Get ready to be inspired, entertained, and moved by Ballet Victoria.
The 14-person dance troupe lead by artistic director Paul Destrooper is gearing up for its season opener, a rock ‘n’ roll inspired show exploring the theme of love and the cycle of life as told through First Nation mythology.
“We take you through a bit of an emotional journey through different scores,” said Destrooper.
“People think ballet is all pretty and beautiful, it is that, but it also deals with some meat and bones that make up life.”
Since taking the lead with Ballet Victoria in 2007, Destrooper has transformed the company from recreational to professional.
Destrooper continuously strives to provide original and exciting programs for local and regional audiences.
His concept of Ballet Rocks, now entering its third season, juxtaposes classical ballet and rock ‘n’ roll music.
“This year the whole first half is a little bit more rock,” said Destrooper, promising music by Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Eagles, Pink Floyd, as well as contemporary rock covers.
It’s the mix of old and new that creates compelling and relevant narratives, something Destrooper believes is essential to a contemporary live performance such as ballet.
“To me, it’s still important to tell a story so we do… even the small pieces have a bit of a narrative, a definite theme or a definite relationship that’s happening in front of you,” he said.
The second half of the show, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, explores the theme of love through the tale of two ravens as their relationship develops throughout time.
“We have this allegory of love, falling in love in the fall which is the time of bountifulness, and drinking, and merriment, and then you go to their relationship of winter where the honeymoon kind of fades and there’s a coolness, and then you get nature coming back to life with spring and the urgency to procreate, and then summer when it’s fertile summer and the gift… women bearing children,” explained Destrooper.
Inspired by the landscape of B.C., the show offers a West Coast interpretation of the four seasons and is driven by First Nation art and the myth of the raven. Accompanying the production will be original First Nation art projections by local artists, as well as haikus written by Canadian poet Linda Rogers and narrated by former Lt.-Gov. Steven L. Point.
“It’s got humour, and like everything we do there’s always surprise in what we do,” Destroopers said.
“Ballet is the best when it’s seen live, there’s no two-ways about it.”
Ballet Rocks takes place Oct. 21 to 23 at the Royal Theatre. For tickets visit balletvictoria.ca or call 250-386-6121.