Ballet Victoria to grace Sid Williams Theatre stage

March 27 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Sid Williams Theatre Society’s Blue Circle Series

Ballet Victoria will visit the Sid Williams Theatre Friday with Amadeus – Dances With Wolfgang.

Ballet Victoria will visit the Sid Williams Theatre Friday with Amadeus – Dances With Wolfgang.

Mark Allan

Special to the Record

Paul Destrooper’s restless, questing artistic spirit compels him to keep creating.

That’s why the artistic director and choreographer of Ballet Victoria will visit the Sid Williams Theatre this month with Amadeus – Dances With Wolfgang, a significantly reinvented version of an earlier rendition.

Since Amadeus debuted to standing ovations in 2013, Destrooper has reimagined almost half the ballet to illustrate the artistic passion within Mozart, Freddy Mercury and also Destrooper himself.

It was his idea to use the music of singer Mercury and his band Queen alongside the sounds of Mozart.

“It looks at the creation process,” Destrooper says in an interview from Victoria. “We see him (Mozart) write music; we see him dance to music; we see the dancers becoming (musical) notes; we see the dancers becoming instruments…

“We see the development of a character that goes from success and enjoying tremendous growth but also creating jealousy and animosity, and dealing with that.”

As Mozart’s tale continues, the audience sees him “at the end of his life almost being consumed by the art form … and the lifestyle, which is where the parallel is drawn between Mozart and Freddy Mercury.

“Both men knew the end was near, and both men kept creating and performing until the end.”

In its 12th season, Ballet Victoria has produced more than 50 new works. Originality is central to the 12-dancer troupe’s mission statement.

“I’m trying to bring ballet into this century and I think it’s important to keep creating new work instead of doing the old classics over and over like everybody else,” Destrooper explains.

In an effort to do this in Dances With Wolfgang, Destrooper uses other modern music that includes contemporary renditions of Mozart scores (Dollie de Luxe’s rock opera Queen of the Night and a hip-hop version of Concerto Grosso). Adele’s Skyfall sung live by dancer Andrea Bayne is part of the second act.

“That draws an audience that’s younger and introduces them to some of the pieces by Mozart that they may not know.”

When Ballet Victoria performs at schools, Destrooper notices that young students enjoy classical music.

He admits it’s tough to maintain a ballet company in a city the size of Victoria.

“The critical mass of audiences is very small … in a very competitive market. That’s why we need to tour.”

Besides Victoria and Courtenay, Ballet Victoria is performing this work in North Vancouver and Duncan.

The hard work of Destrooper and his dancers, including principle performers Matthew Cluff as Amadeus and Andrea Bayne as his muse, was rewarded with overwhelming applause in Victoria, Destrooper reports.

“The audience was on their feet asking for more. We had some pretty amazing curtain calls, so we were thrilled about that.”

The response gratified him, because he wants to trigger an emotional response in audiences and because he puts so much of himself into what he loves.

“It’s like seven days a week, 24-7,” he admits. It’s all-consuming. I’m pretty much married to the art form.”

Amadeus – Dances With Wolfgang is meant for a large stage, but Destrooper vows his troupe will make it work at the Sid.

He also says this production appeals to different kinds of people.

“Anybody can come and see this. We have grandmothers and grandchildren, husbands and wives, all coming to the show.”

Ballet Victoria performs March 27 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Sid Williams Theatre Society’s Blue Circle Series. For tickets, visit sidwilliamstheatre.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit the Sid box office at 442 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay.

 

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

Just Posted

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

A 19-year-old man is in police custody following a recent violent robbery and assault in Comox . (File photo)
Arrest made in violent robbery and assault of Comox gas station employee

A 19-year old man is in police custody following a recent violent… Continue reading

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Fisheries and Oceans Canada fish-health audit at a farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The BC Salmon Farmers Association is asking Ottawa for renewed discussions with stakeholders and First Nations to allow for an equitable agreement on the government-ordered departure from the Discovery Islands. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
B.C. salmon farmers request more time to leave Discovery Islands

DFO’s current deadline will lead to the cull of 10.7-million young fish

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley entrepreneur develops clean drinking water system

‘We will use our privilege to help those less fortunate.’ It’s a… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The 2021 YANA Big Love Benefit will be a live-streamed event, including an online auction. Photo by McKinnon Photography
COVID restrictions force changes to YANA Big Love Benefit

Ongoing provincially-imposed COVID-19 restrictions have forced a late change in YANA’s largest… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks left wing Antoine Roussel (26) tries to get a shot past Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks cough up 3-0 lead, fall 4-3 to visiting Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver falls to 8-13-2 on the NHL season

Jessica McCallum-Miller receives her signed oath of office from city chief administrative officer Heather Avison on Nov. 5, 2018 after being elected to Terrace City Council. McCallum-Miller resigned on Feb. 22, 2021, saying she felt unsupported and unheard by council. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace’s 1st Indigenous councillor resigns citing ‘systemic and internalized racism,’ sexism

McCallum-Miller said in a Facebook post she felt unheard and unsupported by council

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31.	(Pixabay photo)
Pubs, restaurants to pay wholesale prices on liquor permanently in COVID-recovery

Pre-pandemic, restaurateurs and tourism operators paid full retail price on most liquor purchases

Wade Dyck with Luna, a dog who went missing near the Chasm for 17 days following a rollover on Feb. 5. (Photo submitted).
Dog missing for 17 days through cold snap reunited with owner in northern B.C.

Family ecstatic to have the Pyrenees-Shepherd cross back home.

Quesnel RCMP confirmed they are investigating a residential break-in at a home on the Barkerville Highway. (File image)
Thieves make off with $300K in Cariboo miner’s retirement gold

Tim Klemen is offering a reward for the return of his gold

Most Read