Ballet Kelowna: New artistic director, new season

Ballet Kelowna has announced it's 2014-2015 season.
Image Credit: Contributed/Ballet Kelowna

KELOWNA – The new leaner and streamlined Ballet Kelowna has announced it’s new shortened season.

The company was facing an uncertain future only a year ago with some serious financial issues. As well, the founding artistic director left, leaving the board with some big ballet slippers to fill.

The newly hired artistic director and CEO Simone Orlando has put together a three performance season that includes two world premieres and a Canadian premiere.

“I am thrilled and excited to present such an incredible range of work for my inaugural season, showcasing the technical prowess and stunning artistry of our dancers,” Orlando says in a media release. “We are not only privileged to work with some of Canada’s leading choreographers, we also welcome some of the world’s finest dancers to our stage.”

The season will open in December with the holiday classic The Nutcracker presented by the Canadian School of Ballet and featuring dancers from Ballet Kelowna. The company is promising a “revitalized production with re-imagined scenes and new virtuosic choreography.”

The Canadian premier of The Ashley Bouder Project in March 2015 will feature New York City Ballet principal dancer Ashley Bouder’s ensemble.

Forward: A Mixed Repertory Programme will close the season in April 2015. It will feature the Canadian premieres of works from former Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancer Shawn Hounsell and Kelowna’s Orlando.

In 2013, Ballet Kelowna announced it would be shutting down permanently due to a lack of interest and unsustainable finances.

A new board of directors, a balanced budget, and significant financial contributions from the public and the City of Kelowna saved the struggling company.

A shortened 2014-15 season, a new business model and a slashed operating budget were among the changes the new board made to keep Ballet Kelowna afloat.

New York City Ballet's principal dancer Ashley Bouder.
New York City Ballet's principal dancer Ashley Bouder.
Image Credit: Contributed/Ballet Kelowna

Ballet Kelowna’s 2014-15 Season

New Staging by Carley Bailey and Regeanna Stubel
Music: Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky
Dec. 12, 2014, 7:30 p.m.                 
Dec. 13, 2014, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.      
Dec. 14, 2014, 2 p.m.

Featuring artists from the New York City Ballet
Choreography: Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Joshua Beamish
Music: Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky, Ludwig Minkus, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovitch
March 3, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Canadian Premiere

Choreography: James Kudelka, Shawn Hounsell, Simone Orlando
Music: Rodney Sharman, Maurice Ravel, Franz Schubert, and others
With the introduction of Lee Dances
Excerpts from:
Shawn Hounsell’s Creaturehood (1996)
Simone Orlando’s Winter Journey (2006)
Heather Myers’ Dedications (2009)
April 24, 2015, 7:30pm
Two World Premieres and a Company Premiere

Ballet Kelowna's The Nutcracker.
Ballet Kelowna's The Nutcracker.
Image Credit: Contributed/Ballet Kelowna

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

CANNINGS: On rural municipalities, young people, and a national carbon tax
  OPINION Editor, In my last column, I discussed some of the issues we heard about at House Finance Committee hearings.  I’d like to mention a few more of the thought-provoking ideas discussed on the se

Top News