Renaissance for Kelowna

Ballet Kelowna closes its 2015/16 season with Renaissance, a program that blends live music and contemporary ballet ...

Virtuoso musicians are meeting some of the country’s top ballet dancers on a Kelowna stage later this week for a performance that’s already moved some closest to it to tears.

Ballet Kelowna closes its 2015/16 season with Renaissance, a program that blends live music and contemporary ballet from some of Canada’s most celebrated choreographers and composers.

“I think it’s really special and unlike what you’ve seen before,” said Ryan Scott, the artistic director of Continuum Contemporary Music, a collective of Canada’s top musicians that are bringing the musical component of the collaboration to Kelowna.

“Usually when you see dance like this the musicians are in the pit, you don’t see them and they’re playing what you’re used to hearing. In this case it’s five virtuosos on the stage with the dancers. You see them play and get to feel the connection to the music much more than you would otherwise.”

The unique collaboration between these top musicians and dancers started as an idea for a one-number performance 22 months ago, but with time it grew into the show that will be in Kelowna this week, then Oliver and finally Vancouver. It has already far exceeded Scott’s expectations, and he has high hopes that he will be able to take it back to Toronto—Continuum’s home base— in the year to come.

“Continuum has been around for 30 plus years, and we’ve never done anything like this,” he said, from the studio space in downtown Kelowna where they’ve been practicing this week.

“I was walking down the hall and I had tears … it’s so rewarding to see this come together.”

The repertoire includes works explored with fresh ears based on Henri Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and the music of William Byrd and Marin Marias, with premieres by Jocelyn Morlock and Michael Oesterle; also included is Arvo Pärt’s Fratres.

The dancers were sent a computer file with that and more music long ago, and it offered a basic outline they were able to work with in terms of choreography.

This week, however, the musicians arrived in Kelowna allowing for further creativity to blossom.

“It’s a different experience in a collaboration like this,” Scott said, noting that seeing the movement that’s been set to music has been inspiring.

“We don’t just play the music, we have to get tempos the way they dancers want them. The way the dancers relate to music is so different than the way musicians relate to it.”

Excitement for the performance is mirrored on the dance side of the collaboration, as well.

“I am thrilled and honoured to close our 2015/16 season with this incredible line-up of exceptional dance and music talent,” said Simone Orlando, the Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna.

“It is such a privilege, and rare opportunity, to have assembled some of our country’s finest artists, including Heather Myers, celebrated choreographer and former dancer with the Nederlands Dans Theatre, James Kudelka, and John Alleyne, former Artistic Director of Ballet BC, with two all-stars from The National Ballet of Canada, Hannah Fischer and Ethan Watts, and Toronto’s Continuum Contemporary Music – for what promises to be a truly unforgettable celebration of the arts.”

The extreme athleticism and depth of emotion of Ballet Kelowna’s company of artists will be on full display in a series of new and remounted works from renowned Canadian choreographers Myers, Kudelka, Alleyne, and Ballet Kelowna Artistic Director and CEO Simone Orlando.

Also on the programme, and making their highly anticipated British Columbia debut, The National Ballet of Canada’s rising stars, Hannah Fischer and Ethan Watts, will perform a rousing duet titled The Wild Space Between Two Hearts choreographed by Robert Binet, Choreographic Associate with The National Ballet. Fischer will further demonstrate her skill in the world premiere of a solo, also choreographed by Binet.

Tickets are still available. Purchase them at

Just Posted

Boat for Hope back on Okanagan Lake

The Variety Children’s Charity pirate themed fundraiser returns to the waters off Kelowna

Inaugural ‘redeye’ to leave Kelowna for Toronto Saturday night

Introduction of overnight flight increases Air Canada’s Kelowna-Toronto service to twice a day

Vehicle knocks down power pole in Kelowna

Female driver apprehended by police after reportedly leaving the crash scene

City of Kelowna total payroll tops $70 million

The city paid out $70.8 million in total remuneration to its employees last year

Peachland ready to fly the flag on Canada Day

The district is gearing up for its annual Canada Day celebration July 1

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Residents association plan gathering to discuss Pandosy waterfront park

KLO Neighbourhood Association has scheduled a public meeting with developers and city staff June 27

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Cozy Bay to close

Summerland seafood restaurant’s lease will not be renewed

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Reported stabbing in Lake Country

Police are believed to be investigating after a reported stabbing at a house party Friday night

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

Most Read