Ballet Victoria presents Ballet Rock at the McPherson Playhouse later this month.

Not your grandfather’s ballet

A new production at the McPherson Playhouse is looking to bridge the gap between classical ballet and modern culture.

Ballet may bring to mind tutus and The Nutcracker to many people, but one production is looking to bridge the gap between classical ballet and modern culture.

Starting October 21 at the McPherson Playhouse, Ballet Victoria presents Ballet Rock, a lively performance looking to freshen up people’s perspective of dance and find new audiences.

While the ballet may, in fact, rock, it has loftier intentions than its name lets on. The performance is in fact a unique mixture of cultures, styles, generations and traditions.

“It’s this idea of doing ballet, classical repertoire with a very contemporary, modern edge,” said Paul Destrooper, artistic/executive director. “What’s interesting is the juxtaposition, and the creation of a dialogue and an emotional connection with a new generation.”

There will be a dance set to The Eagles’ “Hotel California” and others set to Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and to Disturbed’s cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” A Rolling Stones cover will be showcased too, with “Paint it Black” by Ciara, another example of the show working to blend different eras.

“It’s a little wink at the culture and how what goes around, comes around,” said Destrooper. “There’s some great stuff from the past that is still relevant now and we just bring it back to the forefront. The culture stays alive, and it evolves. We’re always evolving.”

The second half of the show is set to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, but with a West Coast flare. First Nations mythology is the framework for the performance, telling the story of the black and white ravens and their relationship through the seasons. Each season will be introduced by one of four haikus written for the performance by poet Linda Rogers. The poems are read by former Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Steven Point.

Four First Nations artists (Rande Cook, Tom Hunt, Dylan Thomas and lessLIE) have also contributed to the show, with their pieces set to be projected as backgrounds for each of the four movements of the piece.

For more information and tickets visit balletvictoria.ca.

 

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