Highlights from our conversation with choreographer and performer Syreeta Hector as she prepares for the livestream of her solo, “Black Ballerina”. Read on for insight into her creative process.

Put it in your calendars: Black Ballerina Livestream: November 27 @ 7pm at citadelcie.com

Q: Why did you want to return to this work and make it into a full-length solo?

A: Following the SummerWorks Festival and Citadel Dance Mix performances in 2019, I knew that there was more that needed to be explored in Black Ballerinaland. At that time, I still had seeds for ideas that were just beginning to be developed and danced. Now, this piece and the movement within the work is even more relevant. People are starting to listen.

Q: Have there been any highlights from the creative process?

A: Working with Seika Boye as a movement dramaturg has been critical for the development of this piece. I heard someone recently say that movement dramaturgs are choreographic doulas. I couldn’t agree more with this comment. Seika has been with me since the beginning of creation in 2018 and is still here in the final stage of creation in 2020. She is able to remind me of how it all started and why it began.

Q: What is most exciting about creating a livestream?

A: I feel so fortunate to be able to continue working at this time and especially with such a great team of people. The most exciting thing is having the opportunity to share the work with so many people in so many places. Also, my family is in North Carolina, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They often don’t get to see me perform as much as they would like to. This is a great opportunity to share the work on a national level. 

Q: Have the themes in the work shifted at all in this last stage of creation?

A: The themes in the work have stayed the same. All movement for the piece was created before the pandemic. This last session of creation was figuring out what to edit and how to refine things with lights and sound.

Q: What is the most important thing you want people to know about this work?

A: I have hope.

Have your own questions for Syreeta? Stay tuned following the livestream performance of Black Ballerina for a post-show discussion hosted by Citadel + Compagnie’s Artistic Director, Laurence Lemieux, and submit your questions via the live chat box that will be enabled below the video feed!

Black Ballerina
Friday, November 27 @7pm at citadelcie.com
Choreographed and performed by Syreeta Hector
Livestream directed by Barbara Willis Sweete

Based on Syreeta Hector’s relationship to race, and her experiences in classical ballet, Black Ballerina is a powerful exploration of the nuances within one’s identity, and the unconscious ways that we all try to fit in. Performed by Hector, Black Ballerina brings an unbridled energy to the inaugural show of Citadel LIVE.

The 2019 performance of an earlier version of Black Ballerina was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award.

Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh