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preview imageTHE FOUR SEASONS
Choreographed by John Alleyne
Ballet British Columbia
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Feb. 14-16
604-280-3311 or
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The Four Seasons

 February 14 - 16, 2008 ~ Queen Elizabeth Theatre

“When the dancer’s movements reflect the changing moods of the music, the poetry of sound becomes poetry in motion” – John Alleyne

The highly anticipated World Premiere of John Alleyne's newest full length ballet, The Four Seasons, is next up on Ballet British Columbia's danceAlive! Series. Set to Antonio Vivaldi's ‘The Four Seasons’, John Alleyne is collaborating with local artists Tiko Kerr and Alan Storey to bring his artistic vision to life. Also on the program is the Canadian Premiere of Mark Morris's astonishing work, A Garden, and the revival of Dominque Dumais’s, a/way inside, originally commissioned for Ballet British Columbia.

"I'm excited to present this beautiful, lyrical and compelling new work," says Mr. Alleyne. "The lively and tuneful music of Vivaldi's ‘The Four Seasons’ conveys an emotional quality that is suitable for dance. I have chosen to collaborate with artists that will help bring to life these expressive aspects of music to life. The ballet's visual vocabulary will allow the audience to almost 'see' the music."

Presentations include live music performed by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra conducted by David LaMarche with dance students from Arts Umbrella. Ballet British Columbia’s production of The Four Seasons is a powerful and spontaneous transformation of movement into line and color. 

Performances will take place on February 14,15 and 16 at 8 pm with a matinee performance on February 16 at 2 pm. All performances take place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, B.C. Tickets range in price from $27- $75 (plus service fees) and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 604.280.3311 (Monday – Saturday 9 am – 9 pm, Sunday 11 am – 7 pm), online at or by calling Ballet BC Guest Services at 604.732.5003 ext. 207.

Choreography - John Alleyne
Music - Antonio Vivaldi, LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT from members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, conducted by David Lamarche
Visual Artist - Tiko Kerr
Art Installation - Alan Storey
Prelude & Postlude - Michael Bushnell

The Four Seasons is the latest creation of Artistic Director John Alleyne since his highly acclaimed ballet, A Streetcar Named Desire. Choreographed to one of classical music’s most beloved suites, Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’, this world premiere is a touching observation on the passage of time. Moving through the memorable and monumental four stages of life this exciting new ballet follows spring, summer, fall & winter, depicting the human emotions of reflection and regret. The Four Seasons is a one-act, four-scene ballet.

Conceived as an art installation and ballet, The Four Seasons incorporates the work of Canadian visual artist Tiko Kerr with an art installation by Alan Storey. With music performed by the members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, Mr. Kerr will create his art live on stage during each performance. Mr. Kerr will be painting on plexiglass rather than canvas allowing light to reflect off his work. The plexiglass surface will also allow Mr. Kerr to watch a dancer and track their movements. Mr. Storey has orchestrated a drawing device which will be suspended above the stage and designed to track the lead dancers movements in real-time. The ground-breaking work of Mr. Storey and the awe-inspiring art of Mr. Kerr will enhance the visual poetry woven on stage by Ballet BC dancers.

Taking inspiration from 1960’s fashion, art, music and politics, the design concept will mirror the huge cultural shift in this era and will acknowledge chance and moment, and the melancholy of peak and decline. The dancers are breathlessly and expressively challenged throughout the piece yet the precision behind the movement precedes.

Costumes are designed by Toronto’s Kim Nielsen and environment, sets and props are designed by Ms. Nielsen and Mr. Alleyne. John Munroe of Montreal has created the original lighting design. 

The Vancouver Sun’s dance critic, Kevin Griffin has chosen The Four Seasons as one of the must see dance performances of 2008.

