Ballet Victoria Society
Our Impact Why We Exist
Our guiding mandate is to present and develop unique programming with international levels of technical and artistic talent. Creating original works each season, we focus on choreography, musicality, dramatics, dancing, and lighting to promote original creation and keep the work stimulating and entertaining for all audiences.
Local community development is an important goal that helps us grow our company through a bottom-up approach to audience development. We focus on reinvesting our earned revenue in employing local artists including dancers, musicians, singers, visual artists, poets, and designers, and bringing artists to live and work in our community. The result of circulating money back into our community is a stronger support for our work through ticket sales.
An equally important part of our mandate is to increase access to the arts through delivering outreach education and performances to the entire community, particularly for those with significant financial and physical barriers. This is accomplished through a diverse set of approaches, such as lectures, master classes, student matinees and youth and senior outreach programs. We target all ages and socio-economic groups, promoting appreciation of dance, as well as participation. This makes Ballet Victoria uniquely accessible to all audiences.
Our Story What We Do
Founded in 2002 with the goal of enhancing the presence of dance in Victoria, the newly established Ballet Victoria produced six works including: Peter Pan (2004);Gala at the Royal (2004); The Legend and the Myth (2005); Alice, A Wonderland of Dance (2005); Stabat Mater (2006) and Court of Miracles (2006).
Struggling from a lack of administrative capacity and artistic quality, the Board of Ballet Victoria invited Paul Destrooper to take over the role of Artistic Director, bringing to the company a new level of professionalism and artistic innovation. Extending his responsibilities to the logistical side of operations as well, he has transformed Ballet Victoria into a professional dance company that has proven to be an important cultural asset to the City of Victoria. Since this change of artistic and organizational direction, the company has completed eight full seasons showcasing at least four full works each year. The choreography is new and innovative with a unique blend of classical ballet and contemporary dance. The community looks forward to the new works each season which incorporate different styles of music, interesting plots and humour. With its faithful following, audiences have come to "expect the unexpected" with Destrooper's choreography.
Our Programs How We Do It
Current Season - Every season Ballet Victoria presents four exciting ballet performances choreographed by Paul Destrooper.
Tour - The company tours in the fall and spring to cities up island, the lower mainland as well as Chilliwack and the Okanagan.
School Performances (K -12) - The company's outreach program for schools is educational and entertaining emphasizing physical literacy through dance as an option in addition to sports. The program exposes ballet to many students who have never attended a dance performance before and explains its training requirements and all of the elements relating to a ballet production: the music, costumes and sets. Students interact with the dancers and are encouraged to participate in dance.
Tea for Tutu - Tea for Tutu brings together seniors and children through an innovative program aimed at making dance more accessible (physically more accessible as it is offered in a wheelchair-accessible community hall with handibus transportation to and from the performance) as well as accessible in its informal presentation of the dance program complete with background discussions with the choreographer and an opportunity to mingle with the dancers.
Dance Art - This program provides the opportunity and space for seniors to capture dance movement through visual art while the dancers rehearse. Under the guidance of a trained visual artist, seniors have the opportunity to experiment with multiple artforms simultaneously and then share their art at Tea for Tutu events.
Art Eco - Our dance projects foster economic, ecological and artistic value, reduce the carbon footprint and promote smart technology. We continually reinvest in our community to help build a strong local economy. Our touring strategy is smart and efficient. Our portable stage, lights and music; simple costumes; and use of projections and mobile sets allow us to share our art with many diverse audiences each season and remain financially viable.
What You Can Do
With financial support, Ballet Victoria can continue the Dance Art program in 2014/15 allowing seven more seniors to receive free art instruction in three different mediums and then showcase their works in public spaces throughout the year. If additional funding is received, the company can offer the instruction to additional participants and if needed, enlist another instructor to keep the ratio of students to instructors reasonable.