Dancer Christianne Ullmark’s latest project is unlike anything she has ever taken on before.
The Edmonton native, who moved to Toronto to pursue dance at Ryerson University, is performing in Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie’s remount of its acclaimed ‘From the House of Mirth’ that starts on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 and continues until Feb. 24 at The Citadel.
The music-dance-theatre collaboration is inspired by American author Edith Wharton’s 1905 novel, The House of Mirth, which takes place during the United States’ Gilded Age. It’s the story of Lily Bart’s descent from the glittering social circle of 1890s New York to poverty and a solitary death – her dreams of marriage dashed by convention and her own conflicted desires. To familiarize herself with the story, Ullmark read Wharton’s novel.
As for the dancing, “It’s less technical; more physical in the upper body,” Ullmark said. “We’re wearing heels so that’s the challenge – as well as long skirts. You have to look really refined and make it look easy.”
Ullmark first joined Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie in 2007 while still a student. In her third year at Ryerson, she joined Coleman Lemieux on a tour to Beijing and Mongolia as an apprentice and has been working with the company ever since.
Ullmark first took up dancing at the age of five.
“I was always dancing around the house. I don’t remember a time not wanting to dance,” she said.
Both Ullmark’s parents are figure skating coaches and very artistic. In addition to dancing, Ullmark teaches figure skating in Burlington. She graduated high school from the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts in Edmonton. Until just recently, Ullmark called the Bloor Street West and Lansdowne Avenue-area home.
Performances take place Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. with additional shows on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m.
Call the box office at 416-364-8011 or visit colemanlemieux.com for tickets and for more information.