Visual artist Tiko Kerr has devoted his life and energies to painting and to his community for the past 25 years. Color and light are primary in his vision, but even they perhaps, take second place to his strong intuitive sense of movement and spatial orientation. The subject matter of his oeuvre has been affected by the events and currents in his life and he currently finds himself at the height of his creative energies. Kerr is also preparing for his one-man exhibition opening April 3, 2008 at Winsor Gallery in Vancouver. This is Kerr’s third collaboration with John Alleyne and Ballet British Columbia, the first being Three Visible Poems (1994) and as Director of the Environment for The Boy Wonder Project (1997). He is thrilled to be sharing the stage once more with Ballet British Columbia, as well as with artist Alan Story and the senior dance students of Arts Umbrella, in celebrating the joyful and sublime music of The Red Priest.

Alan Storey is a practicing artist working locally and internationally from Vancouver. He studied visual arts at Okanagan College and received a BFA major in sculpture from the University of Victoria. He has a 30 year history of site-specific Public Art making and is best known for the ‘Pendulum’ installation in the HSBC Bank building on Georgia street in Vancouver. Other large projects are: ‘Urban Language’, in Montreal; ‘Slowswing with Panel Discussion’ in Olympia, Washington; and more recently, ‘Public Service/Private Step’ outside the new Environment Canada Building at 401 Burrard, Vancouver. Another recent project, ‘Compass’ for the new Bellevue City Hall in Washington, was selected as one of the top 20 Public Art installations out of over 400 in the USA of 2006, by the Americans for the Arts Societies Year in Review.



Studio Series is an intimate experience with a wonderful opportunity to watch Ballet BC Company dancers perform up-close and personal. Audience members will have the privilege to view a working rehearsal while dancers perform an excerpt from The Four Seasons before it is performed live at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday, February 14. John Alleyne will be in attendance and will share his vision and inspiration for his exciting new work.

Admission for this event is by donation.


Choreography - Mark Morris
Music - LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT from members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra (Richard Strauss, Tranzsuite for Orchestra, after keyboard pieces by François Couperin), conducted by David Lamarche

Performed to an arrangement of keyboard pieces by François Couperin set by Richard Strauss, A Garden is the Canadian Premiere of Mark Morris’s elegant work. The piece opens with two beautiful ballet ensemble sections proceeded by a delightful sequence in which one group of dancers weave complex patterns at double speed in contrast to the dancers on the opposite side of the stage.

“Mark Morris creates an astonishing body of diverse works that often are funny, energetic and expansive”
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer


Since creating the Mark Morris Dance Group, Mr. Morris has since created more than 120 works for the company. From 1988-1991, he was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. He has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received eight honorary doctorates to date.


The Mark Morris Dance Group was formed in 1980 and gave its first concert that year in New York City. MMDG is noted for its commitment to live music, a feature of every performance on its full international touring schedule since 1996. MMDG collaborates with leading orchestras, opera companies, and musicians including cellist Yo-Yo Ma in the Emmy Award-winning film Falling Down Stairs (1997); Indian composer Zakir Hussain; and with the English National Opera in Four Saints in Three Acts (2000). In fall 2001, MMDG opened the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY, the company's first permanent headquarters in the U.S., housing rehearsal space for the dance community, outreach programs for local children, as well as a school offering dance classes to students of all ages. 



Choreography - Dominique Dumais
Music - Johann Sebastian Bach, The Art of the Fugue, Contra Punctus XIV (unfinished), pianist Glenn Gould (courtesy of Sony Music Classical)

“Set to Glenn Gould playing Johann Sebastian Bach, Quebec choreographer Dominique Dumais's aching 1999 take on the end of love centres on grounded, heavy gestures that speak to the sorrow of heartbreak.”
–Gail Johnson, The Georgia Straight

This touching pas de deux by Canadian choreographer, Dominique Dumais was originally commissioned for Ballet BC. Ms. Dumais is a former soloist of The National Ballet of Canada and her existing works continue to be performed in North America and Europe. Currently she shares the role of artistic director of Mannheim Ballet in Germany with American choreographer Kevin O’Day.