We opened our 2012-2013 Atlantic season with the return of Ballet in the Studio at a new location – the Meinertzhagen Theatre of the Halifax Grammar School.  After the performance, we hosted a reception where the audience had the chance to meet and chat with the dancers.  This was followed by BJC’s fourth annual creative program for Atlantic Canadian choreographers in Halifax, culminating in the Solos and Duets program at Halifax Dance Association on Sunday, October 28.  Dancers and artistic staff taught ballet, pointe, and repertoire in dance schools from October 21-27 and presented Solos and Duets on Sunday, October 30 at Halifax Dance.

The 2012-2013 season was an important milestone, as the company celebrated its 25th Anniversary and set the stage for the next quarter century.  In keeping with our company vision and as a centerpiece for our Silver Anniversary Year, Ballet Jörgen Canada produced the world’s most renowned classical ballet, Swan Lake, in a major new Canadian production with a cast of over 30 dancers.  In the spirit of infusing Canadian heritage into our productions, Swan Lake had a special resonance with us in Nova Scotia because of the setting in and around Cape Breton Island’s Fortress of Louisbourg in the mid 1700s.  The costumes were created by Robert Doyle, one of Canada’s most distinguished designers. Robert has strong ties to Nova Scotia through his extensive work at Neptune Theatre, Dalhousie University’s Theatre Department, as well as the Nova Scotia Tattoo.

BJC gave three packed performances of Swan Lake at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on April 18th and 19th, along with a number of community events surrounding this major ballet.  We celebrated with cake after both evening performances, and over 600 children enjoyed the student matinée at a special abridged performance on the morning of the 19th.  As part of our Swan Lake celebrations, Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax created a special Swan Lake-themed window display and held a contest for a pair of tickets (participants had to either dance in the store or write about their favorite ballet).  In addition to our performances in Halifax, Swan Lake was also performed to great acclaim in Wolfville and Saint John theatres.  As with other performances across Canada, local dance and theatre students rounded out the cast, thrilled to participate in the production.

BJC also presented its lovely children’s ballet, A World to Shake, to schools in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with a special performance at Graham Creighton Junior High in Dartmouth.  We presented Ballet 101 programs (ballet talks and demonstrations) in many libraries throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality, and in Yarmouth and Pubnico.  Company members taught classes in Truro, Halifax, Dartmouth, Yarmouth, and Saint John.  Despite the busy programming schedule, there was still time for the Atlantic Advisory Board to enjoy a lovely brunch with Bengt, new Board Chair Mara Nickerson, and outgoing Chair David Aylward.

BJC would like to thank its Atlantic Advisory Board (AAB) for their support, as well as our local donors.  Thanks also to KPMG for supplying a meeting space for the AAB, and David and Margaret Fountain for sponsoring the Atlantic Swan Lake tour.  We are all looking forward to more great programming in Atlantic Canada for the 2013-2014 season!  We hope you will join us again at one of our fabulous programs and events.

Peggy Walt
Atlantic Canada Coordinator