The Gift of Pandora’s Box

Ballet Victoria fills familiar story with the unexpected

Amanda Radetzky and Risa Kobayashi in Ballet Victoria's The Gift of Pandora's Box.

Amanda Radetzky and Risa Kobayashi in Ballet Victoria's The Gift of Pandora's Box.

The gift of Pandora’s Box? Isn’t she the little harlot that loosed disease, pain and devastation upon all of mankind? Some gift!

“The actual story isn’t very Christmassy,” Ballet Victoria’s artistic director Paul Destrooper jests with the crowd gathered for the Tea for Tutu preview of his upcoming creation The Gift of Pandora’s Box, “so I changed it a little.”

When Destrooper finishes his address he removes his sweat suit to reveal his frost-inspired costume for the piece, ‘Snow Pas’. “Remember, it’s much warmer back stage!” A final joke before he slips into the character of Jack Frost alongside Andrea Bayne as the Hope Fairy.

Needless to say, they are wonderful to watch. When last we met, the company was in practice-sweats rehearsing with a single onlooker. Here they incarnate dance completely with that little extra something an eager crowd brings.

Next they take us through the pieces ‘Snow Flakes’, ‘Gypsies’, ‘Avatar’, ‘Roses & Dew Drops’, ‘Grand Pas’ and ‘Variations on Coda’. When the hour preview is over I looked down at my notes to see a single phrase transcribed: ‘Iron Cast’. That means it’s just them. One cast. No room for error or absence.

As the Ballet Victoria Christmas version of Pandora’s Box goes, Uncle Geoff i.e. Captain Jack Sparrow, brings a mysterious box back from his world travels. Pandora, who just can’t learn from her mythological namesake, opens the box to release a dragon, a fairy, a witch, an avatar and many more representatives of world cultures. Mostly set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, played by local pianists Jane Edler and Wendy Stouffer, Lady Gaga also finds her way into the production. She’s a sly pop-tart indeed. M

 

Ballet Victoria’s, The Gift, runs from Dec. 27-29 at 7:30pm and Dec. 30 at 2pm at the Royal Theatre (3 Centennial Square) Tickets $15(Children)-60. The next Tea for Tutu celebrates 10 years of BV’s creations on Feb. 13 at 2pm, Kirk Hall (680 Courtney). $10. Free for seniors.

 

 

By Colin Cayer

arts@mondaymag.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Gettin’ Higher Choir will be performing alongside Wavelengths Community Choir and special guests during an online concert Jan. 30. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria choirs team up for online concert fundraiser

Valdy among performers for free concert

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Juno-winning Toronto dub poet Lillian Allen is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet for 2021. (Photo courtesy Karen Lee)
Juno-winning dub poet is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet this year

Lillian Allen will present online lecture, reading and Q-and-A

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

Most Read