Ballet BC

Program 3

Dates and Venue May 12 - 14, 2016, 8pm | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

The Wow Factor was on display last night at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with the last program for Ballet BC’s 30th season entitled Program 3. Three pieces were on offer, each one radiating a different energy and all three challenging the dancers to pull everything they have from their bank of experience.

Ballet BC may feel proud to call Vancouver ‘home’, as Emily Molnar told the audience in her opening remarks for the evening’s performance but rest assured, Vancouverites are very appreciative of Ballet B.C. The audience literally danced out of the QE last night, so energized was it by the experience of Program 3.

Program 3 showcases three pieces. Each piece offers a different mood brought about by the music, lighting, costumes and choreography. Each piece showcases the discipline and drive, the technique and command of movement that has become synonymous with Ballet BC.

I and I am You , choreography by Jorma Elo, music by J.S. Bach, lighting by Jordan Tuinman, costume design by Kate Burrows and danced by Brandon Alley, Andree Bartee, Emily Chessa, Alexis Fletcher, Scott Fowler, Racheal Prince, Gilbert Small, Peter Smida, Christoph von Riedemann and Tara Williamson. This is a very sculptural piece, its beauty evoking a time long past that Bach’s music brings to the foreground. Orbs of yellow light, divides of silence that break the piece into three separate entities frame the movement of the dancers. The lighting plays with the dancers, glistens off their bodies, works in tandem with them as they seem to sculpt movement with their arms and legs.

16+ a room is the second piece on the program. Choreography by Emily Molnar, music arranged and composed by Dirk P. Haubrich, lighting design by Jordan Tuinman, lighting direction by James Proudfoot, costume design by Kate Burrows and danced by Brandon Alley, Andree Bartee, Emily Chessa, Livona Ellis, Alexis Fletcher, Scott Fowler, Albert Galindo, Rachel Meyer, Brett Perry, Racheal Prince, Gilbert Small, Peter Smida, Christoph von Riedemann, Nicole Ward, Kirsten Wicklund and Tara Willianson. 16+ a room pulses with an industrial vibe. The dancers work within circles of white light as they execute movement and communicate with the audience with very structured arm movement. Images of jack hammers, helicopter vanes and waves of water are evoked by the sound track. There is contrast built into this piece as the circles of white light change to a black floor, a softer lighting and a sense of liquidity emanates from the stage. It is hypnotic watching the the dancers move through the choreography. One does not want the beauty of the moment to end.

The evening concludes with the Canadian Premiere of Bill. Choreography by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, music by Ori Lichtik, lighting design by Omar Sheizaf, costume design by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar and staged by Osnat Kelner. Bill brings a sense of humour to the program with the pantomime influenced robotic movements of the dancers. Clothed in skin tight body suits, the dancers act out the vicissitudes of life either singly or in groups. It is an innovative piece with a signature style that is also hypnotic to watch.

Ballet BC’s Program 3 is a triumph.

© 2016 Nancie Ottem