Ballet Kelowna – Autumn

Press Release: 

Ballet Kelowna Explores Fall’s Transcendent Splendour in 2018/19 Season Launch of
Autumn –

Two renowned Canadian choreographers showcase vibrant Company premieres and a returning audience favourite

Kelowna, BC – Fresh from the Company’s successful Toronto and Beijing debuts, Ballet Kelowna launches its 16th season of captivating and innovative dance with Autumn, a dynamic mixed program presented at the Kelowna Community Theatre on November 16 & 17, 2018 at 7:30pm. A multi-faceted celebration of the splendour of the fall season, Autumn features two premieres of two highly-anticipated works from lauded Canadian choreographers – Schubert from internationally renowned choreographer John Alleyne and In Between by rising star Alysa Pires, in addition to the return of Pires’ vivacious audience favourite MAMBO, previously commissioned by Ballet Kelowna in 2017, and most recently closing Toronto’s premiere international dance festival, Fall For Dance North (FFDN), to thunderous applause and standing ovations.

“As Ballet Kelowna explores the vibrant and powerful force of nature’s autumnal season, we are delighted to showcase the incredible depth and dynamism of dance that exists in our hometown of Kelowna,” says Ballet Kelowna’s Artistic Director and CEO Simone Orlando. “Having recently returned from our company debut at Toronto’s FFDN Festival and Beijing’s China International Performing Arts Expo, we are thrilled to share with our home audiences our commitment to the creation and celebration of works by Canadian dance artists, recognized on the national and international stage.”

Following the incredible success of A Streetcar Named Desire, Ballet Kelowna will open the program with another company premiere by Alleyne titled Schubert. First mounted by Ballet BC in 2000 as a tribute to Canadian ballerina Jean Orr, the work displays the ethereal transience of the autumnal season, celebrating the life of a dancer in three scenes: youth, beauty, and wisdom. Alleyne’s neo-classical piece set to Schubert’s breathtaking Trio in E Flat Major, Opus 100 will be performed by Ballet Kelowna’s full company of dancers. “Inherent in Alleyne’s signature vocabulary are sensuousness and sophistication,” (The Georgia Straight), as the dancers, emblazoned in golden yellows and earthy oranges, convey the rhythmic and inevitable cycle of life.

Audience members will then be transported to the enchanted yet haunting seaside in the Western Canadian premiere of In Between by dance luminary Pires. The work was developed through The National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Workshop and premiered as part of The National Ballet’s Five Creations in January 2018. Hailed by The Globe and Mail as “a polished, cohesive, and energetic ballet” and the “discovery of the evening,” Pires remounted her work that same year as part of The National Ballet’s annual gala at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. A reflection of Pires’ own life story as a native Vancouver Islander and transplanted Torontonian, In Between is a meditation on a life divided between two places – a past intrinsically linked to body and soul, and a future that lights the way forward. Inspired by the constant churning and ebb and flow of the ocean, the work draws inspiration from nature and its powerful connection to our existence.

In Between’s original composition by composer Adam Sakiyama, is reminiscent of the dramatic fall storms witnessed in a temperate coastal climate. Sakiyama uses arpeggiated ostinatos to drive sections in the score forward, depicting the incessant rolling of waves and relentless rainfall. Flourishes of piccolo and glockenspiel evoke lightning strikes, and percussion is added as thunder rumbles. As the tempo slows, the sea is calmed, offering a momentary equilibrium between the push and pull of the dramatic rainstorm.

To conclude the evening’s program, audiences will be treated to the return of Ballet Kelowna commissioned MAMBO, choreographed by Pires. Following its world premiere in Kelowna in February 2018, MAMBO made its premiere at Beijing’s China International Performing Arts Expo and at Toronto’s FFDN Festival in September and October 2018 respectively, gaining worldwide acclaim. A sweet, silly, sensual, and sassy piece featuring Ballet Kelowna’s nine talented artists. MAMBO offers a gleeful retreat from the burdens of daily life. Pires’ “crowd-pleasing MAMBO” (The Globe and Mail) is 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.

During Ballet Kelowna’s presentation of Autumn, audiences are invited to enjoy a complimentary tasting of Quails’ Gate Chardonnay. Known for its vivid fruit notes and freshness, this wine pairs perfectly with the colours and crispness of the season – as reflected in Ballet Kelowna’s Autumn program. Raise a glass of this beautifully crafted wine as the Company toasts another spectacular season of dance.

Tickets are on sale now at

About John Alleyne (
Alleyne was born in Barbados and immigrated to Canada in 1965. A graduate of The National Ballet School of Canada, he has pursued a choreographic calling since his 1983 debut of Phases with the Stuttgart Ballet. In 1984, Alleyne returned to Canada to join The National Ballet of Canada as a soloist, becoming resident choreographer in 1990, and creating innovative works such as Split House Geometric and Interrogating Slam. In 1992, Alleyne was appointed the Artistic Director of Ballet BC where he raised the company’s profile with his technically complex and innovative contemporary ballet choreography, showcasing such works as The Don Juan Variations (1995), Sex is My Religion (1996), Schubert (2000), The Faerie Queen (2000), and A Streetcar Named Desire (2006). The recipient of many prestigious awards in recognition of his contribution to dance, Alleyne is regularly commissioned by companies, festivals, and centres around the world to develop new dance works.

About Alyssa Pires (
Pires’ roots in Kelowna date back to her grandparents’ relocation from France in the 1960s to found Pires Orchard and help establish Kelowna’s Farmers’ Market. Today, her uncles Joe and Gilbert own Pires Bros Concrete, a Kelowna-based company that serves the entire Okanagan. An Honours BFA graduate from Ryerson School of Performance, Pires was the recipient of the 2015 Jack McAllister Award that recognizes alumni accomplishment. Her eponymous dance company, Alysa Pires Dance Projects, made its full-length debut with Exterminating Angel at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival. An emerging choreographer, Pires has created works for notable institutions such as Ballet Kelowna, Ballet Edmonton, Ballet Jorgen, Cadence Ballet, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Ryerson University, among others.

About Ballet Kelowna (
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 12,000 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.

LISTING INFORMATION Ballet Kelowna presents Autumn
Dates: November 16 & 17, 2018
Time: 7:30pm





Kelowna Tickets
In person: 100-2600 Enterprise Way, Kelowna, BC
Online: and
By phone: 250.862.2867 (Toll free: 1.888.974.9170)
Ticket Prices:


From $53.70 (Adult), $46.70 (Senior), $30 (Student/Child)
All prices include taxes and service charges.
Performance Venue:


Kelowna Community Theatre
1375 Water Street, Kelowna, BC

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