Magazine article Pointe

Neo-Classical Stretch

Magazine article Pointe

Neo-Classical Stretch

Article excerpt

Dancers Working

Ballet British Columbia thrives by pushing creative boundaries.

Vancouver-- based Ballet British Columbia offers its 16 dancers a rare thing in the world of professional dance: plenty of stage time matched with a varied and eclectic repertory. Dancing at Ballet BC means mastering speed, becoming adept with classical and modern technique and aquiring a measure of maturity that allows the collective to shine as brightly as the soloists. "The dancers have a strong sense of self that allows them to trust totally in and completely give themselves over to the work," says Artistic Director John Alleyne. "We have to rely on the power of the individual dancer onstage. These dancers are inventive, ready to take risks and anxious to be part of the creative process."

Alleyne is pleased about the chance to create a repertory that is a little more challenging and gets his audience to take risks, too. "What interests me the most are works that stretch the vocabulary of classical ballet and allow our artists to grow as dancers and as people. Ultimately, I'm interested in discovering new ways to communicate. I'm really excited about what 21st century dance will be."

That means the company dances new work by a wide range of choreographers-Jiri Kylian, John Cranko, William Forsythe, James Kudelka and Alleyne-and is known for fresh, bold performances, whether the program is an abstract or a story ballet.

At home, during rigorous touring in British Columbia and abroad, the company remains close-knit, encouraging generous peer coaching as well as a supportive environment in rehearsal. …

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