Ballet Edmonton

Mixed Repertoire

2023-03-11 20:00 2023-03-11 23:59 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: Ballet Edmonton

In-person event

Ballet Edmonton presents a mixed repertoire program of four exquisite works by three outstanding choreographic voices. Two works by celebrated choreographer and Artistic Director Wen Wei Wang, Swan and Persistence of Memory, are joined by a stunning new creation by Canadian Dorotea Saykaly, and Valei-me, by emerging creator, Brazilian-born Diego Ramalho. RUNNING TIME:
Swan by Wen Wei Wang (18 min.)
(short pause)
Valei-me by Diego Ramalho (24 min.)

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Southam Hall,1 Elgin Street,Ottawa,Canada
Sat, March 11, 2023

≈ 2 hours and 10 minutes · With intermission

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Scan the QR code at the venue's entrance to read the program notes before the show begins.

Last updated: March 9, 2023

A Note From NAC's Executive Producer, Dance

Ballet Edmonton is emerging as one of Canada’s finest contemporary ballet troupes, and I’m thrilled to be welcoming them to the National Arts Centre for the first time! Wen Wei Wang took on the role of Artistic Director in 2018 and has been dedicated to building an original repertoire representing strong choreographic voices from Canada and beyond. Wen Wei moved from China to Canada in the early 90s where he continued his professional dancing career with the likes of Les Grands Ballets and Ballet BC before forming his own company, and, before long, was creating numerous commissions for other artists and companies. His extensive experience ideally places him to lead the transformation of Ballet Edmonton and to attract a diverse group of collaborating performers and choreographers. Wen Wei has curated a special program for this debut on the Southam Hall stage, featuring two of his original pieces as well as works by Diego Ramalho and rising Canadian star Dorotea Saykaly. We are in for a treat. 


A Note From Ballet Edmonton's Artistic Director

I am thrilled to bring Ballet Edmonton to the glorious Southam Hall Stage; this invitation is an honour for our company. This year we will visit theatres in six Canadian cities in our first national tour. In the spring, we bring the music of Métis composer Ian Cusson to life at Victoria’s Royal Theatre in collaboration with Dance Victoria and the Victoria Symphony. This tour ends with a final stop in Vernon, BC. 

Tonight, we bring you a mixed program of four works, including two of my own and two by exciting new voices in contemporary ballet: Dorotea Saykaly and Diego Ramalho. I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone attending this evening. We are very happy to be sharing our work with you.


Swan by Wen Wei Wang (18 min.)
(short pause)
Valei-me by Diego Ramalho (24 min.)
(Intermission-20 min.)
BLACK MOON  by Dorotea Saykaly (24 min.)
(Intermission-20 min.)
Persistence of Memory by Wen Wei Wang (22 min.)

Program Notes


Choreography: Wen Wei Wang
Lighting Design: Dorrie Deutschendorf
Original Music: Sammy Chien
Costumes: Kate Burrows
Premiered at Ballet BC, 2017
Performers:  Connor McLeary, Paula Cobo Botello, Adrian de Leeuw, Yoko Kanomata, Diego Ramalho, Matthew Wyllie

Swan by Ballet Edmonton Artistic Director Wen Wei Wang is a remount of the choreographer’s masterful piece, which first debuted with Ballet BC in 2017. Inspired by the iconic characters in Swan Lake, this breathtaking work highlights Wang’s capacity to move dancers in ways that exemplify the poise and grace of the balletic dancer while expanding the vocabulary of movement to tell a familiar story through a new lens.

“SWAN, choreographed by Wen Wei Wang, proved itself as a stunning, flawless endeavor that had its audience breathless by the time the curtain closed…” Lord of Dogwood - Review


Choreography: Diego Ramalho
Lighting Design: Dorrie Deutschendorf
Performers: Full Company

Valei-me contemplates how we are influenced by where we first “belonged.” The work explores how music lives in the nervous system and reflects an unconscious sense of identity connected to place. Brazilian music drives the narrative structure of this work.  

“I want the audience to be free to bring their own ideas about what I am saying and imagine their own sense of place and belonging.”  — Diego Ramalho.


Choreography: Dorotea Saykaly
Original Music: Riku Mätinen
Costume Design: Carla Romagnoli
Dramaturg: Emil Dam Seidel
Rehearsal Director: Yoko Kanomata
Lighting Design: Dorrie Deutschendorf
Performers: Full Company

BLACK MOON explores our complex relationship to faith by utilizing an archaic sci-fi approach to storytelling and strange image-making. On a search for light while having to accept comfort in darkness, the work is fueled by the contrasts between ease and desperation, gravity and weightlessness, brokenness and fluidity.

Persistence of Memory

Choreography: Wen Wei Wang in collaboration with the Ballet Edmonton dancers
Lighting Design: Dorrie Deutschendorf
Performers:  Full Company

Persistence of Memory was created amid the 2020 pandemic when access to family, friends or audiences was not possible. Ballet Edmonton company members formed a closed cohort and our studio became a place of safety and sanctuary where we explored the idea of our need for human contact. This work was initially created as a film and reimagined for the stage.

“As the pandemic stretched to the whole world, billions of people were separated from each other, isolated in their own spaces. Art has kept us connected; it shortens the distance between us and provides comfort, encouragement and hope.”—  Wen Wei Wang


  • Choreographer Wen Wei Wang
  • headshot-diego-ramalho
    Choreographer Diego Ramalho 
  • Choreographer Dorotea Saykaly
  • m
    Featuring Ballet Edmonton


Ballet Edmonton


Ariana Barr 
Chloe Bennett
Paula Cobo Botello 
Adrian de Leeuw
Yoko Kanomata
Devon McLean
Connor McLeary
Diego Ramlaho
Samuel Ramos
Matthew Wyllie

Ballet Edmonton Production and Executive Team

Artistic Director
Wen Wei Wang

Lighting Designer/Technical Director
Dorrie Deutschendorf

Assistant Stage Manager
Morgan Franche

Rehearsal Director
Yoko Kanomata

Executive Director
Sheri Somerville   

Managing Director
Jennifer Hinnell

This tour was made possible in part with support from the Edmonton Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

NAC Dance Team

Executive Producer
Cathy Levy

Senior Producer
Tina Legari

Special Projects Coordinator and Assistant to the Executive Producer
Mireille Nicholas

Company Manager
Sophie Anka 

Education Associate and Teaching Artist
Siôned Watkins

Technical Director
Brian Britton 

Communications Strategist
Julie Gunville 

Marketing Strategist
Marie-Chantale Labbé-Jacques

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees