Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bobby-Dazzler Shows Ahead; Dance from Canada and Comedy from Closer to Home. DAVID WHETSTONE Previews a Mixed Bag at the Theatre Royal

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bobby-Dazzler Shows Ahead; Dance from Canada and Comedy from Closer to Home. DAVID WHETSTONE Previews a Mixed Bag at the Theatre Royal

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

BALLET and Bobby Thompson are the unlikely bedfellows at the Theatre Royal this week, although, admittedly, they don't share a double bill.

Ballet British Columbia take to the stage tomorrow and Wednesday, the latest offering from the Dance Consortium, which takes international dance to theatres across the UK.

In what is billed as "an exhilarating evening of breathtaking dance", the Canadian company will present three works by female choreographers.

Emily Molnar, who became artistic director of the company in 2009, offers a piece called 16 + a room, which was inspired by the writing of Jeannette Winterson and Emily Dickinson.

Explosive and fast-paced, it tests the athleticism of the dancers.

Solo Echo, choreographed by Crystal Pite, a former dancer with the company, is performed to a pair of Brahms sonatas for cello and piano and said to be "powerfully romantic".

Then comes Bill, a "daring piece of raw beauty" by choreographer Sharon Eyal, who is based in Tel Aviv. In her nine years with the company, Emily Molnar has raised the profile of Ballet British Columbia so it is now one of Canada's most highly regarded.

Having done that, the next step was to take the company overseas, with the UK seen to be a key audience.

There was a debut appearance at a festival in Birmingham in 2016 which made Emily confident that a full UK tour would work well.

She says: "The UK is a very important platform for dance in the world today.

"It's developing, producing and presenting some incredible work at the moment. So to be able to come to the UK and share the work and tour is exciting for us.

"It's happening for us now. It didn't happen overnight.

"The company is more than 30 years old and it's taken me, and us, nine years, but touring like this gives us the impetus to go forward.

"It also gives us the information that we need to understand what the next level is for us.

"We needed to build the work, we needed to build our practice, we needed to build our culture and then eventually go out to various audiences.

"We've been touring for quite a while now but the reach has not been as far, it's tended to be closer to home, and it's the natural evolution to expand into the European market and particularly come to the UK. …

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