Coastal City Ballet
Inspired by the knowledge that humanity connects us all, “Whispers of the Soul” is a story about a young girl who goes on a magical adventure, learning both the importance of respecting values and honoring all communities.
~ At the annual village celebration, the young girl falls asleep, disinterested and ungrateful, as she longs for a different life than the one, she currently lives. Dreaming into the night, the girl is visited by three colorful butterflies. These butterflies intuitively whisper to her soul, presenting her with the opportunity to step through a magical portal, into the unknown.
Driven by her curiosity, the young girl follows the “whispers” through the portal, leaping into the darkness. Here, the audience is taken on both an exciting and magical adventure through three different lands. Throughout this journey, we are reminded that family can be found in many different places, and that the greatest adventure of all, is learning how to truly love one another. ~
Justine Fraser is a professional performer, choreographer, and dance educator. Originally from Vancouver BC, she began her professional training at Pacific Dance Arts, under the direction of Li Yaming. In 2009, she represented Canada as a finalist dancer in both the Youth America Grand Prix (NYC), and as a semi-finalist soloist in the 2008 2nd Beijing Invitational Ballet Competition.
Since completing her studies, Justine has gone on to perform with multiple contemporary and classical ballet companies, throughout North America. Currently, she has found a passion for both choreography and dance education. As a commissioned choreographer, she has had her work performed on professional stages, internationally. Most recently, she has had the immense pleasure of creating new works,on the dancers of both Coastal City Ballet (BC) and Ballet Concierto Cancún (Mexico), to name a few.
Justine is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Mr. Charlie Wu and the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association, for this year’s LunarFest. She would like to express gratitude towards Coastal City Ballet’s Artistic Director: Katrina Bois, as well as all of the staff at Coastal City Ballet and Pacific Dance Arts, for their trust and unwavering faith in both herself and this project. Lastly, Justine would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the incredible dancers, at Coastal City Ballet. Thank you for all of your hard work, patience, generosity, and collaboration. It has been an absolute pleasure to have had the opportunity to contribute to this year’s LunarFest.
Coastal City Ballet is a repertory ballet company, based in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC Canada, that provides performance opportunities for emerging dancers, both Canadian and international. The repertoire of Coastal City Ballet ranges from commissioned works in contemporary and classical ballet, to the development of story ballets. Company members maintain a daily schedule similar to that of a professional ballet company with daily class, rehearsals and scheduled performances. Coastal City Ballet is dedicated to providing dance to the Greater Vancouver area and throughout British Columbia, as well as the possibility of both Canadian and international tours.
Producer: Li Yaming
Artistic Director: Katrina Bois
Company Director: Ana Paula Oioli
Rehearsal Director: Thys Armstrong
Principal Dancer (Young Girl)
Anna Beatriz de Ferreira, Barbara Guerreiro, Felicia Wu
Angela Lorenz, Anna Robinson, Brenda Goncalves, Carissa Logan, Erick Aguirre, Giovanni Rizzo, Igor Gomes, Jordan Cooper, Lilah Fitzgerald, Marco Esccer, Olivia Patiakas, Samuel Ramos, Shiho Okada, Thys Armstrong, Ysadora Dias
Whispers of The Soul begins in the local village square. It is a joyous occasion, where members of all ages join together to partake in the annual community celebration. The opening scene is budding with both excitement and anticipation, as news reaches the village people that the royal family will be attending this year’s celebration.
As we observe the community’s festivities, we are introduced to Gabriela: the daughter of the royal family. Gabriela is vivacious and full of energy; however, it is in this scene we begin to see her discontent in participating in any of the festivities. She feels frustrated and ungrateful, as she longs for a different life.
As the first scene continues, Gabi finds a mysterious book. Against her mother’s wishes, Gabriela’s curiosity pulls her away from the party. She sneaks away to read her book. As she continues to delve further into the pages of her story, the young girl begins to fall tired and lays her head down to rest.
As the young girl falls asleep, she is awoken by the sound of mysterious whispers. Unsure if she is still dreaming, Gabriela is startled. In the dead of the night, she finds herself surrounded by three bright butterflies.
Curious and frightened, Gabriela watches them from a distance. As they dance, the butterflies invite her to join them. They whisper to her, that if she is to grow as an individual, she must follow them into the unknown. The butterflies advise her that in doing so, Gabriela will be placed on a path that is only for her. They provide her with a basket and explain that in order for her to safely return home, the girl must learn and receive, three valuable lessons.
