’A Streetcar Named Desire’ contrasts the emotional lives of two sisters in post Second World War New Orleans. (submitted)

VIDEO: Ballet Kelowna brings steamy story, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Island

Okanagan ballet company brings a classic tale to the Cowichan Valley

Ballet Kelowna’s A Streetcar Named Desire is a scintillating evening of passion and power, grace and grit!

Under the leadership of Simone Orlando, Ballet Kelowna brings their first full-length ballet to the stage at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in Duncan on Oct. 25, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Choreographed by former Ballet BC Artistic Director John Alleyne, Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize winning classic tells the story of two sisters — one clinging to a bygone era, the other embracing the reality of post-Second World War life in America.

Dancing as it does between present and past, between real-time New Orleans and old-world Mississippi, the work’s dreamlike transitions are well-suited to balletic interpretation.

Considered Williams’s greatest drama, A Streetcar Named Desire explores poignant themes that echo today’s headlines: shifting social mores; power and dominance; gender stereotyping; and politics.

Orlando says this presentation of Alleyne’s adaptation aligns with Ballet Kelowna’s mandate to encourage and promote the work of Canadian choreographers.

“John Alleyne is one of Canada’s most established and renowned choreographers. By presenting this monumental ballet, A Streetcar Named Desire, we are acknowledging his significant contribution to dance in Canada, while honouring his enormous legacy to the art form,” she says.

Hailed as “an impressive achievement” (The Globe and Mail) A Streetcar Named Desire is produced with the generous support of Ballet BC and performed to the original jazz score by B.C.-based composer Tobin Stokes.

Gerald King, the ballet’s original lighting designer, worked with Ballet Kelowna to restage the work for touring, and the dancers wear the original lavish costumes created by Kim Nielsen.

Noted Okanagan set designer and builder Eugene Levesque brings his own brand of creativity to re-constructing an important set piece: a rolling bed that transforms into an oversized king bed in Act II, becoming an elevated platform for several duets.

Alongside Ballet Kelowna company dancers, five post-secondary students from the Victoria Academy of Ballet will also dance on stage with Ballet Kelowna while on tour.

See this stunning show on Thursday, Oct. 25 starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $36 each. You can get them by phone at 1-250-748-7529 or online at cowichanpac.ca.

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