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Pop-up ballet performance in Abbotsford, B.C. park aims to lighten COVID-19 gloom

Click to play video: 'Pop up Abbotsford dance performance brightens COVID-19 gloom' Pop up Abbotsford dance performance brightens COVID-19 gloom
An Abbotsford ballerina gave an un-advertised performance in Mill Lake Park Thursday night, with the hopes of lightening spirits during a COVID-19-darkened winter. Courtesy: Misty Bedwell – Dec 13, 2020

In a dark, wet winter and under the cloud of COVID-19, it’s more important to inject a little bit of magic and joy into everyday life.

That was the underlying idea behind a series of pop-up ballet performances in Abbotsford this week, where professionally trained ballerina Carolyn Currey appeared without warning to perform a dance in Mill Lake Park.

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In two performances during the week and a pair on Saturday, Currey appeared in the park in full costume and danced for whomever happened to be on site, before slipping away without any explanation to onlookers.

“It just was in her heart to just show up and if one person saw it and it was just for them,” Misty Bedwell, who runs a small creative arts school with Currey, told Global News.

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Bedwell said Currey moved to B.C. from Ontario in February with hopes of opening her own dance school in B.C. when the pandemic hit.

The performances were an outlet for her to express her pent-up creative juices, while offering a bright spot in a gloomy winter for her community, she said.

“It’s emotional for them for that reason,” Bedwell said.

“And also just the unexpected — there’s something really, I don’t know, mystical I think, about dance. (It) kind of grabs you in a different way.”

Bedwell captured Currey’s Thursday night performance on video.

She said only a handful of people saw it live, but the video has since been posted to Facebook where it has drawn more than 1,500 reactions and hundreds of appreciative comments.

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A pair of dances Saturday were witnessed by a larger crowd, who Bedwell said were enchanted.

Read more: Street performances set to replace Burlington’s Sound of Music festival

When the music stopped, Currey and her supporters vanished.

“We had a few comments with people who just said, ‘Thank you so much, I’m very grateful.’ And conversation didn’t go long. And then we we left,” Bedwell said.

“It just was a moment that caught. Everyone who saw it felt special and touched in different ways.”

Bedwell said Currey is considering future pop ups in the Lower Mainland, but doesn’t plan to advertise them in the hopes of creating more unplanned and magical moments.

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