Dates 15 - 17 February 2007, 8pm Venue Queen Elizabeth Theatre Reviewer Ross Michael Pink

The opening performance, Scheherazade, choreographed by Ballet BC artistic director, John Alleyne, is a reflective, disciplined work that amplifies the motion and beauty of a more physical style of ballet.

The composer was Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the set and costume design was completed beautifully by Kim Nielson.

Scheherazade is a piece that is set to the inspirational tales of the classic, 1001 Arabian Nights. These stories, first written in the 13th century, focus on love, lust, life and passion. They are stories of timeless truth, relevant today as they were many centuries ago.

Ballet BC dancers Edmond Kilpatrick as the Genie, Donald Sales as the Prince and Fei Guo, Simone Orlando, Shannon Smith, Liam Caines, as the Oceanids, were excellent and emotional in portraying these complex characters.

The only criticism of the work is the length which seems to linger beyond the point of need. A shorter version would accomplish the creative and storytelling aims of the story and perhaps keep the audience more engaged.

The second work of the evening was the much hailed work, Carmen, choreographed by Jean Grand-Maitre. The music was composed by Rodion Shchedrin and the beautiful costume design was created by Martine Bertrand.

Grand-Maitre is the artistic director of Alberta Ballet and has worked with leading ballet companies around the world including Stuttgart Ballet, The National Norwegian Ballet, The National Ballet of Cuba and the National Ballet of Canada.

Carmen evokes all the drama, pathos, love and emotion that has long been associated with fiery Spanish romantic stories.

Ballet BC dancers Fei Guo, Tara Lee, who are particularly emotive and elegant to watch, Jones Henry, and Shannon Smith were impressive though the entire company danced with discipline and superb talent.

Once again, Ballet BC has impressed audiences with a wide range of talent and performing agility that continues to stand this company in good stead with the Canadian and international dance world.

© 2007 Ross Michael Pink