Ballet can't afford tour to Yellowknife

Young ballet dancers in Yellowknife won't get the chance to see a professional dance company live on stage because the company wasn't able to raise the $40,000 needed.

Ballet Jörgen Canada couldn’t come up with $40,000 needed

Young ballet dancers in Yellowknife who hope to see a professional dance company live on stage are going to have to wait.

Toronto-based Ballet Jörgen Canada was scheduled to come to the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre with their production of Anastasia in February.

But the funding for the tour didn't come through. A federal government grant which would have helped bring the troupe to Yellowknife was $40,000 short of what was needed.

Artistic director Bengt Jörgen said the company was willing to cover half of the shortfall, but needed to find private-sector funding for the rest. 

The company didn't find a sponsor, so the show had to be cancelled.

"There just aren't enough resources to go around, and unfortunately Yellowknife being much farther north than most of the communities we serve, there is a whole different cost structure related to it and we just were not able to raise enough money from different sources to make this happen," said Jörgen.

Jörgen said the troupe is upset they won't be dancing at the NACC this year; it would have been the first time the group had performed in the territory.

Brooke Dwyer has been studying ballet for almost six years and seeing a ballet live on stage would be a dream come true for her.

Young ballet dancers in Yellowknife, like Brooke Dwyer, said seeing a professional ballet would be a dream come true. (CBC)

"I would love to go see a ballet. I’ve never even seen one on TV," said Dwyer.

Lina Ball, who owns the studio where Brooke takes classes, said being able to see a ballet live on stage would have had a huge impact on her students.

"Especially for the older dancers who have been dancing for seven or eight years and they don't really know how far they can go. They think there is a plateau, so it is really inspiring to see the costumes and the sets and everything that goes into the production. And we don't really get a lot of that here," said Ball.

Yellowknife ballet teacher Lina Ball said seeing a live performance could have inspired her students to take dance further.

Jörgen said he is still looking for ways for the company to make it to Yellowknife in the future.