Ballet Edmonton brings its annual Christmas show to Varscona Theatre, and it's anything but traditional
By Cory Schachtel | December 15, 2022
Ever since Wen Wei Wang took the reins as Ballet Edmonton’s artistic director in 2018, he’s steered the company in new, exciting directions — and that includes its Christmas show.
“The holiday season is about Christmas, and a celebration of life, of course,” Wang says. “But life is not always sweet.” The Nutcracker is sweet, Wang continues, but it’s more for children, and it’s been around for well over 100 years. “We’re trying to build something for adults, with new works every year. Some are tied to Christmas, some are not, but they’re all a celebration of life and dance.”
For Be Merry, Ballet Edmonton company members have created short, seasonally inspired new works, and special guest local musicians — jazz pianist Chris Andrew, vocalist Andrew MacDonald-Smith, ESO cellist Ronda Metszies and violinist Neda Yamach — will join them on stage to help bring their works to life.
Executive Director Sheri Somerville will host the evening, and says “Be Merry is a one-of-a-kind event combining contemporary ballet, jazz and a classical music. It is a relaxed way to ease into the holiday vibe while sipping on our signature cocktail!” Before performances, some dancers and choreographers will come on stage and talk about the inspiration for their works, because, Wang says, “I think our audience members want to hear those stories and then see the pieces. I’m really excited about how the evening opens, but I don’t want to say what it is because I want it to be a surprise.”
Tickets are only available for tonight’s dances, stories and surprises at the Varscona Theatre. (The December 16 & 17 performances of Be Merry are sold-out).