Cowichan Performing Arts Centre and Canada's Ballet Jörgen present

Anne of Green Gables - The Ballet

Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet™ is a playful, colourful and evocative production that will transport audiences to early 20th century Atlantic Canada. Based on the beloved Canadian novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet™ follows the adventures of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl sent to live on a farm in the fictional town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island.

Artistic Director Bengt Jörgen explains his vision for this adaptation of this iconic Canadian story. “This will be a playful and colourful production seamlessly integrating dancers, sets and costumes. Dancers will become an extension of the traditional sets and props, creating an array of traditional production elements with their bodies and movement. The characters, the community of Green Gables and the surrounding area of Avonlea will all come to life through this unique relationship and interplay between the dancers, sets and props. We will use humour, dramatic clarity and intimacy to showcase the simple beauty of the story and our art form.”

Heiner Pillar, the stage director and co-creator of this adaptation describes their vision. "Our version will be quite different from the musical, telling Anne’s story from a different perspective, relating her joys and sorrows through movement instead of words and songs. All our ballets distinguish themselves with the dancer not only dancing beautifully, but also becoming real, believable people in each story they tell. Our job is helping the dancers to find the essence of the characters they will portray envisioning Anne’s story through dance and movement.”

The music will be transformed by orchestrator Alexander Levkovich. It will become a two-hour balletic composition inspired by the music from Anne of Green Gables – The Musical® modifying the vocal music into musical content.”

Anne of Green Gables - Synopsis

Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L. M. Montgomery). Written for all ages, it has been considered a children’s novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.

Anne Shirley, a young orphan from the fictional community of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia (based upon the real community of New London, Prince Edward Island), is sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their fifties and sixties, after a childhood spent in strangers’ homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew had originally decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm at Green Gables, which is set in the fictional town of Avonlea. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne instead.

Anne is highly imaginative, eager to please and, at times, quite a dramatic individual. However, she is defensive about her appearance, despising her red hair and pale, thin frame. She is often quite talkative, especially when it comes to describing her fantasies and dreams. At first, stern and sharp Marilla says Anne must return to the orphanage, but after much observation and considering, along with Matthew’s strong liking to Anne, she decides to let her stay.

As a child of imagination, Anne takes much joy in life and adapts quickly, thriving in the close-knit farming village. Her imagination and talkativeness soon brighten up Green Gables.

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