‘More than just classical ballet’

Maple Ridge dancer Erik Bruendl is in Coastal City Ballet's production of Swan Lake.

Maple Ridge dancer Erik Bruendl will play one of the friends and courtiers of the prince.

Maple Ridge’s Erik Bruendl will be dancing in the Coastal City Ballet’s upcoming production of Swan Lake.

The Thomas Haney secondary graduate started dancing ballet at the age of five. As he grew older, he branched into other genres of dance, including hip hop, jazz and tap. But he was drawn back to ballet.

“The story, the music, the kind of structure and the grace, I don’t know, I fell in love with it as a kid,” said Bruendl.

Most recently, he has been training at Pacific Dance Arts under the direction of Li Yaming, the same director at Coastal City Ballet, and he just finished a four-month contract with Ballet Jörgen Canada for the production of Sleeping Beauty.

In Swan Lake, Bruendl will be playing one of the friends and courtiers of the prince and also the Spanish prince in the third act.

But, he explains, it is a difficult production to put on.

“If you take something like the Spanish prince, for example, you’re not just dancing it, it’s not just classical ballet, but you’re also a character. You have to show to the audience that you are that character,” he explained.

“It’s not like in real life, you can just walk up, shake their hand and say, ‘Hey, I’m from Spain.’ You have to kind of do that in your dancing while still doing the steps and everything else that’s expected of classical ballet,” he added.

Irene Schneider, the choreographer, has given the timeless classic a modern twist for the dance company’s fifth anniversary season.

Schneider, who has created more than 60 ballets that have been presented in opera houses across Germany and around the world, contrasts the human emotion of a romantic love with the realistic and practical love of an arranged marriage.

“The plot’s been reworked basically to make it more believable and more realistic and understandable, especially to newer audiences where this may be their first ballet,” said Bruendl.

In this production of Swan Lake, Odette, the White Swan, comes to Prince Siegfried in a dream, embodying the ideal true love, while Odile, the Black Swan, is presented to Prince Siegfried by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbarth as the woman he is supposed to marry.

The full-length ballet takes place in four acts with music by Pytor Tchaikovsky.

Bruendl says this ballet is perfect for people who have never seen a ballet before or for children who’s only experience with a ballet production is The Nutcracker at Christmas.

“This is a nice accessible production. It’s not too heavy but it still has the hallmarks that you would expect from Swan Lake,” he said.

• Coastal City Ballet presents Swan Lake May 21 at 8 p.m. at the Playhouse Theatre in Vancouver, 600 Hamilton Street and June 10 at 8 p.m. at the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88th Avenue.

Just Posted

Canada Day a big show in Maple Ridge memorial park

Starts at noon, entertainment all day, July 1

UPDATE: Longboarder, 14, and car collide near Maple Ridge tent city

Teen taken to hospital by ambulance, injuries not life threatening

Letter: Clearcutting B.C.’s last old-growth leaving us poorer, forever

‘True sustainability is leaving similar values and conditions for future generations.’

Bard on the Bandstand returns with Shakespeare at the circus

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows production features gender reversed roles.

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Man arrested for alleged indecent act after ‘predatory’ SkyTrain incident

A woman had reported the man had exposed himself while on the train on April 29

Two helicopters reportedly seized by RCMP near U.S. border south of Cultus Lake

Federal Mounties mum on raid two weeks after dramatic raid reported by Columbia Valley residents

Man shot dead in Vancouver’s fifth homicide of 2019

Body was found in an apartment near Main Street and East 35 Avenue

Abbotsford council declines to declare climate emergency

Mayor says city is working to reduce emissions, but that procedures preclude immediate action

Most Read