“Ballet Jörgen has spent 25 years making ballet accessible to people all over Canada… we are very fortunate indeed.” -The Coast
Halifax, NS – Experience the drama and romance of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Sleeping Beauty live in Halifax! This breathtaking new production, presented by one of Canada’s premier ballet companies, is touring across Canada to multiple sold-out auditoriums and standing ovations. Critics have called it “accessible, designed with impact and definitely suitable for families and younger audiences” (The Dance Current).
And now, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is bringing Sleeping Beauty to Halifax for two spectacular performances with Symphony Nova Scotia on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 pm at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Featuring 22 dancers, lavish costumes, elegant sets, and the live accompaniment of Symphony Nova Scotia playing Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score, this production is an exhilarating event for the entire family.
The creation and presentation of Sleeping Beauty is made possible by a generous gift from Margaret and David Fountain. Recognized for their outstanding philanthropic commitment to the arts, Margaret and David Fountain have previously assisted Canada’s Ballet Jörgen in establishing a second home in Halifax, and provided the company with pivotal support on its 25th anniversary production of Swan Lake.
“We want to spark people’s imaginations,” says Bengt Jörgen, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Artistic Director. “We want to open up a whole other dimension with art – that’s what it’s all about. Live music and dance touches people… when it’s done right, there’s nothing like it.”
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s version of this timeless tale includes the many familiar themes that are beloved by audiences around the world – the dueling magic fairies, the sleeping princess Aurora, and a spell that’s broken with a kiss.
However, this retelling also reframes the Sleeping Beauty story as a nature allegory, with a tug-of-war between winter and summer, darkness and light.
“This production is in part an adaptation of the librettos from Charles Perrault’s story La Belle au bois dormant and the Brothers Grimm’s Little Briar Rose,” says Jörgen. “However, it was also inspired by the many legends, including those of North America, of how the rose got its thorns.
“The rose is symbolized by the budding Aurora, and as in the Greek myth of Persephone, her spirit’s departure leaves the earth cold, dark, and wintry. When the Prince, who represents spring, cuts away the brambles with his sword, he allows the sun to awaken the sleeping nature again.”
A special treat for Halifax audiences will be the appearance of Dartmouth native Hannah Mae Cruddas, who will be dancing the role of the Lilac Fairy. Hannah Mae has danced with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen since 2011, and is very familiar to Halifax audiences through her multiple performances here at home. Most recently, Hannah Mae danced the role of Clara this past December in Symphony Nova Scotia’s annual production of The Nutcracker.
Each performance of Sleeping Beauty will also feature 14 to 16 young local dancers, chosen as part of Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Local Participant Program. These dancers are assembled from local area students, based on either recommendations or auditions, and will dance the roles of Pages, Peasant Children, Rosebud Child, Ladies in Waiting, Thorn Hedge Dancers, and Attendants. Applications can be submitted online here.
Sleeping Beauty will also be performed for local schools with a special Student Matinee on Friday, April 8 at 10:30 am. Tickets are $15 each for students and chaperones, and are available at 902.494.6406. For more information, click here.
During their visit to Nova Scotia, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen will also offer free “Ballet 101” classes (with dates to be determined) and master classes for interested dance schools on April 5 and 6. To book a master class, schools can contact the Company’s Education Coordinator at 416.415.5000 ext. 4928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen will also hold auditions in Halifax for the Company, George Brown Dance, Junior Company and Summer Intensive IV. Auditions will take place on April 10, 2016 at the Maritime Conservatory. For details and to register, click here.
Both performances of Sleeping Beauty will be conducted by Symphony Nova Scotia’s Music Director Bernhard Gueller, and will feature Symphony Nova Scotia’s full orchestra performing live in the orchestra pit at the Rebecca Cohn. This will be the orchestra’s first-ever performance of the full Sleeping Beauty ballet.
“We are so happy and delighted about our involvement with Symphony Nova Scotia and the Halifax community,” says Jörgen.
“We had a fantastic time last year with our two sold-out performances of Cinderella, and to be able to perform live with Symphony Nova Scotia is a wonderful experience. I would encourage anyone to take the opportunity to see this production.”
The creation and presentation of Sleeping Beauty is made possible by a generous gift from Margaret and David Fountain and support from National Presenting Partner BMO Financial Group. Canada’s Ballet Jörgen Youth programming in Atlantic Canada is supported by TD. Canada’s Ballet Jörgen also thanks individual donors and corporate sponsors who supports the company through the Aeroplan Beyond Miles Programme. Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is grateful for the support from Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for national touring.
Tickets are available now! Prices begin at $30 for adults and $15 for students/children (HST included). Or, you can pick up a ticket package and save up to 30%. Call 902.494.3820 or visit www.symphonynovascotia.ca.
About Canada’s Ballet Jörgen
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen builds communities across Canada through the shared experience of professional ballet. Reaching every province with over 600 events annually, we ensure communities large and small, urban and rural have access to a ballet experience that is recognized for its innovation, warmth, and beauty. Inspiring and connecting with Canadians for over 25 years, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen makes ballet and Canadian choreography a meaningful part of Canadians’ lives through performance, education, and community engagement.
About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is one of the most broadcast orchestras in the country, with over 20 commercial releases and multiple East Coast Music Awards. Visit www.symphonynovascotia.ca to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!