Oct. 10, 2012 - Issue #886: Typhoon Judy
Citie Ballet is back for a new season with six new contracted dancers and professional status, getting underway with Gloria!, a production showcasing a repertoire of classical, neoclassical and contemporary technique.
Artistic director François Chevennement says the move to becoming a professional company is something he has been working towards since taking over the company six years ago. The fresh start with six new dancers, who come from as far away as China, brings a diverse range of training and technique that Chevennement believes will be an asset to the company.
"Looking at the styles I want to bring to the company, which is a mixed program, right from ballet to contemporary, we did look especially at their technique, because I want to keep the root of the company in ballet—in classical ballet—and also looking at they way they move in modern, because I believe modern dance and modern techniques can help make a better classical dancer," he notes, adding guest performer Sophie Wensel, who performed for two seasons with Citie Ballet, will be joining the troupe for the first performance.
One of Citie Ballet's new dancers is Kayley Winfield from Calgary, who sent her audition DVD in June and secured one of the final spots in the company.
"I enjoy how personal it is. You get to know everyone and you get to work more one-on-one with the directors, which is pretty rare with someone just starting with a company," notes Winfield, who has been dancing since age five.
The dancers have been preparing since the beginning of September for their premiere with Citie Ballet, with a diverse production celebrating life and dance.
"Every day it's a new challenge. The company's so small that you're always being asked to do something demanding just because there's not that many dancers to choose from so you're always on your feet giving it 110 percent all day long," Winfield says, adding despite the challenges, it's been an enjoyable production to put together.
The title piece of the production is set to Anotonio Vivaldi's Gloria!, one of the world's most popular choral-orchestral compositions. In May 2012, the ballet was choreographed by Paul Destrooper, artistic director of Ballet Victoria.
"I think it's entertaining because it pulls a bit of everything into it," Winfield says. "We have a broad range of different dance styles that we cover in the show, so it's geared towards people who like all different things."
Debuting as part of the production is Ladybird, a piece by Citie Ballet's resident contemporary choreographer Solveig Groenland set to gospel and blues music.
"It's a homage to a dear friend of the choreographer who just passed away," Chevennement notes. "But, she didn't create that piece for that reason. The first reason was to celebrate life in a modern way and she decided to dedicate this piece to her friend."
To acknowledge the company's classical roots, which Chevennement says will always be at its core, Citie Ballet's associate artistic director Laurence Menotti-Chevennement will present Peasant pas de deux from Giselle. Chevennement will also revisit some of Citie Ballet's repertoire including Purple Thought, a parody of a classical ballet along with Anul-Ka created by Waldemar Bartkowski.
Fri, Oct 12 (7:30 pm) and Sun, Oct 14 (2:30 pm)
Presented by Citie Ballet
Timms Centre for the Arts, $15–$35 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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