Victoria has many incredible artistic talents in its midst, but when two groups known for their outstanding standalone performances combine those talents, the result is always something even more special.
Such a collaboration happens this Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Royal Theatre, when the Victoria Symphony is joined by the dancers of Ballet Victoria for A Fantasia of Dance.
The Symphony’s Principal Pops Conductor Sean O’Loughlin and Ballet Victoria artistic and executive director Paul Destrooper worked together to assemble a program to open the Pops Series that not only includes well-known 20th-century musical compositions, but puts a new spin on the pieces with the movement of the dancers.
“It’s almost like that classic movie Fantasia, but instead of animation we have the wonderful dancers of Ballet Victoria bringing this music to life visually,” O’Loughlin says. “One of the unique elements of this program is that there is ballet music that features the orchestra, and there’s orchestra music that features the ballet, so it has a bit of an on-its-head spin to it.”
Audiences will hear favourite songs from Rodeo, Appalachian Spring, Romeo and Juliet and Fantasia, along with O’Loughlin’s original composition inspired by the best-selling book The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Other concert highlights include Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” Debussy’s “Clare de Lune,” Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights” and Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain.”
Destrooper has created original choreography for the concert, playing with the various genres of classical ballet, mixing traditional classical with neo-classical style and adding contemporary choreography as well.
With so many different characters portrayed in the narratives of the program’s music, he notes, it allows for a combination of “micro-ballets” that will enhance the expression of the compositions.
“The audience will enjoy some beautiful music, some incredible dancing as well as a lot of humour, which is something we like to incorporate into our repertoire often,” Destrooper says.
A Saturday night performance at 8 p.m. will be followed by a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $33 to $85 and are available online at victoriasymphony.ca or by phone at 250-385-6815. For more information on the companies, visit victoriasymphony.ca or balletvictoria.ca.