“We’re tremendously excited that Ballet Jörgen is once again creating original new Canadian dance content.”
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s new full-length original production, Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet™ is generating excitement at George Brown College. The college became home to CBJ 26 years ago when Bengt Jörgen was asked to work with the school to grow and deliver its dance programs. This close partnership is leading to innovative projects around Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet™ with the generous support and creative leadership of George Brown College’s Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology (CADIT).
“We’re tremendously excited that Ballet Jörgen is once again creating original new Canadian dance content,” shares Dean of CADIT, Luigi Ferrara. “I think it will be exciting for the country to see a traditional narrative ballet with a Canadian story and Canadian setting.”
CADIT is supporting CBJ’s new ballet in several key areas, including promotion, fundraising, and branding through the creation of marketing materials and a documentary film. “The documentary will follow the creation and execution of the ballet,” explains Mr. Ferrara. The entire production of the documentary will be carried out by CADIT students, under the leadership of the Centre’s professional staff and filmmaking team.
“This would show the world that Canada has stories. Canada has ballet companies…”
Lori Endes, Special Projects Coordinator for CADIT, is thrilled to be leading the documentary project. “This is a dream project,” shares Ms. Endes, who is herself both a former dancer and graduate of CADIT’s interdisciplinary design strategy program, Institute Without Boundaries. “I have the opportunity to bring in students from our varying programs to work on real projects such as this and to lead our team in how to capture some of the exciting things that are happening over the next couple of months in the creation process. This will go right through to the premiere of the ballet in Halifax.”
The documentary will be submitted to dance film festivals around the globe and later to general film festivals with the hope that it will be picked up and made available to an international audience. “This would show the world that Canada has stories. Canada has ballet companies,” says Ms. Endes. “I see this as something that could have a global effect. I suspect this will tour wide and far, and if the film can help with that, then I think that’s super exciting.”
CADIT’s Graphic Design students have also been working closely with CBJ through the program’s Studio Lab course. “We’re working with our Studio Lab to create product, branding, and visual communications to assist the Marketing Department at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen in their effort to spread the word and create a new brand identity for the ballet,” explains Mr. Ferrara. “I would like to see the swag our students designed all over the city. It would be really exciting to walk into a department store and see Canada’s Ballet Jörgen and our student design work.”
“By having this partnership, we’re able to immerse our students in a professional company environment.”
Ms. Endes agrees and envisions the products reaching an international market. “The story of Anne of Green Gables is popular in Japan as well as Poland and other places in Europe. It would be exciting to see our swag in other countries, too.”
Both Mr. Ferrara and Ms. Endes are enthusiastic about the potential of CADIT’s documentary and marketing projects and are delighted to be continuing their close partnership with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen. “We think this is super important,” expresses Mr. Ferrara. “By having this partnership, we’re able to immerse our students in a professional company environment. Our students are already shadowing, learning, and taking part in the chorus roles of the ballet. The next two to three years of students have the incredible opportunities that the creation of this ballet affords.”
“I think Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is one of Canada’s treasures,” adds Ms. Endes. “They are probably one of the unsung heroes because they literally go where no other ballet company has gone before. This is a great opportunity for Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, and I feel really happy to be supporting such an exciting venture that could put them on the map in a whole new way.”
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is grateful for the generous support offered through CADIT and George Brown College. Look for more information on the documentary project in CBJ’S August Newsletter, where you’ll find interviews with CADIT students and a sneak peek at plans for the film.
Written by Victoria Campbell Windle, CBJ Communications Contributor.
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