Ballet Kelowna show a hit in Morinville

Christina Cecchini (Juliet) and Davin Luce (Romeo) dance during Romeo and Juliet Appassionata, one of five ballet pieces put on by Ballet Kelowna Mar. 9. - Stephen Dafoe Photos

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Ballet Kelowna’s Morinville stop on their tour Mar. 9 provided the Morinville Community Cultural Centre with its largest audience to date in the Centennial Concert Series. Approximately 200 came out to the Friday night performance to view one of Canada’s 10 touring ballet companies.

Ballet Kelowna’s performance of a Grand Passion, named in honour of their interpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, offered a mixed repertoire performance of five pieces, each touching on a different form of ballet, and each from a different period of dance history.

Allegro Per Tre

The evening began with a contemporary ballet piece, Allegro Per Tre, choreographed in 2008 by Ballet Kelowna Artictic Director David LaHay.

Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty

The ballet company moved on to Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty, a piece choreographed in 1890 by Marius Petipa. LaHay said Petipa created the piece in Russia, a country he had travelled to on a one-year contract but which he stayed in for more than 50 years. “He became the greatest choreographer and ballet master of his time,” LaHay said of Petipa. “It is in fact due to him that we have the great tradition of the classical ballet.”


But not all of Ballet Kelowna’s performance involved 19th century choreography. The ballet performed another one of LaHay’s own pieces, Tangazzo, a ballet number that takes its cue from the Tango bars of South America in the early 1900s.

North Shore

North Shore, a modern piece by choreographer Shawn Hounsell, and commissioned by Balley Kelowna in 2011, was the largest departure from the typical ballet routine. LaHay said modern composers have an important role to play in ballet today. “They do not speak the same language as they did a hundred years ago, but I think what they have to say has deep meaning and value,” LaHay said, adding the dance conjures up images of Canada’s north.

Romeo and Juliet Appassionato

Ballet Kelowna’s final piece was Romeo and Juliet Apassionata, an 18-minute number that condenses Shakespeare’s classic tragedy to fit the music composed by Pyotor Tchaikovsky in 1869 when he was 28.

Although the famous composer was a young man when he wrote the classic piece of music that accompanied Ballet Kelowna’s finale, the members of the ballet company are considerably younger. The six ballet dancer’s hailing from New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia range in age from 19 to 24.

Ballet Kelowna followed their Mar. 9 Morinville appearance with a performance in Stettler Mar. 11. They wrap up their spring tour in Kelowna Apr. 27 and 28.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. I attened the Kelowna Ballet on Friday night — and considering ballet is not my first choice for dance I really, really enjoyed it. Their costumes were beautiful, as was the music and it was so nice to have the audience able to ask questions at the end of the show. All the performers seemed like genuinely nice young people and really enjoying what they were doing.

    It is such a treat to be within 10-15 minutes from a beautiful venue like the CCC and see performances like we have in the past year. For a number of us — as much as we would like to — driving to the Winspear or the Jubilee at night is out of the question. I sincerely hope that whoever books the shows continues to book performers of this caliber. Having been to the majority of the shows I found it to be a nice variety and each show was interesting and enjoyable in its own way.

    It is great as well that children’s shows are offered — although I don’t know how well they were attended.

    Thank you for booking great shows and keep up the good work so that many of us can continue to enjoy.

  2. We also attended and were thoroughly entertained. It was incredible the skill these 6 young dancers brought to the stage. With minimal props but innovative lighting each of the five pieces were distinct and memorable.

    We agree with Francoise Meunier’s comment about hoping this caliber of performance continues to grace the stage of the CCC.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Ballet Kelowna show a hit in Morinville – « Kelowna

Comments are closed.