Ballet British Columbia

Artistic Director: John Alleyne


at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

November 4-6th.

by Ross Pink

Alleyne is noted for his unique and unusual interpretations to dance works that leave audiences with new angles from which to view dance. One never leaves a BALLET BC performance having seen a predictable and structured ballet. Part of Alleyne's artistic consistency and perhaps mirth can be found in challenging audiences to what dance is and can be.

The Vile Parody of Address is a reflective and sombre piece that was choreographed by William Forsythe. The music of Bach provides resonance to the piece which features interaction between piano, dancer and narrator. The commentary of the narrator runs through the entire length of the piece. The tone of the work is slow and methodical, yet the simplicity and freedom of dance shines through. This work will be performed in Toronto, November 20-27th, at the Hummingbird Centre.

The second work, 15 Heterosexual Duets, was choreographed by James Kudelka. This work is a vivid portrayal and presentation of partnering. One has the opportunity to watch five different couples, each with their own style, express the beauty and physicality of dance. The stage is stark, the lighting minimal; thus, one has the close connection to the dancers necessary to observe and appreciate the art form. In this case, minimalist staging brings the audience close to the dancer, creating an intimate bond without distractions. Kudelka is the artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada and widely known for inventive and expressive works.

This dance work has been described as an exploration of movement and dynamics and the interaction of male and female dancer is well presented. Accompanying the dancers is a violin and piano duet which lends a certain quality of intimacy to the performance by each couple.

The last piece, Chiaroscuro, was the most innovative work of the evening. Choreographer Lynne Taylor Corbett has a reputation for producing fine works in both classical and modern circles. In film, she has contributed to the films Footloose and My Blue Heaven, directed by Herbert Ross.

This piece was created in 1994 and premiered at the New York City Ballet Diamond Project. The ballet name itself refers to the interplay between light and shadow and the piece does, with its mixture of fast and slow dance, evoke the same fast interchange of light and shadow. The baroque music of Francesco Geminiani adds beautiful accompaniment to the dancing.

The dancing of Terry Gardiner, a newcomer to Ballet BC, is worthy of note for his strong and graceful motion, and Isabelle Itri brings clasical beauty to her dancing.

It was a full house at the QET for another evening of inventive and original Ballet BC dance.