Ballet Kelowna celebrates success of leading female choreographers

Elles: Extraordinary Dance Created by Women will be shown Feb. 2

At a time when women’s vision is roaring to the forefront across a range of artistic endeavors, Ballet Kelowna is presenting work created by some of Canada’s most accomplished female artists in Elles: Extraordinary Dance Created by Women, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

The dynamic and vibrant mixed dance program features two world premieres by celebrated Canadian choreographers Gioconda Barbuto and Alysa Pires – who is making her choreographic debut with Ballet Kelowna, along with Folie à Cinq by Heather Myers and Glas by Gabrielle Lamb, said Ballet Kelowna.

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“In the world of ballet, female choreographers are rare,” said Ballet Kelowna’s artistic director and CEO Simone Orlando. “As the very first choreographer commissioned to create a new work for Ballet Kelowna back in 2005, I am particularly proud of our company’s history of promoting women.

“By supporting the artistic development of these female artists, we hope to inspire other companies to do the same. We want our audiences to know that amazing work is being created right here in Kelowna, and that our emphasis on supporting Canadian dance artists needs to be shared across the country.”

The as-yet unnamed world premiere by Giocondo Barbuto will be the fourth work she has created for Ballet Kelowna, following Negotiating Shifts (2008), Capture (2011), and Eight and Sand (2017). An internationally renowned Italian-Canadian dancer and choreographer, Barbuto was a long-time member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Nederlands Dans Theater III.

Trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, The Banff Centre, and under the tutelage of Gladys Forrester in her hometown of Toronto, she was quickly recognized as a versatile and magnetic soloist, according to Ballet Kelowna. Since 1996, Barbuto has pursued her choreographic calling with her oeuvre now counting more than 50 works.

“I’m excited to return to Ballet Kelowna with a new company work. I hope to bring out the individuality of each artist and gather everyone together in a collective atmosphere that will inspire the score and pace of a brand new creation,” she said.

Prior to Ballet Kelowna’s presentation of Elles: Extraordinary Dance Created by Women, audience members may purchase tickets to an exclusive pre-performance party in the Black Box Theatre at 6 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now at balletkelowna.ca.

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