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Ballet Kelowna pushes dancers to the limits in new performance – Okanagan

Prepare to see the dancers of Ballet Kelowna like you never have before. They have been pushing the limits of ballet in their upcoming mixed program, Reflections.

The ballet company is bringing “a diverse collection of four short works from some of Canada’s most exciting, up-and-coming choreographers, Reflections offers audiences a powerful mix of thought-provoking world premieres and returning audience favourites,” states a press release.

“We want to see the dancers challenged by other types of dance. Ballet is that foundation that we train in every day, but we are really using that as a springboard or platform to move into a whole different realm of dance,” said artistic director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna Simone Orlando.

The ballet company will restage Split House Geometric by John Alleyne that Ballet Kelowna performed last in 2016. They will pair it with “the world premiere of ʔɛmaxwiygə from Ballet Kelowna’s 2022/23 Artist in Residence Cameron Fraser-Monroe, who explores the world-sense behind the Ayajuthem word ʔɛmaxwiygə to portray a family’s journey of love and optimism following the passing of a loved one,” states a press release.

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“In particular, it’s traditional Coast Salish dance, and traditional Grass Dance elements, it’s present even in the more contemporary movement but also present in a very pure form in the opening and closing of this work,” said Fraser-Monroe.

Orlando has brought in Esie Mensah from Toronto to contribute what Mensah calls Afro-Fusion to the stage.

“The piece is called (INNER)Beings which is essentially a conversation about the emotional baggage that we carry,” said Mensah.

“A big question that I had as a choreographer was if people could see what I am carrying would they be more sympathetic to me’.”

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The fourth piece is Kelowna Ballet’s own Seiji Suzuki’s work called Stolen Tide. 

“Inspired by pandemic-induced isolation, the touching work is an entreaty to cherish every moment spent with family, friends, and partners. The fast-paced opening movement, defined by conflict and discord, gives way to compassion and empathy in the eloquent second movement,” states a press release.

Reflections will be launched Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Tickets are available at

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