I’ve learned over time to recognize key moments when special things are happening. I’ve been fortunate to arrive at situations where I’m swimming large and I’m intersecting spatial timelines with other people who’re immensely blessed with talent, who’ve trained long and hard, and who’ve shone brilliantly under the spotlight. Within that convergence, I see what it’s like, that shimmer of a blinding spark, a clear glimpse into a universe of creative expression. The rigours and precision of classic ballet are combined with the hypnotic rhythms of contemporary dance: something new is created, boundaries are pushed, and people’s eyes are opened to a brand new world under a different light.
As part of their 30th anniversary, Ballet BC‘s third and final “Program 3” was on stage for three evenings, 12-14 May inclusive, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in downtown Vancouver. Thanks to the organization, the staff at the theatre, and to Instameet Vancouver, a group of about two dozen joined several hundred people to witness a full dress rehearsal before opening night. Like previews for the other two programs, I was immediately moved by what I saw: the individually unique graceful movements, and the beautiful collective choreography in the “open sea”.
I’ve long feared people in the city look outwards at the expense of what lies within the city (what I’d call: “Draussen statt Drinnen”), which explains an easy and stereotypical superficiality and preternatural attention to body appearance by many to match either “mountains and sea” or an unspoken yet hopeless competition with Los Angeles. But these people here, their creative talents and vision, and the organizations and companies gathered to try, engage, and accomplish – they give me hope. My feelings are echoed by the signs from Emily Molnar’s “16+ a room”: This is a beginning. This is not the end.
“I and I am You”, choreography by Jorma Elo
In a contemplative piece about people, relationships, and the space people give to themselves and each other, the piece by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo clings to both classical and contemporary, and the dancers in soft blues have serious ballet skills.
“16+ a room”, choreography by Emily Molnar
Ballet BC’s Artistic Director Emily Molnar collaborated directly with the group’s artists on choreography production. From start to finish, Haubrich’s music winds itself ever tighter, until the tension inevitably uncoils …
“Bill”, choreography by Sharon Eyal and Gal Behar
Ghostly moving apparitions, dressed in tight white translucent near-nude bodysuits and slathered in white paint. Piercing white contact lenses to complete an otherworldly appearance. The occasional shouts and shrieks. A thumping beat-driving soundtrack. Altogether, the piece by Israelis Eyal and Behar gives “Bill” as a primal sensual performance.
• “Ballet BC marks 30 years by dancing into bold new terrain” – Georgia Straight, 11 May 2016.
• “Ballet BC’s Program 3 pushes the form with polish” – review on Georgia Straight, 13 May 2016.
• Fotoeins Friday: Ballet BC Program 3 (two photos), 13 May 2016.
• Fotoeins Friday: Ballet BC Program 2 (two photos), 17 Mar 2016.