by Paula Citron
Under Gradimir Pankov, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens has become a relentlessly contemporary company, and the program called Visions du monde is a case in point. The featured choreographers are au current darlings Christopher Wheeldon and Shen Wei, with a nod back to one of the great fathers of contemporary ballet, Jiri Kylian.
The big deal is Shen Wei’s originally commissioned, Re-,11, inspired by his trip to the Cambodian temples of Ankgor Wat. Shen also did the costumes, set, and authentic sound recordings. The piece is living sculpture, nothing radically new, but masterfully crafted and gorgeous to watch in its unfolding.
The company was born to dance Kylian and 1981’s Forgotten Land is properly emotional and dramatic by turns.
The problem is Wheeldon’s 2001 on point, neo-classical, son of Balanchine’s Polyphonia. The dancing is uneven and the ensemble not sharp or crisp enough.
The company does look good, however, in what it does best.
Les Grands Ballets continues until Mar. 24.
From Montreal’s Place des Arts, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.