A&E » Arts

Canadian ballet on the Goh

Famed Canadian choreographer Eddy Toussaint ensures Canada retains its ballet identity with Divertissement



What: Divertissement

When: Dec. 28 & 29, 4 & 8 p.m.

Where: MY Millennium Place

Tickets: $40/$35/$21

Goh Ballet choreographer Eddy Toussaint tires of the ballet world being run by what comes out of New York and London. There is more to classical ballet than that which comes from Europe and the U.S.

He believes in Canadian ballet; a ballet as rich and multi-cultural as our nation.

This multicultural celebration will come to life in his ballet Divertissement on Dec. 28 and 29 at 4 and 8 p.m. at MY Millennium Place as part of the Real Canadian series.

“Dance can be provoked from a culture: China, Paris, Arabian,” Toussaint said. “(Divertissement) is a cultural mosaic.”

Divertissement is also defined as a short performance according to 18 th century French standards or as a diverting amusement.

All translations lend to a diverse showing, with the ballet drawing from the fiery passion of the Caribbean, the elegance of Paris and the firecracker explosion of China. All forms and styles will be united under the banner of classical ballet, with the 20-something troupe of professional and student dancers executing Toussaint’s vision with the utmost skill.

Toussaint, founder of the internationally renowned Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, recently joined the Goh Ballet Company and Academy as both the artistic advisor and director of development. He also choreographs company ballets.

Working with co-founders of the Goh Ballet, Choo Chiat and Linn Yee Goh as well as Goh Ballet Vancouver Society President Fei Wong and executive director Brian Gross, Toussaint and team have drawn up an ambitious plan for the academy’s 30th anniversary. They have laid out their intentions to host a three-year production and touring schedule as well as the founding of their own professional dance company.

There isn’t a major ballet company in North America, Europe or Asia that doesn’t have a Goh Ballet graduate in its ranks. Goh Ballet students have moved on to companies such as the National Ballet of Canada, the American Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Hong Kong Ballet.

Now Toussaint and friends want to ensure Goh dancers have a company of their own. This year, eight of the company’s 20-plus dancers are paid professionals. Toussaint says the number of paid dancers will continue to grow.

The troupe is performing Divertissement Dec. 28 and 29 as well as The Nutcracker: The Dream of Clara from Dec. 20 to 23 at MY Millennium Place. Both shows have been adapted to accommodate MY Place’s cozy stage.

Tickets range from $40 for an adult matinee to $50 for an evening performance.

For tickets, call 604-935-8410 or visit MY Place.