Okanagan Symphony presents ROUND DANCE

Okanagan Symphony presents ROUND DANCE

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra welcomes Juno-nominated artist Cris Derksen

The Okanagan Symphony is pleased and proud to present ROUND DANCE, with internationally respected Indigenous cellist and composer Cris Derksen, in what will undoubtedly be one of this season’s most thrilling and unique OSO concerts.

KELOWNAFriday, Jan 207:30 pmKelowna Community Theatre

PENTICTONSaturday, Jan 217:30 pmCleland Community Theatre

“I am so excited for the OSO to push the boundaries of where an orchestra can go with such an internationally renowned Canadian artist,” says OSO Music Director Rosemary Thomson.

In a world where almost everything — people, music, cultures — gets labelled and slotted into simple categories, Cris Derksen defies definition. As a composer, she has a foot in many worlds. As a performer, she’s a classically trained cellist who now appears nationally and internationally in a variety of configurations ranging from solo to symphonic shows, as part of an innovative quartet, and sharing some very unexpected collaborations.

Originally from Northern Alberta, Derksen comes from a line of chiefs from North Tall Cree Reserve on her father’s side and a line of strong Mennonite homesteaders on her mother’s. Derksen braids the traditional and contemporary, weaving her classical background and her Indigenous ancestry together with new school electronics to create genre-defying music.  www.crisderksen.com

“It is such an exciting time [in classical music right now]. There is a lot of exploration being done, a lot more acceptance of the influence of pop music into classical music, a ton of room being made for new voices… [Cris Derksen] is one of those new voices that I just love… she has created a new genre unto herself by taking the cello and experimenting with it. She uses it as a drum, she plays music boxes across the strings, she sets up a mic and runs a signal through an electronic loop station, she uses all these effects to create music that is quite unlike anything you’ve ever heard. She likes creating art in in-between spaces because it fits who she is.” — Paolo Pietropaolo, host of CBC Radio’s ‘In Concert’

The title of this show references a tradition that is significant in First Nations across Turtle Island (North America). Through the ages, the “Round Dance” or “Circle of Friendship” has been a central focus of gatherings designed for socialization and community building. It is a fitting theme for a concert that seeks to strengthen friendship and understanding between cultures.

“Derksen creates undeniably modern music that mixes folk, classical, dance, and aboriginal structures and tunes with electronic beats… She crisscrosses genres, cultures, styles, and attitudes with evident pleasure and apparent ease.” — Musicworks

Titles on the program by Cris Derksen that feature cello and orchestra include Buffalo Girls End, New Heya, Overture to the Spiderbeing, Round Dance and War Cry. Derksen’s friend, Sonny-Ray Day Rider, a Blackfoot composer and pianist from the Kainai Blood Tribe, penned Blackfoot Sunrise. Along with these compositions the OSO will play orchestral works that tell musical stories from the traditional repertoire, including Edvard Grieg’s  well-loved Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, a lesser-known work by French composer Albert Roussel, La Festin du l’araignee (The Spider’s Feast), and First Winter by Canadian composer Dinuk Wijeratne. As a result of flood damage suffered in December at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre, we regret that there will be no performance of ROUND DANCE in Vernon. The Kelowna performance on January 20 and the Penticton performance on January 21 are not impacted. Tickets for these two can be purchased through the KCT Box Office at 250.469.8940.


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