Again, MAG Conversations attracted an SRO crowd to the Sidecar Cafe on May 10, this time with three performances of very different dance styles by very different dancers. The program included flamenco, belly dancing and modern dance.

Sara Pelizer of The Flamenco Studio in Ottawa fielded a number of questions from the audience following the demonstration of Sevillanas and fandangos flamenco by four of her students. People were interested in such elements as the origins of the dance, which can be traced back to India, with strong Arabic influences, and the steel taps on the dancers’ shoes.

Merrickville librarian, Mary Kate Laphen, proved conclusively that she does not fit the stodgy librarian cliché. It was a toss-up whether the audience was more entertained by the stand-up comedy of the “girl from Smiths Falls” who “can take [her] abs anywhere” or the sight of those abs at work in her self-choreographed belly dance routines.

Emma (9) and Ezra (10), from Merrickville’s Breeze Dance Company, wrapped up (and stole) the show with a charming look at the next generation of dancers as they performed jazz, acro and lyrical modern numbers.

MAG Conversations is an outreach initiative of the Merrickville Artist’s Guild, which seeks to embrace the arts and local artists in every medium from paint to print to performance. Don’t miss the next Conversations on July 12, when distinguished guest speakers explore The Art of Diplomacy.