Dancers Alexander Hille and Céline Cassone perform Closer as part of the Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal performance in Vernon Oct. 15.

Dancers Alexander Hille and Céline Cassone perform Closer as part of the Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal performance in Vernon Oct. 15.

Jazzing up the ballet

Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM) arrives at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 15 as part of the centre’s dance series.

For Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, jazz is referring to a “jazzing up” of classical ballet.

The renowned contemporary repertory company presents a hybrid form of dance, combining the aesthetics of classical ballet and embracing many other different styles of dance.

Among Canada’s most beloved and longest running dance companies, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM) arrives at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 15 as part of the centre’s dance series.

BJM stands apart from other companies with its quality performances and ability to captivate audiences and critics around the world.

“More than simple entertainment, artistic choices can carry an alternative message. By allowing the best in us to bloom we have the power to change, transform the way we see ourselves and others,” said BJM artistic director Louis Robitaille. “A profound desire for harmony linked to the strong conviction that happiness is indeed at arm’s reach, as well as a thirst for the exotic and openness to the cultures of others, these are the ingredients that have guided my steps in the elaboration of the great adventure that is dance.”

Powerful music and masterful lighting reinforce the impact of these works, which put to the test the virtuosity and endurance of the company’s 14 remarkable dancers.

In three original works, each by different choreographers, BJM showcases diversity in themes of cultural legacies of indigenous people, the tensions in a modern relationship and the creative force of urban chaos.

Rouge, by Brazilian choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras, is based on original music by the Les Frères Grand.

Pederneiras uses dance as a means of expressing the identity of individuals and of nations in an ode to resilience and a discreet tribute to indigenous peoples and their musical and cultural legacy.

Underlying the work are themes of confrontation, the clash of cultures, power struggles and what it means to belong to a community.

Gathering momentum as they are carried away by the implacable rhythm of the music, the dancers convey drama and strength, a sense of urgency, of pain and separation, surging relentlessly toward a point of crisis until the excess of impulse and tension is exorcised, reaching at last a state of grace.

Closer, by Benjamin Millepied, is a voluptuous and vibrant exchange filled with the intense yet simple sensuality of the tension between two bodies.

Inspired by the haunting rhythms of Mad Rush by Philip Glass, the audience is transported into the couples’ passionate relationship with movements of crystalline beauty and delicacy.

Kosmos, by Andonis Foniadakis, celebrates human beings and their creative force.

The Greek choreographer was inspired by urban frenzy and in his quest for beauty, he journeys between order and chaos, hurtling the dancers through space with the sweeping movements of a unifying, liberating and joyous dance.

Pro-rated subscriptions for the society’s 2016/17 dance series are still on sale. At $132 for adults, the five-show package gives 15 per cent off single ticket prices. Single tickets are $45 for adults, $42 for seniors and $40 for students and are on sale at the Ticket Seller online at www.ticketseller.ca or by phone at 250-549-SHOW (7469).