"Spring" at Ballet Kelowna

May 04, 2019

After its success at the Victoria Academy of Ballet, Pires' "Spring" made its company premiere with Ballet Kelowna. Closing out its 18/19 season, Ballet Kelowna's mixed programme featured world premieres by Amber Funk Barton, Heather Dotto, and Artistic Director and CEO Simone Orlando. "Spring" marks Pires' third work for Ballet Kelowna in two years. Look for more of Pires' work with Ballet Kelowna next season!

Photo by Grant Robinson

Thirteenth International Competition for the Bruhn Prize

March 23, 2019

The National Ballet of Canada hosted the 13th International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize welcoming dancers and choreographers from American Ballet Theater, The Royal Danish Ballet, and The Hamburg Ballet. Alysa Pires represented the host company creating a new work for dancers Jeannine Haller and Siphesihle November. After performing an excerpt from "La Sylphide" and Pires' premiere "The Other Side," Siphe was named Best Male Dancer! Congratulations Siphe and all of the competing dancers and choreographers!

Photo by of Siphesihle November with Jeannine Haller, Alysa Pires, and Karen Kain by Karolina Kuras

New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute

March 09, 2019

Alysa was one of three choreographers to participate in the Spring 2019 Session of the New York Choreographic Institute. An affiliate of New York City Ballet, NYCI's biannual Sessions invite three choreographers to spend two weeks in New York City developing works in progress. Pires worked with advanced students from the School of American Ballet and collaborated with Julliard Composer Jack Frerar to develop "Standard Deviation." 

Photo by Bryan Bedder

National Ballet of Canada appoints Pires as Choreographic Associate

February 12, 2019

Alysa Pires has been appointed as the newest Choreographic Associate of the National Ballet of Canada. After spending two seasons working with NBOC as part of their Choreographic Workshop, Pires was commissioned by the company to create a new work for the Erik Bruhn Competition. Alongside current Choreographic Associates Robert Binet and Guillaume Côté, Pires joins the National Ballet of Canada for their 2019-2020 season, which marks Artistic Director Karen Kain's 50th anniversary with the company. 

Pires to represent National Ballet of Canada at Erik Bruhn Competition

January 30, 2019

EXCITING NEWS! Alysa Pires has been commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada to create a new work for the 13th International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize. On March 23rd, Corps de Ballet Members Siphesihle November and Jeannine Haller will dance a classical pas de deux and Pires' world premiere as they compete alongside dancers and choreographers representing American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, and Hamburg Ballet. The jury is made up of the Artistic Directors of each participating company with prizes award to the top dancers (male and female) and the top choreographer. 

Photos by Karolina Kuras

Dance Ontario DanceWeekend 2019

January 01, 2020

Dance Ontario's DanceWeekend is one of Toronto's greatest dance events! This annual festival presents two full days of performances from a diverse collection of Toronto's professional companies and training institutions. We are thrilled to be bringing back "both/and," originally presented as part of APDP's debut performance in 2016. Created in collaboration with performers Sydney McManus and Tori Mehaffey, "both/and" hits the stage at 1:30pm on Sunday January 27th, 2019!  

Photo by Adam Sakiyama

Pires back onstage!

November 02, 2018

After more than 3 years, Alysa Pires is returning to the stage as part of Echo Chamber's "Transfigured Night." Echo Chamber merges the intimate nature of chamber music with contemporary ballet, allowing audiences to experience both forms in a new way. Not only is Pires performing a solo alongside the Rosebud String Quartet, she is also choreographing a pas de deux for National Ballet of Canada soloists Miyoko Koyasu and Félix Paquet. Don't miss this exciting blend of music and dance, December 1st and 2nd at Artscape Sandbox. 

Photo by Adam Sakiyama

MAMBO takes Beijing and Toronto!

October 06, 2018

Ballet Kelowna recently made its International and Ontario debuts with Alysa Pires' "MAMBO!" Audiences greeted the work with thunderous applause and standing ovations at both Beijing's China International Performing Arts Expo and Toronto' Fall for Dance North Festival. After its success nationally and abroad, "MAMBO" returns to BC with performances in Vernon and Kelowna this November alongside the Ballet Kelowna premiere of Pires' "In Between."

Photo by David Cooper

APDP at Union Station

September 26, 2018

We were thrilled to be part of Fall for Dance North's Open Studio at Union Station! Fall for Dance North aims to make dance more accessible, and part of that is bringing dance to the public in new and interesting ways. Open Studio at Union Station gives commuters a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative processes of Toronto and Festival artists. Dana MacDonald, Jake Poloz, and Alysa Pires worked throughout rush hour in Union Station's beautiful West Wing. 

