M Expert: The joy of dance

Ballet Victoria's artistic director and choreographer Paul Destrooper says dancers are athletes, too.

Paul Destrooper is the artistic director and choreographer for Ballet Victoria

I often get asked why I am so committed to having a ballet company in this city.

With the challenges in arts funding and the quandry of tickets sales, why do I do it? One might as well ask why I breathe. I, and the dancers who work with me, live to create, to fly across the stage and bring an audience to their feet with joy, the joy of dance, a beautiful art form.

As we enter our 11th season, we are back in the studio creating Frankenstein, an ageless story that will be told in an entirely new way.

As with so many of our productions, I begin with a germ of an idea then interpret the story in my own way, find music and then begin the choreography. As the dancers and I work together the story evolves and that energy brings the passion, precision and touch of humour that we have become known for to the stage.

Those who have attended any of our performances also know to expect the unexpected, that the music may range from Bach to Freddy Mercury, from the Beatles to Beethoven, a ballerina may sing, a man may wear a tutu and in every instance, it will be beautiful, compelling, memorable, and the dancing will be fierce.

If I could have one wish it would be that I could find a way to convey to people – especially those who discount ballet – that dancers are very much athletes and watching their power and grace can be mesmerizing when it is done well. As a gentleman in our audience recently said: “I thought I was coming for a nap; boy was I wrong.”

Frankenstein is at the MacPherson Theatre from Oct. 25-27. Get a ticket and come join us – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Paul Destrooper is the artistic director and choreographer for Ballet Victoria. He has choreographed more than 25  works and three full-length ballets. His works have garnered glowing reviews in both Canada and the U.S.A.

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