Ever since I picked up the phone to Emily Molnar, artistic director of Ballet BC, I felt invested in the company as she articulated her passion and ideas so eloquently with real insight into the company’s vision. The Canadian contemporary ballet company are acclaimed for their collaborative and creation based work and are touring the UK for the first time.
After seeing the company perform at the International Dance Festival Birmingham in 2016, I was intrigued by their bold and innovative style, and returning with the same triple bill they felt even stronger. The company present a diverse repertoire of work by a variety of international choreographers. The company are made up of remarkable dancers that take on three pieces choreographed by three female incredibly talented women in this triple bill.
All the dancers are trained in ballet and this is elevated in the company’s exploration of contemporary dance, blending the two styles to create elegant, powerful and daring dance.
Opening with Emily Molnar’s own piece, 16 + a room, the piece consists of 13 dancers that explore their movement with one another through striking and slick movement. Catching and weaving through one another, the movement is sharp. Accompanied by heavy, electronic music it is an electric performance that displays the fire and strength inside the dancers. Dancers carry placards saying “This is a beginning” and “This is not the end” as the intensity of the piece enhances. Molnar’s creative choreography is inspired by Virginia Woolf, “we [are] all being shot backwards and forwards on this plain foundation to make some pattern.” It’s an abstract piece that moves magnetically to form a piece of dance entirely gripping to watch.
Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo is a contrast to Molnar’s as it feels delicate, moving and fluid. With a backdrop of falling snow, the juxtaposition between the pieces is evident as the punchy electronic music is replaced with the soothing sounds of strings. Inspired by Mark Strand’s poem, Lines for Winter, which stresses the importance of moving forward no matter what you’re faced with. Seven dancers encapsulate strands gorgeous language through their exquisite movement. The intimacy of the piece is captivating and Pite’s choreography and use of patterns and rhythms are highly inventive.
Ending with Sharon Eyal’s Bill, it is a dynamic finale that is made in collaboration with Gai Behar. The dancers wear a skin-tight nude coloured unitard, with their hair slicked back and coloured to blend with their skin. The movement reflects the beats of the techno music, with a mixture of tight solos and vibrant group movement. It’s mesmerising to watch the dancers contort their body and move with pace ending in an entrancing final movement that leaves you wanting more.
Ballet BC deliver a breathtaking triple bill that captures the innovative contemporary ballet company through exceptionally diverse choreography that showcases the dancers’ outstanding energy.
On at The Lowry in Salford from the 20th to the 21st of March, tickets and information can be found online here.