Ballet BC: 30th Anniversary Tour is a lovely presentation of compelling works at the Banff Centre

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Ballet BC: 30th Anniversary Tour presents work from three prominent choreographers a three completely different perspectives on contemporary ballet. The company presented Twenty Eight Thousand Waves by Cayetano Soto, Awe by Stijn Celis and Solo Echo by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite. This production is three very distinct styles of contemporary dance, but they are all lovely in their own way. If you don’t understand dance, see this work. If you are a dance expert see this work. These pieces are the human body in motion, in three beautiful ways.Cayetano’s Twenty Eight Thousand Waves is a bold piece with strong movement that crashes into you. The choreography has dancers doing intricate lifts and spins, melting from one move to the next. The lines of the movement are so powerful, the muscles of all the dancers standing out as they perform. The piece has the men costumed in skirts, moving in lighting direction by James Poudfoot that has the bodies of the dancers half lit which adds more power to the movement.

Stijn Celis’s Awe is a piece inspired by Wandering Heart by Leonard Cohen. It is less ballet and more contemporary dance, with dancers costumed  by Kate Burrows in pats and shirts. This piece features a lot of tumbling and lifts and movement of six dancers at a time. It is a completely different perspective of dance with movement that is more fluid but still has the hard lines of ballet.

To close out the evening, Crytal Pite’s world premiere of Solo Echo is a joy to behold. Dancers in black move in what looks like falling snow and with Tom Visser’s lighting design the snow switches between looking like a projection on the top half of the stage to looking like it is softly falling in the background. The movement is staccato against the softness of the snow and depicts the heaviness of winter. The desire to not go on but still having to put one foot in front of the other. It is a beautiful, moving piece that is a great close to the evening.

It’s unfortunate that Ballet BC’s 30th Anniversary tour is only one night at the Banff Centre, but there are great performances in dance to come. More information on programming at the Banff Centre is available online.

Photo Credit: Michael Slobodian

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