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Cirque du Soleil artistic director to lead Bumbershoot Children's Theatre classes

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Krista Monson has held a number of positions with Cirque du Soleil.
A leading figure in creating Cirque du Soleil productions will bring her expertise to a series of master theatre classes sponsored by Kelowna's Bumbershoot Children's Theatre Company.
Canadian-born Krista Monson's credits include 25 years of direction and choreography instruction as well as being featured in the CNN series Leading Women in 2012.
The master class sessions - which run Feb. 27-March 2 - will be designed for emerging artists in dance, theatre and other performance arts who are 16 years of age or over, together with dance classes for ages 14 and up. Younger performers will require special permission to take part from Bumbershoot artistic director Tracy Ross. Additional sessions will be held for educators and professionals.
In addition to the afternoon and evening master class sessions, Monson will host an introductory evening titled The Creative Habit on Feb. 27, which will be open to everyone interested. The evening of dialogue, which will explore many avenues of creativity, will be followed by a question and answer session and a reception.
Another event which will be open to everyone will be the Wrap Up Showcase and Celebration on Sunday, 5-7 p.m. This informal showcase will include performances by class participants which will be introduced by Monson.
All events will take place in the Bumbershoot theatre at #125-1295 Cannery Lane in the heart of Kelowna's Arts District.
At the Friday afternoon master class, Monson will offer an introduction and warm-up exercises in improvisation, group work, movement and other skills followed at 7 p.m. by Craft of Collaboration, where groups will be challenged for leadership and innovation.
The Saturday sessions will begin with participants performing a three-minute piece in which they must tell a story. The evening session will follow up with further work and improvisation. The most provoking pieces will be chosen for the Sunday wrap-up event.
The master class sessions will be complemented by two morning add-on events for educators and professionals who are working to inspire and educate young artists. On March 1, Monson will explain how emotion can be used to stir students to create "gold medal performances." The Sunday morning add-on will focus on developing expression through dance.
Additional information and fees for the classes and events are available by calling Bumbershoot at 250-575-2022.
Monson's nine-year association with Cirque du Soleil has included artistic director of their O production, followed by casting director for the Cirque's worldwide shows, and most recently as stage and concept director for the company's special events.
Monson was also the principal choreographer for the opening and closing Ceremonies for the 2001 IAFF World Athletics Championships, the third largest sporting event in the world.
Bumbershoot, which was launched in 2009, is a non-profit registered charitable theatre company.

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