Members of Atlantic Ballet Theatre Change Lives Through Their Art

For Immediate Release

October 22, 2012

Members of Atlantic Ballet Theatre Change Lives Through Their Art

St. John’s - Touring internationally for almost a decade, Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada returns to Newfoundland October 29th to November 9th performing at Arts and Culture Centres in St. John’s, Gander, Grand Falls Windsor, Stephenville and Corner Brook with their award winning ballet Ghosts of Violence.

Ghosts of Violence is a collaborative work between Atlantic Ballet Theatre’s artistic director/choreographer Igor Dobrovolskiy and award-winning Canadian playwright and dramaturge Sharon Pollock that deals with an issue rarely seen on the stage – violence against girls and women.

The full-length production grew out of a short work Dobrovolskiy created in 2007 for a fundraiser for the New Brunswick Silent Witness Project, a Canadian chapter of a North American-wide campaign to raise awareness of domestic homicide and its victims. The original piece drew such strong emotional response from the audience that Dobrovolskiy began receiving requests to choreograph a full-length work.

“I knew it was a huge challenge ­to explore this issue within the framework of a ballet, but I felt there was much more to say about these women, their lives, and this devastating social problem that crosses all boundaries,” Dobrovolskiy said. “I knew we had an opportunity to bring this message to a broad public in a unique way and that we had a chance to change lives with our art.”

Pollock said an intensive consultation process was undertaken when developing the show.

“We were provided with the case histories of the women who had been murdered in New Brunswick and their stories were devastating,” Pollock said. “We also looked at statistics and spoke to many organizations who work with families and women who are abused.”

The challenge according to Pollock was to find the key themes that could be represented in a format with no words. Ghosts of Violence is based on four actual cases. Dobrovolskiy and Pollock created scenarios representing different ages, backgrounds, and social classes.

The turbulent music of Alfred Schnittke, as well as works by two other Russian composers, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff were chosen by Dobrovolskiy to reflect the changes in the ambience on stage.

“For me the music is always first because if I choose the right music, the story unfolds,” Dobrovolskiy said. “It was challenging though. If I listened to Schnittke’s music for two or three hours at a stretch, I would find myself getting depressed, because you have to pass through the pain and souls of these women, and sometimes that realization is overwhelming.”

Dobrovolskiy also worked with New York projection designer and filmmaker Adam Larsen, to add a cinematic dimension to the piece. The production uses five screens with images shot by Larsen, which mirror the aggression on stage. Three prominent Canadian designers who have worked frequently with the Company – Pierre Lavoie (lighting), Denis Lavoie (costumes), and Brian Perchaluk (set) – completed the artistic team.

Ghosts of Violence made its world premiere on February 15, 2011 in Ottawa, at the National Arts Centre. As with the original short work, the response from the audience which included dance lovers, policy-makers as well as survivors, victim’s families, and anti-violence organizations, was astounding.

An important part of the production and project is collaboration with the community. In each tour location of the show women’s justice and social service groups participate on site, along with national partners. In Newfoundland there will be both a pre and post show discussion with Dobrovolskiy and community partners.

Tickets for Ghosts of Violence are $25.00 general, $18.00 senior/student and
$8.00 under 18 Years. Tickets can be purchased by visiting Showtime is 7:00 p.m.

Newfoundland tour dates include:

October 29, 2012: St.John’s NL, Arts and Culture Centre

November 1, 2012: Gander NL, Joseph R. Smallwood Arts and Culture Centre

November 5, 2012: Grand Falls Windsor NL, Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts

November 7, 2012: Corner Brook NL, Arts and Culture Centre

November 9, 2012: Stephenville NL, Arts and Culture Centre




Media contact:

Kathryn Lear

ACC Marketing and Communications




Now in its 11th season, Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada has earned an international reputation for high production values, technical excellence and compelling dance. Under the guidance and choreographic vision of Artistic Director and Choreographer Igor Dobrovolskiy, the Company presents original full-length narrative ballets which tour nationally and internationally. Igor Dobrovolskiy’s works weave dramatic narrative with inventive choreography to create a powerful, emotional and lyrical form which explores the human condition.

Ghosts of Violence is the anchor for “Celebrate Courage”, the second phase of Atlantic Ballet Theatre’s awareness for change initiative, created to inspire dialogue and action around the issue violence against girls and women.


September, 2012--Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada received the National Muriel McQueen Fergusson Award for their ballet GHOSTS OF VIOLENCE and their work to raises awareness on violence against girls and women.

For more information on Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and GHOSTS OF VIOLENCE:


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