Photo by Zhenya Cerneacov

"In Between" heads to Kelowna

August 10, 2018

"In Between" will make its Western Canada premiere this November as part of Ballet Kelowna's "Autumn!" Following its success with the National Ballet of Canada's "FIVE CREATIONS" and their annual Gala, "In Between" will be performed in both Vernon and Kelowna alongside John Alleyne's "Schubert" and Pires' "MAMBO." Ballet Kelowna brings "Autumn" to Vernon on November 15, and Kelowna on November 16 and 17. 

Photo by David Cooper


June 12, 2018

THE NEWS IS OUT! "MAMBO" is coming to Toronto! Fall for Dance North is a phenomenal festival that presents an exciting and diverse group of artists from around the world. Every single ticket for each FFDN performance is ONLY $15, making it one of the most accessible arts events in Toronto. Ballet Kelowna will perform Alysa's "MAMBO" as part of Program 3, which hits the Ryerson Theatre on October 2&4, 2018. Full lineup and tickets available on the FFDN website. Tickets go fast, so grab yours before it's too late! 

National Ballet of Canada Gala

May 29, 2018

We're thrilled to share that an excerpt from Alysa's piece "In Between" will be performed as part of the National Ballet of Canada's MAD HOT BALLET Gala on June 13th! The repertoire for the evening also includes work by Justin Peck, Josh Beamish, Juliano Nunes, and Luis Martin Oya. While Gala Tables and VIP tickets are sold out, there are still tickets available for the performance and cocktail reception portion of the evening. 

Photo by Karolina Kuras

Okanagan Summer Dance Intensive

May 07, 2018

Alysa will be returning to beautiful Kelowna, BC for three weeks this July to teaching at Ballet Kelowna's Okanagan Summer Intensive. She will be teaching Contemporary Technique class as well as repertoire from her piece for Ballet Kelowna "MAMBO." Alysa will also be creating new material with the Advanced students. Registration deadline is June 24th. 

Photo by Michael Slobodian 

Victoria Academy of Ballet Summer Intensive

April 30, 2018

Alysa will be returning for her third Summer teaching at the Victoria Academy of Ballet Senior Summer Intensive. Along with teaching Contemporary, Alysa will be creating a new work for VAB's Post-Secondary Bridge Program. Her work "Spring" was completed in 2016 and has since been performed by the Bridge Program students across BC. 

Photo by David Cooper

MAMBO is a hit!

February 26, 2018

Alysa's new work for Ballet Kelowna premiered on February 2nd. MAMBO received enthusiastic standing ovations across BC as it closed the "Elles" mixed programme in Kelowna, Oliver, and Prince George and was added to the "Canadiana Suite" program for the company's performance in Prince Rupert. Kelowna Daily Courier writer JP Squire said MAMBO had the audience "laughing uproariously" and on their feet "seconds after the final notes."  

Photo by Michael Slobodian 

Rave review for 'In Between'

January 19, 2018

Alysa's new work for the National Ballet of Canada's Choreographic Workshop premiered as part of FIVE CREATIONS. 'In Between' received an incredible response from audiences as well as Globe and Mail critic Martha Schabas. 

"The real discovery of the evening was Alysa Pires... ['In Between' is] a polished, cohesive and energetic ballet in which relationships and tensions are created by the unfolding action." 

Photo by Alana de Haan

Ballet Kelowna Trailer

January 18, 2018

2018 started off with a fantastic creation period with Ballet Kelowna. Alysa's new work MAMBO will premiere as part of their "Elles" programme, featuring all female choreographers. 

Alongside Pires, the show also features work by Gioconda Barbuto, Heather Myers, and Gabrielle Lamb. "Elles" will premiere in Kelowna, BC on February 2nd followed by performances in Oliver (Feb 6) and Prince George (Feb 23). 

National Ballet of Canada Choreographic Workshop

January 11, 2018

Over the course of the last two seasons, Alysa has been involved in the National Ballet of Canada's Choreographic Workshop. Facilitated by Robert Binet alongside Peggy Baker and Laurence Lemieux, this project culminates in the performance of 'Five Creations' January 18th and 19th at the Betty Oliphant Theatre and includes world premieres by Alysa and Hanna Kiel as well as Company dancers Elena Lobsanova, Brendan Saye, and Robert Stephen. 

Toronto Dance Theatre's Emerging Voices Project

December 20, 2017

For two weeks this December, Alysa was part of Toronto Dance Theatre's Emerging Voices Project. Ten choreographers were invited from across Canada to collaborate with the company in a program run by Artistic Director Christopher House and independent artist Ame Henderson. Over the course of the two weeks, Alysa participated in group sessions and discussions, observed her peers in rehearsal, and developed her own work in collaboration with TDT company members Yuichiro Inoue and Roberto Soria. 

The Return of "Exterminating Angel"

October 30, 2017

We are beyond excited to share that we will be back in the studio in November working on a new version of "Exterminating Angel" which made its acclaimed debut at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival. Look out for a Toronto run of the full-length show in the future!

