Dance: BALLET BC (New Program at The Soraya, CSUN)

Post image for Dance: BALLET BC (New Program at The Soraya, CSUN)

by Nia Liat on February 22, 2022

in Dance,Theater-Los Angeles

This Saturday, February 26 at 8, The Soraya’s resident ballet company, Ballet BC, offers a program of unusual depth with two works: GARDEN (by the new Artistic Director Medhi Walerski)  and The Statement from Crystal Pite, both originally created for Nederlands Dans Theatre (NDT). The program also includes a Pas de Deux from Walerski’s Romeo + Juliet. Tickets for Ballet BC start at $41 and are available at The Soraya and by calling 818-677-3000. The Soraya is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330.

In The Statement, Pite, NDT’s Associate Choreographer, explores conflict of power through her distinctive and wildly inventive choreographic style. Originally created in 2016, four dancers move to a recorded script by Canadian playwright and close collaborator Jonathon Young. Locked in a battle for control, the characters have been tasked with fueling a conflict in a distant country. Tensions rise when they are asked to take responsibility for their actions. Luke Jennings said in The Guardian, “Pite’s The Statement is emotionally and dramatically consequential. We are in a dark, oppressive situation room. An electronic score by Owen Belton growls menacingly as two men and two women negotiate the terms of an official statement. The dance has a thrilling, whiplash precision and it’s rigorously pared back so that every glance and gesture serves the narrative and illuminates our understanding.”

Artists of Ballet BC in GARDEN by Medhi Walerski. Photo by Four Eyes Portraits.

Walerski danced at the Paris Opera Ballet a before joining NDT in 2001. For more than a decade he was an integral part of the company, contributing to the creative, innovative style it is famed for. His GARDEN — an elegant and sophisticated work — is inspired by his admiration for the intricate and emotional interplay between strings and piano in Camille Saint-Saëns’s exquisite Piano Quintet in A minor. Through a series of duets, unison, and counterpoint, while reflecting the refined dialogue between strings and piano, the dancers shape the space physically in a pure and organic way. In his Stir Arts and Culture interview he said, “It was challenging, when you love a piece of music so much, to find a way to relate to it — especially because it’s abstract.”

Ballet BC Dancers Brandon Alley and Emily Chessa in Romeo + Juliet.Photo by Michael Slobodian.

Walerski’s Romeo + Juliet was seen complete on The Soraya stage prior to the pandemic: his R+J Pas de Deux is a fresh and bold retelling of this classic story through its two most beloved pas de deux, the Balcony Scene and the Bedroom Scene. Set to excerpts from Sergei Prokofiev’s stunning score, his contemporary version is brought to life through vivid emotion and complex imagery, including lighting design by Dutch designer Theun Mosk.

Medhi Waleski. Photo by Rahi Rezvani.

Founded in 1986, Ballet BC, the collaborative and creation-based company based in Vancouver, Canada, has made a unique and valuable contribution to the development of contemporary dance both at home and around the world. In 2019, the company was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production for their tour to Sadler’s Wells in London.

Ballet BC
Medhi Walerski, Artistic Director
GARDEN by Medhi Walerski
Pas de Deux from Romeo + Juliet by Medhi Walerski
The Statement by Crystal Pite
Saturday, February 26 at 8pm
Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge
for tickets ($41 to $86), visit The Soraya

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