The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre presents Ballet Kelowna’s A Streetcar Named Desire May 4. (Photo submitted)

Ballet Kelowna drives classic hit through Okanagan

A Streetcar Named Desire is at the Kelowna Community Theatre May 1-2, Vernon May 4

It’s a jazz-fuelled tale of romance and betrayal.

For the final show in their 2017/2018 Dance Series, the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society is proud to present Ballet Kelowna’s A Streetcar Named Desire May 4 at 7:30 p.m.

“Ride along with Ballet Kelowna’s jazz-fueled presentation of A Streetcar Named Desire,” said Keyanna Burgher, Society audience development officer. “Based on the well-known play by Tennessee Williams, made more famous by the 1951 Marlon Brando movie of the same name, Ballet Kelowna brings all the same grit and scintillation to the stage.”

Following Old Southern belle Blanche Dubois as she navigates through her tragic life of deceit, romance, and urban betrayal, A Streetcar Named Desire brings characters to life through movement and sensual storytelling.

Just as Blanche Dubois attempted to escape her fate, undoubtedly Ballet Kelowna artistic director Simone Orlando, who played as Blanche at its Vancouver premiere in 2006, hoped to escape hers. After suffering a hip injury in 2007 that required surgery, Orlando reprised the role the following season during her tenure at Ballet BC, but dancing in significant pain, learned in the summer of 2009 that her injury necessitated a complete hip replacement, ending her career as a professional dancer.

“Essentially, this upcoming presentation of Ballet Kelowna’s special anniversary performance will see Orlando’s career come full circle,” said Sarah Ghosh, spokesperson.

Ballet Kelowna Dancer Desiree Bortolussi was born and raised in Kelowna and is cast as Blanche Dubois, the same role Orlando performed in 2006. Orlando is re-setting Blanche’s solos and other sections of the ballet alongside acclaimed choreographer John Alleyne.

Additionally, a local set designer/builder Eugene Levesque helped Ballet Kelowna to create a unique bed that is featured in the ballet. He lives in Lake Country and is very well known in the theatre community in the Okanagan. He sourced electric castors from Australia that are normally used on hospital beds. The bed moves very easily and is much more functional than the original bed that used an air castor system.

Ballet Kelowna, founded in 2002, brings excellent, inspiring and memorable dance to British Columbia and the Canadian west.

“They continue to grow and enhance artistic excellence within their company and for audiences throughout B.C.,” Burgher said of Ballet Kelowna.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Ballet Kelowna presents its first full-length ballet.

Choreographed by the renowned John Alleyne, A Streetcar Named Desire features an exclusive expanded 14-dancer ensemble displaying compelling dance, superb acting, lavish costumes and an original jazz score by B.C. composer Tobin Stokes.

Dubbed “an impressive achievement” by the Globe and Mail, this production is intensely passionate and intoxicating.

“Transport yourself into New Orleans for a night of intrigue, sultry jazz tunes, and high-caliber dramatic flair in A Streetcar Named Desire,” Burgher said.

Tickets for A Streetcar Named Desire are $45 for adults, $42 for seniors, $40 for students and are now on sale through the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469 or online at www.ticketseller.ca. A Streetcar Named Desire also runs at the Kelowna Community Theatre May 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range in price from $64 adult to $77 adult and are available through Kelowna Tickets, www.kelownatickets.com.


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