Ballet Kelowna dancers Valentin Chou, left, and Desiree Bortolussi dance to the sounds of Okanagan Symphony Orchestra with the Neville Bowman Trio during Canadiana Suite: A Sesquicentennial Celebration May 6 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. (Michael Slobodian photo)

Paying homage to Canada

Blending music and dance has been commonplace for centuries

Blending music and dance has been commonplace for centuries. But it’s less common for Ballet Kelowna and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, who joined forces to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

“It’s a collaboration on a scale I don’t think this community has seen, and we really hope through our partnership we create a model for organizations to move forward together,” said Simone Orlando, artistic director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna.

The OSO brought the magic of live music celebrating Canadian music icons including R. Murray Shafer, Gordon Lightfoot, and Oscar Peterson, with a specially commissioned arrangement by Lance Anderson and guest performances by local jazz ensemble The Neville Bowman Trio and renowned blues artist Shakura S’Aida.

“It’s almost like the corners of the nation are coming together and meeting and dispersing forward,” said Orlando.

“It really has a sense of momentum.”