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Ballet Kelowna opens ‘Season of Drama’ with unique musicial pairing – Okanagan

You may not think that Johnny Cash would pair so well with ballet, but Ballet Kelowna’s Simone Orlando is celebrating her 10th season with the company by defying all the odds.

“This piece, Studies of Cash was created back when I was dancing professionally with Ballet BC. It’s a very special piece to me; the work is inspired by Johnny Cash’s concert in 1968 at Folsom prison and so it uses recordings and songs from that particular concert,” said artistic director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna, Simone Orlando.

“The work is delving into the concept of confinement and imprisonment and looks behind prison walls that are human-made as well as self-imposed.”

In her decade at Ballet Kelowna, Orlando has consistently put Canadian talent in the spotlight. Her dedication is reflected in the company’s upcoming season which has been nicknamed ‘The Season of Drama’. The first program of the season is a triple bill featuring Orlandos’ Studies of Cash and another is called The Royal We. 

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A press release says that in the work, Poloz “focuses on the ways our ambitions become the central story in our lives.” Poloz is a Montreal-based choreographer who is set to debut  The Royal We in a world premiere next month.

“I am exploring the idea of ambition and focus on our lives and how that takes a central focus in our lives when we are growing up,” said Poloz.

“And we are telling that story by using images of the monarchy and the idea of abdication.”

Rounding out the program is ballet dancer and choreographer Kiersten Wicklund’s The Forever Part. 

“This work is a very powerful piece. She uses pretty much the full company in the work, and it’s about the idea of daydreams and longing and the intention of forever,” said Orlando.

The ‘Season of Drama’ begins with Ballet Kelowna’s first performance of the season Nov. 3 to Nov. 4 and tickets are available online at

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