shrouded in mystery.
Even the group's own dancers don't know many of the details of their shows until the last minute possible. Still, that doesn't stop locals from snapping up around 200 tickets to each of their performances.
Their year-end show this season, running from June 21 to June 23 at Millennium Place, is called
The Clock Keeper's Prophecy and features 130 dancers, including the elite Vibe Tribe Dance Team, as well as 14 guitar students playing one of two original songs.
"It's sort of an adventure story," says Jeremy Thom, co-owner and administrative director of the centre. "It's a bit different than previous years. There's something called the balance of time in jeopardy and the main characters are sent on a journey to fulfill the clock keeper's prophecy."
The original production was created and choreographed by Heather Thom, artistic director and primary dance instructor at the studio, with the original songs written by Jeremy and the other pieces selected by the pair.
Because the studio teaches such a variety of dance genres, the music is eclectic too, he says. "The lyrical numbers have lyrical songs, more emotional ballad-type stuff, whereas the ballet tends to be more traditional, sometimes classical. The hip hop dance has hip hop music and jazz is usually pop music. It's a lot of everything, but the whole thing is pieced together by the story. It's designed to hold the audience's attention."
Jeremy, who teaches guitar at the studio, wrote one of the original songs with over a dozen parts for each of his participating students. "It's a lot of fun," he says. "When I write my own original music, it's only a couple of guitar parts — maybe two or three. But it's fun to think bigger. You hear an orchestra in your head and just pick out different parts."
For some of his students it will be the first time performing on stage with other people. "It's a great experience for them just to see what performing is all about," he adds. "There's a little bit of pressure involved, but they know it's for their own sake. They're there to learn and to get better and they're doing really well. I write the part specific for each student."
The other tracks are the result of careful searches to find music that will fit with the production's storyline. "Basically, when we know what the idea is, what the message has to be, we type in keywords and look for lyrics that match the message," Jeremy says. "Or we'll think of an artist who might have something that fits with what we're looking for and we'll search through all that artist's stuff."
One more detail he's able to reveal: past students of the studio will make "cameo" appearances. "Students who graduate and go off to university want to come back and perform in the shows even though they're not with the studio anymore," he says. "We have different students who come back to be in the shows."
Be sure to get tickets early. They're on sale now for $16.50 - $26.50 at 604-935-8410 or artswhistler.tix.com.