Ballet Kelowna celebrating 20th anniversary with ‘Reflections’
Ballet Kelowna continues its 20th anniversary season with Reflections, an enthralling mixed program presented at Kelowna Community Theatre Feb. 17-18.
The presentation features a diverse collection of four short works from some of Canada’s most up-and-coming choreographers and offers audiences a mix of thought-provoking world premiers and returning audience favourites.
There will be two new commissions showcased, ʔɛmaxwiygə (pronounced ehmaxweega) from Cameron Fraser-Monroe and (INNER) Beings from Esie Mensah, as well as the remounting of Split House Geometric from John Alleyne and Stolen Tide from Ballet Kelowna’s own dancer, Seiji Suzuki.
Simone Orlando, the artistic director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna says it is a “great privilege” to provide a platform for Canada’s emerging choreographers.
“Together with John Alleyne’s precision-perfect work, Split House Geometric, audiences will be treated to a gorgeous evening of contemporary dance that promises to stir all of the senses,” Orlando explains.
The program opens with the world premiere of ʔɛmaxwiygə, which explores the world-sense behind the Ayajuthem word ʔɛmaxwiygə to portray a family’s journey of love and optimism following the passing of a loved one. The piece is set to Yo-Yo Ma and Jeremy Dutcher’s resonant Honor Song, and dedicated to the late Tla’amin Elder Vern Pielle.
(INNER) Beings is inspired by emotional baggage and an inner dialogue, and the contemporary piece created by Mensah follows two people on their journey of adversity to face the trauma and triggers accumulated throughout their lives, in the hopes of overcoming their inner wounds.
As a dancer, choreographer, director, educator and public speaker, Mensah is known for her Dora-nominated production Shades and short film TESSEL, where she speaks to issues of shadism and of movement and voice as a form of resilience from the lens of the Black community.
Split House Geometric presents poetic moments of pure contemporary ballet juxtaposed with staccato movements with bodies creating geometric shapes, and Stolen Tide includes fast-paced opening movement defined by conflict and discord, which gives way to compassion and empathy in the second movement.
Tickets can be purchased at Theatre.Kelowna.ca.