Reviewed by Paula Citron
Ballet BC 25th Anniversary Celebration
Choreography by Wen Wei Wang, Serge Bennathan, Donald Sales and Gioconda Barbuto
Music by Owen Underhill, Michael Oesterle, David Lang, and Anthony Genge
Turning Point Ensemble conducted by Owen Underhill
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver
Apr. 14 to 16, 2011
That Ballet BC is celebrating its 25th anniversary is a miracle, given that the company declared bankruptcy in 2008.
Clearly, Vancouver dance fans are responding to the strong vision of artistic director Emily Molnar, a former soloist with the National Ballet of Canada. She has fashioned Ballet BC into a 15-member, lean, mean, contemporary ballet repertory company specializing in Eurocentric and Canadian choreography.
The very ambitious 25th anniversary concert features new works by four Canadian choreographers – Wen Wei Wang, Donald Sales, Gioconda Barbuto, and ex-Torontonian Serge Bennathan – and all performed to scores by Canadian composers.
For the sake of economy, Ballet BC usually performs to tape, but this concert even had a live orchestra, namely Vancouver’s excellent new music group, the Turning Point Ensemble under conductor Owen Underhill.
The dancers look well schooled and seem to enjoy performing dance on the edge. That being said, four productions of abstract work to new music can develop the hint of sameness over time.