Playful, colourful and evocative, Ballet Jörgen returns on Valentine’s Day with one of Canada’s most treasured stories, Anne of Green Gables. (Jim Orgill)

Anne of Green Gables hits the Chilliwack Cultural Centre stage in ballet form

Ballet classes, photography workshop also being offered in addition to Ballet Jörgen performance

For the first time ever, Anne of Green Gables has been turned into a full-length ballet and it will be at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre for a special Valentine’s Day show.

On Feb. 14, join Canada’s own Ballet Jörgen as they transport you to early 20th century Atlantic Canada with a ballet based on the beloved Canadian novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Following the adventures of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl accidentally sent to live on a farm in the fictional town of Avonlea, Anne of Green Gables is a story driven by her imagination. Anne takes much joy in life and adapts quickly to her situation, thriving in the close-knit farming village. Her imagination and talkativeness soon brighten the lives of those around her.

Anne of Green Gables is a little different from a classical ballet, in that it follows characters that are fairly young, which leads to movements that are a lot more energetic and explosive. It makes for a unique and exciting ballet that you will only ever witness coming from the hands of Ballet Jörgen’s choreographer Bengt Jörgen.

Ballet Jörgen has been a staple contribution to the Canadian arts community since its creation 31 years ago in 1987. The organization now produces more than 120 performances a year. Based in Toronto, the ballet company provides ballet training in elementary schools in partnership with George Brown College. With a goal of increasing attention to the performing arts industry, the company caters to new audiences and involves local dancers by offering the opportunity to take on roles in the performance.

In addition to their performance, Ballet Jörgen will share their art and expertise with the community with a number of classes. On Feb. 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., dancers will have the opportunity to be guided through the steps of Anne of Green Gables. Youth dancers of all abilities aged 14 to 18 can register for the masterclass at the cost of $15. Also taking place on Feb. 13 is the Pointe Shoe Clinic, where aspiring female dancers new to en pointe will learn how to deal with training en pointe, how to choose a shoe brand and style, and even manage the wear and tear on their feet. The Pointe Shoe Clinic runs from 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and costs $10. Registering for a class also includes a ticket to Friday’s performance of Anne of Green Gables.

On the day of the show, the dancers of Ballet Jörgen and local photographer Vicki Legere will demonstrate how to capture the beauty of the human body in motion through photography. The People In Motion Photography workshop runs from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 14. Those wishing to register for both classes can do so through the Centre Box Office.

Anne of Green Gables is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are: Adults $45, Seniors $42, Youth $40, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

RELATED: Violin meets piano in The Red Violin at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

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