Dancer diversifies to entertain

 Shannon Smith will dance at the Surrey Arts Centre in two very different performances. -  Contributed photo
Shannon Smith will dance at the Surrey Arts Centre in two very different performances.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Shannon Smith featured in unique ballet

Shannon Smith may only have resided in Cloverdale for a year-and-a-half, but he has no qualms about donning chaps and cowboy hat and performing for hundreds of people.

But he’s not a country singer. Or a professional steer wrestler. He’s a ballet dancer.

Smith, who originally hails from Australia, is a member of Ballet BC, which is bringing two distinctly different dances to the Surrey Arts Centre this week.

First up is Rodeo (pronounced ro-DAY-o) is a kick-up-your-heels storyline ballet choreographed years ago in the U.S.

“It’s a piece that has stood the test of time,” says Smith, 28.

The story follows a girl on a ranch that wants to be a cowgirl – taking a comical look into her transition into that role.

“The city girls are making fun of her, the cowboys are making fun of her,” Smith explains. “Then you throw a little romance into the mix.”

The second dance presented will be Allegro Brillante, choreographed by George Balanchine. It’s a classical ballet in which Smith takes the lead role.

“It’s beautiful and artistic...very technical,” he said.

Smith studied at the Australian Ballet School and joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 1999 and the West Australian Ballet in 2004.

This is his second season with Ballet BC.

Rodeo and Allegro Brillante will be presented at the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave. on Nov. 1, 8 p.m. Specifically for this performance, the audience will get a rare glimpse into life as a professional dancer as the curtain will open prior to the show and the 18 dancers will be warming up on stage. The evening will close with a question-and-answer session with the company and artistic director John Alleyne.

Tickets, $36 adults, students/seniors $34 at 604-501-5566 or visit www.arts.surrey.ca

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