Ballet Kelowna gives gift of movement to community in live streamed performance

Click to play video: 'Ballet Kelowna takes performance online'
Ballet Kelowna takes performance online
Ballet Kelowna takes performance online – Apr 13, 2021

The magic of ballet can now be streamed live into your living room, Ballet Kelowna presents Livestream No. 1, celebrating the power of the human spirit.

“I think people need a pickup, and I think when times are rough, the arts, dance, music, opera, theatre, [they all] really provide that lift we are looking for,” said Simone Orlando, Ballet Kelowna CEO and Artistic Director.

“We have decided to provide this free or with a donation because we wanted to give back to our community.”

The live performance will offer the audience an experience they wouldn’t get in the theatre, thanks to the five different cameras that will provide for a dynamic show.

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“This experience is going to be very intimate and immersive,” said Orlando.

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“Some of those cameras will be tight shots and close-ups, some will just be of the body, capturing the dancers for the lifts, and others for wide shots so as a viewer you are really going to be able to zoom in and get really close to the dancers.”

The “digital performance features the world premiere of Kirsten Wicklund’s hauntingly beautiful Disembark, the world premiere of Gekko, a poetic solo created by Seiji Suzuki, and the return of Alysa Pires’ mesmerizing In Between,” a press release for Ballet Kelowna said.

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Gekko was created by Ballet Kelowna dancer, Seiji Suzuki in his one-bedroom apartment during the lockdown. The dance named after the Japanese word for moonlight is a poetic solo performed by Valentin Chou and is set to Claude Debussy’s Clair de lune, Suite bergamasque.

“Gekko explores the effects of isolation and confinement on mental health. The advent of a magical supermoon provides a source of hope and inspiration, igniting the imagination and offering a sense of peace and freedom from the emotional challenges of pandemic life,” a press release for Ballet Kelowna said.

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“I tried to put the meaning of hope and my freedom into this piece,” said Suzuki.

Wicklund’s first work for the company, Disembark, reflects a world that is disrupted.

Applying a “humanistic perspective to her relationship with classical vocabulary and form,” a press release for Ballet Kelowna said. Set to Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 1 in F Major and original music created by Wicklund.

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Even to be able to share something in this capacity is exciting,” said Wicklund.

“I am really asking the dancers to go from a place of sensation in their bodies and also challenge with movement material that is exciting to me,” said Wicklund.

The performance will see a return of Alysa Pires’ ballet In Between which was performed in 2018 by Ballet Kelowna.

“A reflection of Pires’ own life story as a native Vancouver Islander and transplanted Torontonian, In Between is a meditation on a life divided between two places — a past intrinsically linked to body and soul, and a future that lights the way forward. Inspired by the constant churning and ebb and flow of the ocean, the work draws inspiration from nature and its powerful connection to our existence and features an original score by Adam Sakiyama,” a press release for Ballet Kelowna said.

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With Pires’ based in Toronto, she had to do the majority of instruction with the dancers virtually.

“I can put them on a larger monitor, so my vision of them isn’t too impaired but when I am trying to demonstrate something I have a limited space to demonstrate in,” said Pires.

“So they need to get really close to the computer to see and so it’s really helped me sharpen those tools of describing the quality and not relying so much on my body.”

Live Stream No. 1 will be performed on April 17 and streamed by Rebellious Unicorns and can be viewed on-demand until April 24.

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