Back by Popular Demand: Ballet Kelowna presents Gripping Adaptation of ‘Macbeth’

Back by Popular Demand: Ballet Kelowna presents Gripping Adaptation of ‘Macbeth’

Back by popular demand, Canadian dance luminary Alysa Pires returns with suspenseful and spectacular re-envisioning of Shakespeare classic

Ballet Kelowna closes its 2023/24 Season of Drama with the highly anticipated return of Macbeth, the Company’s first commissioned, full-length ballet, at the Kelowna Community Theatre on May 3 + 4, 2024 at 7:30pm.

Premiered in May 2022, this visceral production is choreographed by Canadian rising star Alysa Pires, and features an original score by award-winning composer Adam Sakiyama along with atmospheric multimedia visuals from Okanagan landscape artist Jane Everett. Guest artist Jake Poloz will make his debut as Macbeth while senior artist Desiree Bortolussi is set to reprise her role as Lady Macbeth.

Desiree Bortolussi as Lady Macbeth. Photo credit Emily Cooper.

“We are thrilled to close Ballet Kelowna’s Season of Drama with the return of Alysa Pires’ Macbeth, which not only represents the most ambitious project in Ballet Kelowna’s 21-year history, but also one of the most enthusiastically praised works in our repertoire,” says Simone Orlando, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna. “As one of the first ballet companies to embrace Alysa’s incomparable talent through the commissioning of MAMBO in 2018, we are incredibly proud to see Alysa’s choreographic career continue to skyrocket – most recently as the first Canadian woman to create a work for New York City Ballet, in 2023. What a gift for Kelowna audiences to have Alysa join us for the remount of Macbeth this spring, back by popular demand!”

With its themes of ambition, power and corruption, Macbeth’s renowned tragedy has remained relevant throughout time. Considered one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, Macbeth follows the story of the titular character, a brave soldier and powerful man whose heady ambitions to Scotland’s throne turn him into a callous, yet tortured, murderer, spurred on by his equally determined wife, Lady Macbeth. As Macbeth and Lady Macbeth become hopelessly entangled by their atrocities, the pair descend into madness.

Praised for her “clarity and consistency in aesthetic” (The Globe and Mail), Pires brings her signature athleticism and theatricality to this contemporary retelling of Macbeth, exploring the dark side of human nature Featuring Ballet Kelowna’s full Company of dancers, the demanding two-act ballet will showcase Ballet Kelowna’s full breadth of technical and artistic prowess, featuring complex pointe work, unconventional groupings, and cinematic staging, bringing the multilayered Shakespearean work to life through deeply expressive movement.

Pires’ works have been presented by Ballet Kelowna numerous times, including MAMBO and In Between in 2018, Spring in 2019, and Macbeth in 2022. A sought-after contemporary choreographer and Artistic Director of Alysa Pires Dance Projects, Pires’ works have been performed by companies such as New York City Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Alberta Ballet and Ballet Edmonton.

A thrilling mix of dance, music, and spectacle, Macbeth features a haunting, original score by award-winning composer Adam Sakiyama, whose recent composition credits include Divorce Lunch (Musical Stage Company) and Quench (Axon Interactive). Macbeth’s aesthetics will be further enhanced through ethereal digital backdrops created by Okanagan-based landscape artist Jane Everett, whose solo exhibitions include Understory at the Kelowna Art Gallery and Birch at Bugera Matheson Gallery in Edmonton.

Tickets and information at

Ballet Kelowna’s 2023/2024 season is presented by the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation.

About Ballet Kelowna (

Founded in 2002, Ballet Kelowna is the sole professional dance company in B.C.’s Interior. The organization is committed to its role as a leader in the region through encouraging, promoting, and developing Canadian dancers and choreographers. The Company performs annually for more than 12,000 audience members in Kelowna and on tour, and provides unique dance training opportunities and outreach programs. Its Artistic Director and CEO, Simone Orlando, is an award-winning choreographer and former dancer with Ballet BC and The National Ballet of Canada.


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