University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Ballet British Columbia review

Fatima Hasan

ByFatima Hasan

Mar 18, 2018

Ballet British Columbia is Canada’s leading contemporary dance company. They are renowned for their edgy performances, and sharp choreography. No doubt the choreographers had put a lot of effort, thought and energy into the performances. Each step was perfected and it seemed as if the dancers and the choreographers had a great time putting it all together. Their show on Friday showed beautiful timing, perfected steps, and brilliant group chemistry.

There were three performances that the British BC performed for us. . The first ballet performance was ‘16 + A Room’ which seemed to represent a dystopic setting with bullets shooting. The choreographers had perfect timing, and their bodies and the music resonated with one another. They drew patterns on the stage with their bodies which seemed so natural. The dancers created an atmosphere that engulfed the audience. There was a sense of mystery in the performance as the dancers dashed forth like magnets and showed complete control over their bodies. It was elegant, strong and sharp. Emily Molnar choreographed this performance alongside the dancers, because she does not follow traditional hierarchical structures in the industry. She believes in the individual and creative output of her dancers, which is brilliant because the dancers feel more valued.

The second performance, ‘Solo Echo’ was a romantic performance, with snowfall and softer moves. The dancers worked together to bring the story to the light – a story about finding self-acceptance in a winter wonderland. Crystal Pite had selected soft music for this piece, which was a complete contrast from the beat drops and sudden stillness that we had witnessed in the first performance. The dancers had to prove that they were indeed a ‘solo echo’, and that involved timing oneself in relation to the other dancers. The group did not disappoint. They joined their energies together to bring the performance to life, and joined their bodies in unison. Rehearsing and learning the steps is only part of this performance. The other half is working together and knowing the timing of all the members. The group executed this piece very confidently.

The third performance, ‘Bill’ collaboratively choreographed by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, explored themes of rawness, rebellion and abandonment. We witnessed a lashing out of a few dancers. The music was upbeat and the performance seemed like a journey of becoming and achieving self-actualization. This performance was more lively than the others, and there was something almost revolutionary about it. One would not expect such a piece after two comparatively somber performances. It was a twist for the audience, and everyone enjoyed it immensely. Despite the raw steps, there was grace in the execution.

All in all, the performances were beautiful, and gave the audience a lot to look forward to from the Ballet British Columbia in the future. Their confidence and valour showed in the performances, and they gave us a night to remember.

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