by Ross Michael Pink
Ballet British Columbia
Love, Loss and Enlightenment
Artistic Director: John Alleyne
November 6, 7 and 8
With a near sellout crowd and great anticipation Ballet BC did not disappoint in presenting Love , Loss & Enlightenment, a mixed program of three distinct works.
The first set, entitled , "Sex is My Religion", based on the play by Colin Thomas and choreographed by the always inventive John Alleyne, Ballet BC artistic director, opened with sharp, almost militaristic music with the dancers moving in rhythm reminiscent of marionette dolls. The next piece, with a unique set design including diffused green light cast on the stage floor, resembling shards of cut glass, was ethereal. The dancing was energetic and highly emotive. At various points the dancers, after entertaining the audience from centre stage, would retreat to the shadows, evoking imagery from the Shakespeare line , "All the world's a stage...".
The next work highlighted two male dancers in a creative duet. There was a softness and elegance to the dancing the purpose of which seemed to be to break the conventional stereotype of the male -female dance duet.
The second set, entitled "15 Heterosexual Duets", choreographed by James Kudelka, featured 8 dance couples each presenting brief duets that explored varied themes from sexuality to aggression. The violin and piano accompaniment added a unique edge to the dancing. Standouts in this set included Malcolm Low and Andrea Hodge who project a dynamic chemistry and beautiful synchonization of their dancing.
The last set, choreographed by William Soleau, presented 12 dancers in a romantic and energetic sweep of movement. This piece, which premiered in 1990, has been called a poetry of dance and this certainly rings true as the rich mixture of dance, music and bodies delighted the audience.