As it approaches its 25th anniversary next year, Ballet Jörgen is the only major Canadian ballet company with a repertoire of exclusively original works.
Ballet Jörgen has an extensive performance schedule and educational outreach program that touches large and small communities throughout Canada.
They have been building audiences for the performing arts across the country. Their success can be seen in their statistics. One-third of its audiences are under the age of 18 and one-third is attending a dance performance for the first time.
Although ballet can seem foreign to some audiences, Ballet Jörgen is “not an elitist company. We work in what is perceived as an elitist art form, but we do not believe by
any stretch of the imagination that ballet needs to be elitist.”
Through community engagement, performances, and interaction, Ballet Jörgen is engaged in a “two- way process” because “the art has to be able to withstand the roughness and toughness of life in order to remain meaningful.”
In November, Ballet Jörgen Canada was awarded the 2011 National Arts Centre Award for Distinguished Contribution to Touring in the Performing Arts during the Canadian Arts Presenting Association’s (CAPACOA) conference in Toronto.
Bengt Jörgen is a compelling choreographer, dancer, artistic director and passionate advocate for ballet and dance in all its forms.
His work in guiding Ballet Jörgen is introducing classical ballet choreographic forms to new audiences by presenting old stories in new contexts. As he says, “We want to speak in a different way to our communities.”
When asked for a message to his potential audiences, he responded, “Dance can be very fun and very engaging and you don’t need to know a thing about it before you come. It is something that everyone can enjoy and they should give it a try.”
Written by freelance writer/editor and DanceSpeak moderator Jon Eben Field. www.jonebenfield.com
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