Ballet Kelowna – Spring



Ballet Kelowna Closes 2018/19 Season with Triumphant Mixed Program Spring –

Celebrated BC-based choreographers offer an innovative evening of dance,
showcasing three world premieres inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s iconic works

Kelowna, BCBallet Kelowna heralds the awakening of hope and renewal with its presentation of Spring, at the Kelowna Community Theatre on May 3 & 4, 2019 at 7:30pm. The rejuvenating mixed program introduces three world premieres from a trio of esteemed Canadian female choreographers, offering refreshing takes on works by Igor Stravinsky, originally commissioned for Paris’ Ballet Russes between 1910 and 1913. Heather Dotto’s jovially abstract Petrushka reflects on a puppet’s desire to be human, while Amber Funk Barton’s Firebird is a dynamic examination of heroism. Rite of Spring is a powerfully raw exploration of liberation from oppression by Ballet Kelowna’s singular Artistic Director Simone Orlando. The evening will conclude with the company premiere of tender-hearted Spring from one of Canada’s top emerging talents, Alysa Pires, creator of the effervescent fan-favourite MAMBO.

“With Spring, we bring our exploration of the earth’s seasons and its transcendent qualities to a triumphant end with four works that burst with vitality, strength, and vision,” says Ballet Kelowna’s Artistic Director and CEO Simone Orlando. “Ballet Kelowna is committed to supporting emerging and established female choreographers; therefore, we are thrilled to conclude our 2018/19 season by presenting some of ballet’s most iconic works reimagined in a contemporary context through the distinct voices of female artists, in addition to the joyous choreographic work of Alysa Pires. We invite audiences to be re-awakened to nature in this vibrant evening of dance.”

Ballet Kelowna will open its program with the world premiere of Petrushka, a playful meditation on love and loss created by the celebrated dancer, teacher, and choreographer Dotto. Originally a darkly humorous tale of three puppets magically brought to life and tragic death at a city fair, Dotto’s deconstructed remix is an abstract meditation on the power of darkness and loneliness. Embodying Petrushka’s original playfulness and theatricality, Dotto makes use of exaggerated gestures, miming, and a layered, up-tempo response to Stravinsky’s original score to re-invigorate the work’s clownish foundation.

Next on the program is Firebird by Barton, a Vancouver-based contemporary dance artist whose “athleticism is undeniable” (The Ottawa Citizen). The work first premiered in 1910 by the Ballets Russes to eager fanfare, and it was the first of a trio of ballets that put composer Stravinsky on the map. Grounded in her signature street style of contemporary movement and influenced by pop culture’s fascination with comic book superheroes, Barton re-awakens the century-old tale to a new destiny — one where the mighty firebird is in control of her own future, harnessing her mystical superpowers in a selfless act of honour and bravery.

The evening will continue with Orlando’s new work set to Stravinsky’s famed composition, The Rite of Spring, widely considered to be one of the most influential works of the 20th century. The original ballet featured choreographed scenes of ancient rituals celebrating the advance of spring, culminating in a young girl dancing herself to death in sacrifice. Orlando’s new work, Rite of Spring, is a reaction to the original piece — a dissonant exploration of themes of power, oppression, and misogyny. She turns the sensational classic work on its head in a refreshingly modern take by ultimately freeing the protagonist from her oppressors — representing the promise and fulfilment of a life in resplendent bloom. Influenced by the composition’s stunningly avant-garde experiments with rhythm, metre, and tonality, Orlando’s work bursts with fractious energy, set to ignite a heart-pumping, visceral reaction from audience members.

The program will conclude with the company premiere of Spring, originally choreographed for the Victoria Academy of Ballet by emerging choreographer Pires. Possessing “clarity and consistency in her aesthetic” (The Globe and Mail), Pires’ Spring was created in heartfelt response to one of the dance artist’s most joyful personal memories — her engagement and marriage. Inspired by Max Richter’s gorgeous recomposing of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, this lushly celebratory work heralds in spring through its elevation of new beginnings and love. Seeds are planted, flowers bloom, trees sway gently in the mild breeze, and cherry blossoms re-awaken as a new season springs forth once again.

During Ballet Kelowna’s lively season finale, patrons are invited to enjoy a complimentary tasting of Quails’ Gate Chasselas – Pinot Blanc – Pinot Gris. Made in a fresh, fruit forward style, this iconic white blend embodies the essence of the Spring program — heralding the arrival of the season’s growth and renewal while celebrating the unveiling of three world premieres.

Tickets are on sale now at

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. Ballet Kelowna’s 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 Spring
Dates: May 3 & 4, 2019
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: 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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