National Ballet of Canada dancer creates new work debuting in Kelowna

Former National Ballet of Canada dancer Matjash Mrozewski has choreographed one of the four works that make up Ballet Kelowna's Boundless, which will tour the Okanagan in coming weeks.

Matjash Mrozewski recorded conversations with young people and cut it into a score

Matjash Mrozewski stopped by CBC Kelowna to talk about his contribution to Ballet Kelowna's Boundless (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC)

Dancers with Ballet Kelowna are debuting two new works Friday night, including one choreographed by former National Ballet of Canada dancer Matjash Mrozewski.

Boundless features four contemporary dances in all, including the two new ones, which Ballet Kelowna says are "bursting with the themes of youth and love."

To capture those ideas, Mrozewski came to Kelowna this fall to meet local students and hear their concerns about the future.

"My goal with the piece was sort of, in a sense, just to represent my experience of meeting kids at that age," he told Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen.

"It starts kind of silly, fun, hyper, and as the piece progresses, we go deeper … walls come down and we start sharing fears, insecurities and the piece scores up that way."

Mrozewski recorded 10 hours of conversations with young people and cut it into a 35-minute soundscape that serves as part of the score for the piece.

Some of their concerns might seem kind of silly: getting hit by meteors, or even hoverboards. But Mrozewski says he didn't want to approach the question in a leading way, and he let the kids say their piece.

He says dance is a useful way of approaching subject matter like this.

"Dance is great for describing abstract states, emotional states, so we get an added layer of information to maybe contextualize some of the movement or just give us a lens to look at it through," he said. "I hope it starts conversations."

Boundless hits the stage Friday and Saturday night at the Kelowna Community Theatre. It then moves to the Merritt Civic Centre Feb. 9 and then the Summerland Centre Stage Theatre on Mar. 6.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Ballet Kelowna debuting, touring new work from National Ballet dancer


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