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Ballet Kelowna coming to Smithers April 1

Ballet Kelowna will present a three-part performance at the Della Herman Theatre

The Bulkley Valley Concert Association (BVCA) is bringing Ballet Kelowna’s taqəš and Other Works to Smithers on April 1 at the Della Herman Theatre.

The program features a lineup of signature works from the ballet’s skilled choreographers and dancers.

The performance will include three varied pieces called taqəš, Boléro and MAMBO.

Opening the show is a performance by emerging dance artist and choreographer, Katie Wertz, who lives and works in Smithers. Her performance is part of the Into the Act funding provided by the BC Touring Council, which allows local Canadian emerging artists to work with presenters to reach new audiences.

The show continues with Cameron Fraser-Monroe’s taqəš, that merges his classical ballet training and knowledge of traditional Coast Salish, Grass and Hoop Dance.

“[There is] awesome music. It’s a really relevant story and really incredible dancers,” said Fraser-Monroe.

Taqəš means “to return something” in Ayajuthem, the language of the Homalco, Klahoose, K’omoks and Tla’amin Nations.

The performance is set to several songs by Polaris Prize-winning composer and singer Jeremy Dutcher, and tells the traditional story “Raven Returns the Water,” centred around ῤoho (raven) and walθ (frog).

“I think that there are many lessons, like in all of our stories, spread throughout it, but the most important one in this one is about greed, and that one person having control over everything isn’t good for the community and isn’t even good for the person that’s in control,” said Fraser-Monroe.

Next in the program, choreographic associate for the National Ballet of Canada, Guillaume Côté, brings his interpretation of the famous Boléro by Maurice Ravel.

It is described in a news release from the BVCA as a “breathtaking” performance.

“[It] brings strength and fragility to a fascinating interpretation,” the release noted.

The program finishes with Alysa Pires’s MAMBO commissioned by Ballet Kelowna.

The work is a “colourful joie de vivre set to a vibrant soundtrack of Latin, swing, and jazz,” according to the release. It features music from artists such as Dean Martin, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney and Sarah Vaughn.

“This piece was so dynamic, fun and such an audience favourite that we felt compelled to bring it back to our local stage,” said Shannon Finnegan, past-president of the BVCA.

The work gained worldwide acclaim after performances at Beijing’s China International Performing Arts Expo and Toronto’s Fall for Dance North Festival in 2018.

The performances start at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are currently available at Mountain Eagle Books.

About the Author: Jenna Legge

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