Teenage Grand Duchess Anastasia moves from a life of wealth and privilege towards a world in turmoil. (Submitted)

Ballet ‘Anastasia’ explores Russian mystery

Who was Grand Duchess Anastasia? What happened to her after 1918? Ballet tells gripping tale

Canada’s Ballet Jörgen brings the magical 100-year-old tale of the lovable yet controversial Russian Grand Duchess, Anastasia, to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Wednesday, Feb. 7, starting at 7:30 p.m.

In its previous visits to Duncan, ballet fans have seen that this troupe can tell classical stories in an engaging and dramatic fashion.

Anastasia trailer

Anastasia has been part of the company’s repertoire for 10 years but it’s the first time it’s come to Duncan.

The tragic story follows the daughter of the fallen Russian Tsar all the way through the ballrooms of St. Petersburg, to the Russian Revolution, to captivity, and beyond.

The mystery of what happened to the 17-year-old Grand Duchess has fascinated people for nearly a century, spanning a multitude of books, movies and musicals.

This traditional ballet version of Anastasia is brought to life by the skillful hand of company choreographer and artistic director Bengt Jörgen and is set to an original score by Russian/Canadian composer Ivan Barbotin.

Those attending the performance will see incredibly detailed costumes, and versatile sets and lighting in addition to the exquisite dancers.

The ballet is the tale of an innocent girl and the mystery and speculation about what truly happened in the fateful summer of 1918. It envelopes the human drama of a girl born to privilege and cast out into a world in turmoil.

The gripping tale allows the dancers to explore the emotions, aspirations and affections that surround Anastasia.

Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is now more than 30 years old. Jörgen and his partner co-founded the company in 1987 with a mission to support the development and dissemination of Canadian choreography.

Besides creating dozens of beautiful ballets, Jörgen is also the winner of the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award presented by the Banff Centre to recognize new works by Canadian choreographers, and the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to Canada by bringing professional dance to communities across the country.

Tickets are $37 for adults, $33 for seniors and students, and $20 for children. Get them in person or by phone through the Cowichan Ticket Centre (250-748-7529) or online at cowichanpac.ca

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