"Critic's Pick. NNNN" - Now Magazine
"Highlights of Fringe" - The Torontoist 
"A+" - My Entertainment World

This creation period is supported in part by the Toronto Arts Council.

Alysa Pires on Global News Edmonton

October 16, 2017

This morning Alysa was featured on Global News Edmonton, alongside Citie Ballet Executive Director Sheri Somerville, talking about her new piece for the company. "If You Knew" premieres as part of "Illuminate" running October 27-29 at the Timms Centre for the Arts. 

Citie Ballet Commission

September 08, 2017

Alysa Pires heads back to Edmonton for her third work with Citie Ballet. Following the success of "All of Me" in 2014 and "Herd" in 2016, Pires returns with a premiere featuring the music of Nina Simone. Don't miss the performances, which includes a new work by Artistic Director Jorden Morris, October 27-29 at the Timms Centre for the Arts. 

New Commission for Ballet Kelowna

August 18, 2017

We are thrilled to announce that Alysa Pires will be making a new work for Ballet Kelowna as part of their "Elles" program, highlighting the work of female choreographers in contemporary ballet. Alongside renowned Canadian choreographers Gioconda Barbuto and Heather Myers as well as Gabrielle Lamb, Pires' new work will premiere on February 2nd in Kelowna, BC. 

New Work for Conteur Academy

June 14, 2017

Last weekend was the premiere of "Just About", Alysa's new work for the 2nd year students of Conteur Academy. Under the direction of Eryn Waltman, Conteur is a two year post-secondary training program in Toronto. This talented group of dancers has worked with Alysa a lot over the past two years in both technique classes and creative process. Congratulations to the 2017 graduating class of Conteur Academy!

Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition

May 05, 2017

We are thrilled to share that Alysa Pires is one of the winners of Northwest Dance Project's 2017 Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition! Each year NWDP receives applications from all over the world and selects two winners. This year they have selected Alysa alongside Hubbard Street's Alice Klock to create new works during the company's Launch Summer Intensive. This six-day residency at their studios in Portland will take place in July. 

Guest Artist at St Elizabeth High School

April 17, 2017

For two weeks in April, Alysa was the guest artist for the dance program at St Elizabeth High School in Vaughn. Alysa remounted four works for the Grade 9-12 students including excerpts from "Her."

You can catch these talented students in performance June 7th and 8th at the YCDSB Center for the Performing Arts. 

EnChoreo at Ryerson School of Performance

April 02, 2017

Alysa and fellow Ryerson alumni Tori Mehaffey were the first ever guest artists making new works for the 2nd year dance students as part of "EnChoreo." The show also featured student choreography and was the first performance held in Ryerson's brand new studio theatre at the Student Learning Centre. 

Alysa's work "Othering" explored the 'us versus them' mentality that has become so pervasive in our current social and political climates. 

New Work for Dancestreams

January 01, 2017

2016 was a busy year for APDP and it finished off with a new commission for Dancestreams Youth Dance Company. This is Alysa's second commission for Dancestreams after training with the company for four years as a teen. 

Set to the music of Bruno Calais, "Ensemble" examines unity, togetherness, and how when we can achieve more together than apart.

Emerging Artist Winter Intensive

December 20, 2016

Alysa's 2010 work "Valkyria" was presented alongside an excerpt from David Earle's masterwork "Sacra Conversazione" as part of the 2016 Emerging Artist Winter Intensive. Over six days, 22 young artists worked tirelessly to remount these works for a studio showing. The Emerging Artist Intensives are run bi-annually by the incredible Kenny Pearl. 

Kenny has written two phenomenal books. The most recent, "The Dance Gods, a New York Memoir", is a must-read! 

"Opus 58" Returns

September 03, 2016

"Opus 58" returned to the stage as part of Dedra McDermott's "To Be Announced." Performed by Caryn Chappell and Tyler Gledhill to the music of Chopin, "Opus 58" premiered in late 2015. "To Be Announced" also featured works by Jasmyn Fyffe, Kelly Shaw, and Dedra McDermott. 

"Exterminating Angel" is a Toronto Fringe Hit!

July 09, 2016

APDP's first full-length work "Exterminating Angel" premiered as part of Toronto Fringe 2016. Inspired by Luis Buñuel's surrealist film of the same name, the piece follows a group of dinner guests who find themselves psychologically trapped and see the pomp and formality of their event give way to hostility and hysteria. 

"Exterminating Angel" played at the Al Green Theatre and received rave reviews from NOW Magazine, My Entertainment World, and audiences alike. 

"Exterminating Angel" was named as one of NOW Magazine's "Best Ensembles" and was listed on the Torontoist's "Highlights of Fringe."

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© 2020 by Alysa Pires 

All photos by Adam Sakiyama unless otherwise noted.