Dancer and choreographer Matjash (Matt) Mrozewski considers himself one of the lucky ones. Having studied at Canada’s National Ballet School he soon moved onto the National Ballet of Canada. After a brief stint in Europe, he returned to Canada to start his career as a choreographer and has since been creating original works for ballet companies around the world. Fast forward a few years and Matt is picking up his dance shoes once again as he joins move: the company and Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble in a presentation of Firebird 2011 at The Cultch in March.
Presented in two pieces, Firebird 2011 begins with a concert performance by the Turning Point Ensemble of a new arrangement of Stravinsky’s Firebird by Michael Bushnell. The second sees the Turning Point Ensemble joined by members of move: the company in a brand new version of Firebird choreographed by Simone Orlando, and featuring new music by composer Jocelyn Morlock.
Mrozewski, who has known choreographer Orlando for 15 years, was invited to join move: the company for this collaboration and new version of the Firebird ballet.
“This new choreography doesn’t follow the traditional fairytale of the original Firebird”, said Mrozewski. “This new version is stripped down and explores one man’s quest into the depths of his psyche.”
Having only just been into the studio for the first time with the musicians from Turning Point Ensemble, Mrozewski was quite positive, especially as it was the first time that the dancers were able to hear the music live.
“There is a huge difference from rehearsing to recorded music and being able to experience it live. Our first joint rehearsal went very well and while there might be a few kinks that we need to work out there was no hair-pulling,” he laughed.
Usually finding himself as choreographer, Mrozewski is looking forward to getting out of his head as choreographer and into his body strictly as a dancer: “there is definitely something to be said about having all the control sometimes, but sometimes it is also nice not to have all that responsibility.”
But don’t expect Mrozewski to be giving up on the responsibilities for too long. Once Firebird 2011 ends he will present the world premiere of his new work UpRising with move: the company at The Dance Centre and, true to the freelance nature of his work, he is then off to Germany to choreograph A Midsummer Night Dream and then back to Toronto for a children’s show and to work with the National Ballet School on a flash mob to commemorate International Dance Day on April 29.
2 – 5 March 2011
The Turning Point Ensemble is one of Canada’s leading large chamber ensembles with a mandate of linking the present to great works of music from the past. With Firebird 2011, the ensemble brings two premieres to The Cultch’s Historic Theatre: the first a concert performance of a new arrangement of Stravinsky’s Firebird and the second an entirely new Firebird choreography featuring both the 16-member Turning Point Ensemble and performed by move: the company.
Visit http://www.thecultch.com for tickets and information.