Symphony New Brunswick and Atlantic Ballet Theatre collaborate

Symphony New Brunswick's orchestral group and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada have joined together for a series of performances starting in Saint John.

Upstairs Downstairs being performed in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton

Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and Symphony New Brunswick will perform three shows in New Brunswick. (Facebook)

Symphony New Brunswick's orchestral group and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada have joined together for a series of performances starting in Saint John Saturday night.

The show is called Upstairs Downstairs with the musicians taking the stage to start the program, followed by dancers in the second half.

The ballet's chief executive officer Susan Chalmers-Gauvin told CBC's Shift New Brunswick bringing the two together is a perfect fit.

"There's magic that comes together when you combine that live music with live dance. It's a very enriching experience for the artist but also for the audience."

Dancing with the live musicians playing brings an energy that is not there with piped in music, Chalmers-Gauvin said. 

"Because it's live, there's an interaction between the dancers on stage and the musicians in the pit. They interact with each other, they look at each other, so there's an energy that goes between them that is very dynamic as an artist to have that opportunity."

Tempo of music important

The Atlantic Ballet Theatre will perform Iceman, choreographed to Vivaldi's violin concertos The Four Seasons.

"What's most important for the dancers is tempo. If the musicians suddenly take off playing really quickly you can imagine the impact on the dancers on the stage," she said with a laugh.

Chalmers-Gauvin said the collaboration came after discussions with Symphony New Brunswick.

"We have not had the opportunity until now to actually play with our home symphony," she said. 

"Historically, and certainly in Europe you often see the symphony playing with ballet companies and Atlantic Ballet Theatre has had the privilege when we toured to Europe to play with a number symphonies and on one occasion in Nova Scotia."

'Absolutely stunning'

Chalmers-Gauvin said she has seen the dancers rehearse and said the piece was "absolutely stunning."

"The music is lively and that means there's a lot of dancing on the stage over the entire piece. There's a lot of movement, a lot of choreography."

Symphony New Brunswick's Camerata New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada will perform Upstairs Downstairs at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John Saturday, in Moncton at the Capitol Theatre on March 21, and in Fredericton at the Playhouse March 23.

All shows start at 7:30 p.m.


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