Ballet Kelowna set to wrap up season with big performance

Ballet Kelowna double bill

Ballet Kelowna will soon be bringing its 20th-anniversary season to a close, and they're doing it in a big way with a dynamic double bill called Transformations.

The live presentation features commissions from two of Canada’s most innovative emerging choreographers, including the in-person premiere of Disembark by Kirsten Wicklund and the world premiere of the evening-length work, The Cowboy Act, by the Company’s Artist in Residence, Cameron Fraser-Monroe.

CEO of Ballet Kelowna Simone Orlando says she couldn't be more excited about the vibrant double bill.

“Kirsten’s work will pull audiences beyond the refined physicality of classical ballet into a powerful interpretation of embodied emotion, while Cameron combines traditional Indigenous dance and culture, narrative-based satire, and a lot of lighthearted humor, to bring his choreographic vision to the stage," said Orlando.

"We are grateful that through these Ballet Kelowna commissions, both Kirsten and Cameron can bring their unique worldviews to the creation of these transformational works that reimagine the art form.”

The show opens with the premiere of Wicklund's Disembark, a first-time performance in front of a live audience. Created during the pandemic, this piece of work is described by Orlando as a layered study of contrasts, moving beyond the physical form to the complex emotions that lie within the human body.

Trained in Vancouver at Pacific Dance Arts and Goh Ballet Academy, Wicklund is a former dancer with Ballet BC and has been a demi-soloist with Antwerp’s Opera Ballet Vlaanderen since 2021. A rising choreographic talent, Wicklund has choreographed works for Arts Umbrella, Goh Ballet, and Dancing on the Edge Festival.

The double bill will finish with The Cowboy Act, the final work in a series of three commissions by Ballet Kelowna’s first-ever Artist in Residence, Cameron Fraser-Monroe.

Fraser-Monroe explores the division between the ‘Cowboy’ and ‘Indian’ archetypes in a journey through the Wild West. Fraser-Monroe examines what happens when an Indian directs the Cowboys through their history.

The story follows a visiting Indigenous photographer who stumbles upon a group of cowboys and cowgirls, in search of the iconic real cowboy of lore. With the help of The Sheriff, the photographer continues her quest to capture the perfect cowboy, through a series of vignettes touching on identity, love, boredom, and empowerment.

In celebration of the western-themed show and the close of Ballet Kelowna’s 20th-anniversary season, audiences are encouraged to dress to impress in their best Western wear, including cowboy boots, hats, jeans, fringed shirts, equestrian-themed prints, and more.

The two shows take place May 5 and 6 at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Tickets are available for purchase through the Ballet Kelowna website.

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