Desiree Bortolussi (left) and Valentin Chou perform a lift from Quatro Estaciones. (Grant Robinson/Ballet Kelowna photo)

The ballet is coming

Ballet Kelowna will perform Mambo and Other Works Nov. 17 at Della Herman Theatre

Who says high culture is just for big cities?

This week the Bulkley Valley Concert Association (BVCA) is bringing Ballet Kelowna (BK) to the stage at Della Herman Theatre.

The travelling company of nine dancers will present three new works BK commissioned from B.C.-based choreographers.

The troupe will perform Mambo and Other Works featuring on Nov. 17 starting at 7:30 p.m.

Miriam Colvin, BVCA’s artistic director, said the Smithers audience is in for a treat.

“It’s a pretty special thing because it combines classical ballet techniques with contemporary alive creators,”

The first piece, 1723 – Vivaldi, choreographed by Vancouver’s Wen Wei Wang, is described in a BVCA press release as “a mesmerizing sextet featuring gorgeous partnering, extreme extensions, and complex pointe work for the women.”

That will be followed by Cuatro Estaciones, “an evocative tango-inspired ensemble piece by Ballet Kelowna’s visionary artistic director and CEO Simone Orlando, set to virtuoso composer Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires,” the release states.

The program will close with Mambo “a colourful joie de vivre set to a vibrant soundtrack of Latin, swing, and jazz standards by musical legends such as Dean Martin, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaughn, and more.”

It is choreographed by award-winning National Ballet of Canada Choreogrpahic Work Shop alumna Alysa Pires.

Colvin said she is very excited to be presenting the program.

“Honestly, I’m just looking forward to the curtain opening,” she said. “I know this ballet company and they’re so vibrant and they’re exquisite movers and I just can’t wait for that first moment when the curtain opens and the music starts and the dancers flood onto the stage.”

The Sunday night performance is just part of the package, though. Ballet Kelowna will also be offering two 90-minute ballet classes on Nov. 16 including something unique for Smithers. Participation is by donation.

“The ballet company regularly offer classes when they tour, however, it is unusual that they’re doing a beginner community class,” Colvin said. “They’re doing that because I specifically requested it. I’m interested in creating opportunities for people who have danced a little bit in their lives, who are interested in dance, to be in the studio with professional ballet dancers and have that opportunity for interaction and to move their bodies.”

She believes it’s vital for aspiring artists of all disciplines to have those opportunities.

“I think it’s really important for young people to be able to interact with professional performers and I think it’s really important that just community members have an opportunity to be reminded of their relationship with movement and the arts.”

It has been five years since BVCA has brought ballet to the Bulkley Valley. Colvin said that is simply a matter of logistics.

“Ballet is a large production to present,” she said. “It’s a lot of work and commitment from the touring artists as well as from the concert association to make it happen.”

Nevertheless, she is hopeful they will be able to make ballet a more frequent addition to cultural life in the valley.

“The concert association would love to bring ballet as often as we can, but I don’t know what looks like yet,” she said.

“I think ballet is an art form that really gets people excited, it’s a very respected art form, so I do see that as part of our performance palette.”

Tickets are available at Mountain Eagle Books for $45. There are also a limited number of $25 tickets available for students.

“In consideration of making tickets more affordable, BVCA has designated a portion of tickets for sale at reduced prices for students, first come first served,” the press release stated.

Colvin said the response has been very good, so far.

“I fully expect this show to sell out, it’s very well-received and we really hope that everyone can attend,” she said.

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

Northwest B.C. physician receives Medal of Good Citizenship Award

Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people in B.C. to get provincial recognition

Northern Society for Domestic Peace remembers women killed in Montreal Massacre 30 years ago

Society will hand out 14 red roses, one for each of the victims, to women who stop by office today

Petition calls for appeal of Luke Strimbold’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says the former Burns Lake mayor’s case is under review

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C. boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

Most Read