KELOWNA - Ballet Kelowna leaps into Canada’s Sesquicentennial with the presentation of 150 Moves, a collection of works designed to showcase the tremendous talent and artistry of Canadian influence in classical and contemporary dance, February 3 and 4, 2017, at the Kelowna Community Theatre. The anticipated performance will feature its own company dancers and up-and-coming artists from Vancouver’s Arts Umbrella Dance Company and Alberta Ballet II, the educational and outreach arm of Alberta Ballet.
“Ballet Kelowna’s mandate is to encourage, promote, and develop Canadian dancers and choreographers,” says Simone Orlando, Ballet Kelowna’s Artistic Director and CEO. “Our official season opening performance, 150 Moves, is a gala-style program that does just this. I think audiences will be surprised and incredibly impressed by the visual feast on stage. The performance involves more than 30 performers, and the energy and athleticism of these dancers is sure to inspire and make one proud to be Canadian.”
Named for Canada’s birthday,150 Moves is a mixed program of four distinct works choreographed by renowned Canadian artists. Dénouement, originally commissioned by Karen Kain – Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada (NBoC), was created by Matjash Mrozewski to celebrate the talents of NBoC dancers at the prestigious Eighth International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize.
Doppeling, created by Ballet Kelowna’s Simone Orlando for Ballet BC in 2009 and mounted again in 2011, has been described by The Georgia Straight as “a gender-bending vision of doppelganger ballerinas breaking loose.” Orlando’s cleverly constructed theatrical romp provides mesmerizing commentary on conformity and individuality that is at once playful and serene. The work has also been called “edge-of-your-seat” fun. Orlando notes, “Dancers from Arts Umbrella were part of the original Ballet BC cast, so their participation in Ballet Kelowna’s presentation of Doppeling is in keeping with how the piece was initially conceived and staged.”
A special addition to Doppeling is Guest Artist Jera Wolfe. This acclaimed dancer, who calls Kelowna home, has performed around the world with his skill across dance disciplines that include hip-hop, breakdance, jazz, and classical ballet. An alumnus of Canada’s National Ballet School and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Jera was a finalist in season three of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. He is a faculty member for the Indigenous Dance Residency at the Banff Centre, and an Associate Artist with Red Sky Performance.
The Fiddle and The Drum, a well-known poetic work born of a vision shared by Canadian musical icon Joni Mitchell and Jean Grand-Maître, Alberta Ballet’s Artistic Director, reflects Mitchell’s concerns about conflict, violence, and environmental degradation in today’s world. Excerpts from this richly nuanced contemporary ballet will be performed by Alberta Ballet II.
Created for West Australian Ballet in 1999, Don Quixote Variations treats the audience to classical ballet virtuosity and culminates in a joyous Grand Pas de Deux. This piece, also performed by Alberta Ballet II, is choreographed by Edmund Stripe, Choreographic Associate and Artist-in-Residence at Alberta Ballet.
Tickets are on sale now at balletkelowna.ca.
About Ballet Kelowna (balletkelowna.ca)
Founded in 2002, Ballet Kelowna is the sole professional dance company in BC’s Interior. The organization is committed to its role as a leader in the region through encouraging, promoting, and developing Canadian dancers and choreographers. The Company performs annually for more than 10,000 audience members in Kelowna and on tour, and provides unique dance training opportunities and outreach programs. Its Artistic Director and CEO, Simone Orlando, is an award-winning choreographer and former dancer with Ballet BC and The National Ballet of Canada.
About Alberta Ballet II (schoolofalbertaballet.com)
Alberta Ballet II is an innovative program created to attract top level dancers who are on the verge of successful professional careers. Led by Director Aram Manukyan, this tuition-free program for emerging artists launched in June 2014. Members are chosen through a competitive, Canada-wide audition tour. They work with Alberta Ballet’s Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître and visiting guest artists throughout the year to learn Alberta Ballet repertoire and new works.
About Arts Umbrella Dance Company (artsumbrella.com)
Based in Vancouver, the Arts Umbrella Dance Company is a pre-professional repertory company that includes senior and apprentice ensembles who train, rehearse, and perform innovative works by some of the world’s leading choreographers. Under the direction of Artistic Director Artemis Gordon, AUDC performs work by such acclaimed choreographers as James Kudelka, Crystal Pite, Mauro Astolfi, Tom Weinberger, Cayetano Soto, Lesly Telford, and Aszure Barton.