As the butterflies dance through a mysterious portal, Gabriela reluctantly follows. With her basket in hand, the young girl leaps into the unknown. Here, her journey has begun.
The young girl follows the butterflies through a magical portal. Here, she finds herself in a beautiful garden. As the flowers come to life, Gabriela is left in a state of wonder. She delightfully watches the flowers dance, as they tend to the garden of hope. Soon, she is greeted again by the three butterflies, who introduce her to the rose maidens.
The maidens welcome her and teach her their first lesson: “A beautiful garden can bloom only when we all truly accept one another and treat each other with kindness.” The maidens gift the girl with a flower, as a symbol of their time together. She is then guided to the edge of the pathway, where she again follows the butterflies into the unknown.
Unable to see the butterflies, the girl continues down the path alone and frightened, by the sudden darkness. As she grows tired, Gabriela finds a tall tree to rest under. Suddenly, the trees appear to come to life, and the girl is frightened by the sudden appearance of dark shadows.
As they dance around her, the girl cowers in fear. Wondering where the butterflies have gone, she hides and watches the shadows dance.
Suddenly, the three butterflies arise from the shadows. They show Gabriela that she has nothing to fear. Although she has never met shadows before, they mean no harm. Encouraged by the butterflies, the young girl dances with the shadows and they lead her to the edge of the path, where she can find the way home. As the shadows disappear into the trees, the girl reluctantly follows their directions, and continues on her journey.
The girl continues down the path, searching for the beautiful butterflies. She suddenly comes to the edge of what appears to be a beautiful tree. Amazed by its lush leaves, the girl walks closer.
Suddenly the branches of the trees come to life. She realizes that this magnificent tree is made up of many individual branches. Gabriela watches in both amazement and delight as the branches move in synchronicity. Just as the girl begins to climb the tree, the three butterflies reappear. They introduce Gabriela to the tree of wisdom, where she will learn her second value: “The importance of embracing individuality and listening to one’s true self”. The tree of wisdom provides the young girl with a gift, and motions to the direction the girl must continue on. Delighted to learn her second lesson, the young girl hurries down the path. The butterflies follow her, shortly after.
Excited to be almost home, Gabriela runs down the path until she reaches the edge of what appears to be a cliff. She is unsure of what to do. As she follows the butterflies, she learns that it is sometimes safe to step off the known pathway. She delicately tip toes through the clouds, as the beautiful butterflies encourage her to follow them.
The girl continues to climb higher into the clouds, until she finds a spot, where she is able to find a better view of the sky. Suddenly, the clouds begin to move. The girl now finds herself surrounded by what appears to be brilliantly, coloured birds. As she watches them fly through the sky, she is amazed at the beautiful colour schemes the birds create. Brilliant blues, oranges, and reds, fill the sky.
After watching the sunset, Gabriela approaches the birds to introduce herself. She is once again greeted by the beautiful butterflies, who bring her closer to the flock. As she bows to the Land of Living Skies, she receives her third lesson: “We are stronger, resilient, and more beautiful, when we can work together and celebrate one another’s differences”. The birds then gift her with a feather, of which she humbly accepts and places into her basket.
Suddenly, with all three gifts placed in her basket, the magical world begins to spin. The girl is dizzily surrounded by all of the lands and characters she has met throughout her adventure. As the spinning slows, the three butterflies present her, once again, with the magical portal. They rejoice in the knowledge that the girl’s journey has come to an end, and that it is now time for her to return home, back to her community. As the girl walks towards the familiar doorway, her heart is filled with love, gratitude, and a greater sense of connectedness. She cannot wait to share everything that she has learned with her loved ones.
As she approaches the portal, she looks over her shoulder to say goodbye. She steps through the door, finally heading towards something familiar.
The girl slowly awakens from what appears to have been a dream. She finds herself, back in her village square, where the annual celebration is taking place. As she takes in her surroundings, Gabriela recognizes the basket from her dream. She curiously walks over to it, and finds the gifts she was given on her adventure. “Was it all a dream?”, she wonders.
As she walks back to join the festivities, she is excited to share her gifts and lessons learned with everyone in attendance. With a new found sense of purpose and belonging, Gabriela happily takes part in the festivities, as they all rejoice in the notion that “Family is Everything.”