Ian Szkolak and Ashley Evans strike a pose. They are both performing during the Vancouver Island Symphony's Music and Dance show at the Port Theatre Saturday (Nov. 14).

Ian Szkolak and Ashley Evans strike a pose. They are both performing during the Vancouver Island Symphony's Music and Dance show at the Port Theatre Saturday (Nov. 14).

Symphony inspired to meld music and dance during classical performance

NANAIMO - The Vancouver Island Symphony presents Music and Dance at the Port Theatre Saturday (Nov. 14).

The spider is hungry.

It dances across a simple wooden surface seeking its next meal.

Spinning and pivoting, the spider, portrayed by a male dance member of Bohemia Ballet, devours other insects of the forest.

The dance piece, performed to Roussel’s The Spider’s Feast, is all about movement, said Ivana Ho, artistic director for Bohemia Ballet. The dance troupe was recently created to perform with the Vancouver Island Symphony during its upcoming show, Music and Dance, at the Port Theatre, Saturday (Nov. 14).

“The male dancer is the spider and has all the other insects for dinner,” said Ho.

For The Spider’s Feast the costumes are simple black leather. It is a more contemporary dance number. Another classical piece dancers perform to is Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye, sometimes referred to as Mother Goose Stories, explained Ho. It has three main stories and incorporates classical costumes. She wanted to create two distinct dance presentations: a contemporary and classical piece.

“I wanted it this way so every member of the audience could find things to relate to,” said Ho.

The troupe, Bohemia Ballet has eight dancers for the show who all have Vancouver Island connections, either growing up here or living on the Island.

“The most challenging part is getting all the dancers together at the same time,” she said. “Some are in other dance companies or have other jobs.”

Ho said Vancouver Island Symphony artistic director Pierre Simard was on board with her using local talent for the show.

To choreograph the dances, Ho used the classical music as her inspiration.

“The music has to inspire me to see some kind of story,” said Ho. “If I have a good piece of music I can see the choreography right away.”

Ho graduated from the National Ballet School of Prague in the Czech Republic. She has performed with various ballet companies throughout Europe and Canada, including the Ontario Ballet, Ballet Victoria and Ballet B.C.

Music and Dance is Saturday (Nov. 14) at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre. There is a pre-concert talk with Simard at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre lobby.

Tickets prices range from $33-59, or $18 for students. For tickets, please call 250-754-8550 or go to www.porttheatre.com.

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