Grands Ballet Canadiens
Queen of Spades
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
3 - 5 April 2003
The famed and eclectic
ballet troupe Les Grands Ballet Canadiens
graced the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver April 3, 4, 5th 2003 with
performances of QUEEN OF SPADES:FROM FANTASY TO
REALITY, that broke new creative boundaries.
GBC was formed in
Montreal in 1957 by Ludmilla Chiriaeff. Though early works were focussed
on classical dance, such as Coppelia, Giselle and Swan
Lake, the company has broadened its horizons in the past twenty years.
Recent works have included an emphasis upon Balanchine, Nijinsky, Fokine,
Limom and Joos.
The company has also
worked with noted choreographer James Kudelka. Since 2000, the artistic
director has been Gradmir Pankov who hails from Macedonia. Pankov has
a rich ballet pedigree. Originally a dancer, he emigrated to the choreography
world and has distinguished himself with many companies including the
Netherlands Dance Theatre, Grand Theatre in Geneva, Ballet of Finland,
and Swedish Cullberg Ballet.
of SPADES' is
based on a short story written 150 years ago by the famed writer Alexander
Pushkin. The story explores with powerful imagery the eternal themes of
human will and human fate. In some respects, it is a dance version of
Andre Malraux's famous book, Man's Fate. The company dancers are pristine
and technically faultless.
The dim lighting in
many sequences provided the appropriate mood for the theme. A brilliant
piece of creative lighting included giant dancers of light beamed onto
the stage in three dimensional form. In one scene, a lonely human dancer
sat on a chair while three huge halographic dancers, at least 30 feet
in height, wearing ephemeral white gowns, swirled about her. It was truly
imaginative dance. Future visits will surely be well attended based on
the warm applause GBC received in Vancouver.
© 2003, Ross