A mixed program of dance works, including the Canadian debut of a George Balanchine piece and the premiere of a new commission by choreographer Sasha Evtimova, takes the stage in Vancouver this weekend as the Goh Ballet Academy celebrates its anniversary.
The ballet training academy and youth troupe is marking its 35th anniversary with a wide-ranging program at an evening gala on Saturday. Dubbed Dance My Dreams, the show features Walpurgisnacht Ballet, being mounted in Canada for the first time since its creation in 1975 by ballet legend Balanchine.
Also, a brand new work entitled Wonderland will have its world premiere as part of the show. A special commission, the contemporary piece was created by Macedonian choreographer Sasha Evtimova, who collaborated with Goh Ballet's dancers in studio to create her first-ever piece for a Canadian audience.
Finally, the West Coast company of young dancers will perform the third act of Danish ballet maestro August Bournonville's Napoli, after having been coached and directed by former Royal Danish Ballet Artistic Director Frank Andersen.
"Ballet has evolved so much ... You see a lot of mixed genres happening," Chan Hon Goh told CBC News, pointing out that choreographers now often blend different styles.
It's important to impress on today's dancers, who are technically proficient, that "they're able to deliver for the choreographer anything that they want. [The dancers are] able to do it" because of classical training, she said.
In the video above, academy director and former National Ballet principal dancer Chan Hon Goh explains why she chose each piece for the celebratory program.