June 27, 2016 – Oakville, ON – Over 40 young dancers have begun rehearsals for Oakville Ballet’s premier performances in September. The dancers, aged 12 to 17, under the guidance of Artistic Director and Ballet Master Amanda Paterson, and Ciprian Campianu have combined two of the most iconic classical ballets to thrill the audience and introduce a new generation to classical ballet.

The performance will include The Kingdom of the Shades excerpt of La Bayadère, and Paquita – Grand Pas Classique at their inaugural performances on September 16th and 17th, 2016. Dancing on stage is a cast of over 40 young dancers from the Oakville Ballet, students of the Oakville School of Classical Ballet, and two guest artists Markham born Jessica Burrows, and Swedish born Lucas Jerkander, both currently corphées of Hong Kong Ballet.

The inaugural performance program commences with La Bayadère, Kingdom of the Shades (1877), choreographed by Marius Petipa. La Bayadère is famous for the entrance of the ‘Shades’, where the corps de ballet perform a series of arabesques while descending a ramp.

“As one of the hardest dances for the corps de ballet, it is critical the dancers have ample time to rehearse with the ramp in place to ensure pure balance and poise during their arabesques,” says Artistic Director Amanda Paterson. “This is followed by a difficult adage sequence where they need to breathe and dance as one. It is a beautiful scene to see, and looks stunning when all of the dancers dressed in white tutus appear as though floating through the night sky.”

Adding to the celebration of talent, technical ability, and joyous determination of the young dancers will be the colourful rhythmical scores of Ludwig Minkus led by Oakville Ballet orchestra’s Judith Yan.

“Anticipation for September is already high with rehearsals well under way and sets built and delivered, including the infamous ramp,” said Amanda Paterson, Artistic Director Oakville Ballet. “Our talented young dancers look forward to showcasing their skills and taking the audience on a journey celebrating classical ballet.”

There will be two evening performances, September 16th and 17th at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets will be available in August.