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The Dancers of Program 3 by Ballet BC
Leaping, kicking, spinning, twirling—the dynamic art of dance is a wonder to witness. To ensure as many people as possible can enjoy this captivating art form, Simons has made Simons' Arts for All Seating available for Ballet BC's performance of Program 3, a presentation of three exceptional choreographed works, which will run from May 9 through 11 at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Ballet BC's Program 3 celebrates spring's arrival with breathtaking movement. In our campaign to promote the program, Simons wanted to draw a parallel to the fashion world and show how style is celebrating the new season—with colour! The photos feature Kirsten Wicklund, Nicole Ward, Justin Rapaport, and Peter Smida, four talented dancers from Program 3, dressed head to toe in some of spring's sought-after shades. (For tips on how to work colours like these into your wardrobe, check out our Infinite Hues article.)
Inspired by how these phenomenal performers moved in front of the camera, we wanted to get to know our models a bit better. Before being wowed by their skills on stage, read on to find out what first drew them to dance, what it's like being a part of Ballet BC, and what they enjoy doing in their downtime.
Kirsten has been dancing since she was a young girl, entertaining her family with pieces she self-produced. This season will be her fifth with Ballet BC and while discussing the company, she shares with us how tightly knit the dancers have all grown and how dedicated they are to their art. She also expresses their appreciation for the community's constant support, which allows them to take risks in their work. “The artists and our audiences both embrace this risk and we thrive off of opportunities for challenge and pushing boundaries.”
Kirsten is particularly enthusiastic about the opportunities provided by the choreographies in Program 3. “We have one world premiere by Serge Bennathan, one company premiere from collaborators Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, plus one of the most famed dance works of Ohad Naharin. It is a very exciting evening for us to share a world premiere that was created with this group of dancers specifically. It is completely unique to us and such a privilege to share this, plus another two works!”
Outside of dance, Kirsten loves to move, practice yoga, read, write, cook, choreograph, and spend time with her partner. When asked about what's in her wardrobe, she says she's a practical minimalist who goes for simple, comfy, and oversized styles that are mostly black. Like her fashion icon, Audrey Hepburn, Kirsten has mastered the art of adding a feminine flair to menswear and, given an opportunity to get dressed up, she's partial to a pant suit and heels or a cool cocktail dress.
Nicole realized in her early teens why she was so passionate about dance. “I fell in love with the rawness of being able to share and communicate so deeply with others through movement. I believe that dance is a universal language that can connect us without having to have anything in common.” Having danced with Ballet BC for four years now, Nicole says the company's collaborative element has allowed it to develop a unique voice that distinguishes it from others and that is celebrated.
When she's not on the dance floor, Nicole feeds her mind and keeps her body in motion with yoga, hiking, and indoor cycling to good music. What's on her playlist? Nicole says what she listens to depends on her mood, but she's a big fan of 2000s R&B and smooth electronic music. Described as having an edgy, tomboyish style, Nicole likes to wear statement items with pared-down pieces. “I love having signature items that I can pair with anything and also wear to any event. Versatility is key in my wardrobe!” While she may take inspiration from what her close friends or celebs wear, Nicole says she likes to think of herself as her own fashion icon, and that's something we just love!
Drawn to dance because it was fun and physically challenging, Justin says once he'd started, he just couldn't stop! Now in his third season with Ballet BC, he sees the company as his second family. “Everyone is devoted, hardworking, and caring of one another and the work we do.” This season, he's excited to have been able to work with choreographer Sharon Eyal in one of the pieces for Program 3. “I have performed her work before, and I'm excited to further explore the Gaga movement language in her piece, Bedroom Folk,” he says. For Justin and his fellow dancers, every program is a new learning experience because of the variety in repertoire and the different choreographers they have the chance to work with.
In his downtime, Justin recovers from his intense training schedule by going on walks when the weather is nice, trying out new recipes at home, and calling his girlfriend and family. When it comes to his wardrobe, Justin’s favourite clothes are casual and comfy. He says that while he doesn’t have a specific fashion icon, he’s given the unofficial title of personal fashion consultant to his style-savvy brother.
Peter's drive to challenge himself physically and his love of theater and music are what eventually led him to explore dance. “I don't think that I'd ever encountered something as fulfilling,” he explains. Currently in his eleventh year with Ballet BC, Peter is happy to have been able to witness the company evolve into what it is today, a group of driven and dedicated individuals who place a high value on growth and collaboration. When asked what he loves most about Program 3, Peter answers that the program really showcases the strength of the company. “When we're working together in harmony and firing on all cylinders, we're a force to be reckoned with.”
In his time off, Peter indulges his passion for filmmaking and enjoys watching hockey, cooking delicious dishes, and reading a good book. While Peter admits that he doesn’t have a style icon, he does have a rule of thumb when it comes to his wardrobe: Comfort is key. “You can’t beat a pair of sneakers, jeans, and a T-shirt.”