Ballet BC


Dates and Venue 22, 23 & 24 November 2012, 8pm | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Performers Livona Ellis, Maggie Forgeron, Connor Gnam and Rachel Meyer

Reviewer Michael Pink

The program for the launch of the 2012-13 season featured A.U.R.A. ( Anarchist Unit Related to Art) choreographed by Jacopo Godani , Muse by choreographer Nicolo Fonte and Aniel by Ballet BC Artistic director Emily Molnar.

The work by Godani, as the name suggests, was a treat for those who like unconventional and unscripted dance. There was a sense of the untamed and uncontrolled about the piece. The music, with an industrial style, seemed to follow few rules, as anarchy implies. The music was at times too loud which unfortunately overshadowed the dedicated work of the dancers.

The second piece of the evening was energetic and rhythmic. Although the staging was stark, Fonte has his dancers move with abundant energy and exuberance. It is a challenge to dance without elaborate sets and costumes. In a sense, this style of dance places more demands on the dancer because the audience is not diverted by other visual stimulus. There was a technical exactness to the dancing and riveting movement.

The third piece of the evening featured a work by Molnar who wears two hats, artistic director and choreographer.
The dancers displayed fine form and an abundance of energy in presenting this stylistic and at times challenging piece. The music by John Zorn clearly complemented the work.

The Ballet BC dancers deserve praise for working through a varied program of choreography with technical precision. The company seems more disciplined and technical than in previous seasons and is to be credited for showcasing many local dancers. Particular standouts included Livona Ellis, Maggie Forgeron, Connor Gnam and Rachel Meyer.

Ballet BC should also be applauded for emerging quite well from recent challenges that saw its attendance fall and creative inventiveness questioned. The full house at opening night of the opening season is a clear signal that Vancouver dance stalwarts approve of the direction that Molnar and the company are taking.

© 2012 Michael Pink