Entertainment

Ballet Victoria gives gift to families

Dancer Risa Kobayashi leaps over Ivy and Jack, young members of the Ballet Victoria company. - Derek Ford Photo
Dancer Risa Kobayashi leaps over Ivy and Jack, young members of the Ballet Victoria company.
— image credit: Derek Ford Photo

Ballet Victoria is in the studio hard at work on its new, original production of The Gift of Pandora’s Box.

A holiday performance is a Christmas tradition for Victoria’s dance troupe, and this year they bring a tale inspired by Greek mythology to modern day, setting The Gift of Pandora’s Box in a family home at Christmas.

Uncle Geoff has travelled the world and returned with gift boxes for everyone, however he has one special box that is not meant to be opened. When curiosity gets the better of Pandora and she opens the box, panic, chaos and hilarious pandemonium ensue.

In his signature style, artistic director and choreographer, Paul Destrooper has developed a unique program that showcases dance and focuses on the dramatic and theatrical elements of good story telling.

The characters in this work are developed around archetypes, filled with local colour. A nutcracker, a witch, a dragon, a fairy and more are interwoven with the family celebrating Christmas.

Local pianists Jane Edler and Wendy Stouffer take the role of visiting family members and play a section of Lady Gaga music and a section of Tchaikovsky. Destrooper has used much of Tchaikovsky’s familiar Nutcracker score as a background for this entirely new piece.

“Familiar music and a plethora of characters will make the work accessible to a wide variety of audiences,” Destrooper said. “Ballet fans will appreciate the artist’s technical prowess while the novice audience can simply enjoy beautiful dance and a fun story.”

The Gift is a story of hope and Ballet Victoria is a troupe that is hopeful many families will be able to attend.

“Every year for our holiday show, we offer tickets to charity groups and we will do that again this season,” said Destrooper. “We also realized that we can do more. We can offer families entertainment that is affordable, fun and that hopefully, introduces young people to the arts.”

To give area residents an opportunity for a family outing, the company has reduced all tickets for kids 12 and under to $15. The inexpensive ticket is valid for all four performances of The Gift of Pandora’s Box at the Royal Theatre.

The Gift of Pandora’s Box leaps on to the Royal Theatre stage on Dec. 27, 28, and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at rmts.bc.ca and 250-386-6121. For more information visitballetvictoria.ca.

 

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