Festival reduced to likes of a circus

I ATTENDED the Ore Stage Festival on Saturday, June 9.

A little girl in the ‘under 6 yrs baby classical solo,‘ category came on stage in a leotard and danced with her little hands under her chin, pouting and swivelling her hips in a more-than-Shirley-Temple-like routine.

Apart from this being inappropriate, I could not see the connection to the song playing in the background.

More little girls did routines which expressed similar ‘innuendo’. I thought it distasteful and unnecessary that such tiny girls had been cajoled into expressing themselves in ways they were obviously far too young to understand.

Once the solos were performed the children returned to the stage where they had to stand, stock-still for several minutes, until an elderly adjudicator appeared and awarded three dancers gold, silver and bronze medals accordingly.

These she handed out in front of the other little performers and then told them they could leave the stage. Of course, there were tears. Other children were so overtaken with fright that they could not be persuaded to perform.

The children who danced in groups did not receive medals at all, whether they came first or not, which caused bewilderment and disappointment.

Those little dancers had to watch the solo medal winners parading around and saying, ‘Look what I got.’

One group of five-year-olds, while still on stage and in front of the audience, were told by the adjudicator: “You clearly have not rehearsed properly and your moves were all wrong.”

Her remarks should have been saved for teachers; not aimed at little girls who had tried their best.

Parents should be ashamed if they continue to enter their children into these circuses. I heard one mother say to her child: “You were robbed!”

Another said: “If that adjudicator comes next time we’re not taking part”.

Yet another complained that their dance teacher had not attended and no one knew where she was. I suggested she might, very sensibly, be at home counting her cash.

It was not the happy environment promised by the Ore Stage Festival website.

MARGARET WINCHESTER

Battle Road

St Leonards