Sunday, April 28, 2013

Giselle-Ballet BC

I so enjoyed the world premiere Ballet BC,Giselle, choreographed by the extraordinary Jose Navas.  The blending of classical and modern forms created the most wonderful avante garde  performance  of this great traditional French folk tale.  Adolphe Adams whimsical and serene music was paired to the dance as if the performers had been written in as staffs and notes.  "Of course," I thought time and again, "those movements are simply perfectly matched to the score!"

The dancers themselves were unsurpassable.  The leads, Alexis Fletcher, Maggie Fogeron, Connor Gnam, Alexander Burton, and Gilbert Small were interpretative geniuses with every expression of their bodies coupled to each other, the music and the mood of this terribly moving story of the star crossed lovers.

Lino's set with the simplicity of hanging ropes and the high screen movie back drop of slow moving scenes of petals and clouds  was truly ingenious.  I loved the snatches of words, reminiscent of e.e. cummings, that appeared cryptically, almost teasingly, as a poetic sub text.   Linda Chow's costumes were point and counterpoint to the cultural sense of love and romance, both hidden and exposed.   All combined to explode the senses, touch the heart and free the mind of the viewer.

I felt I could have been in Europe or New York, the cutting edge work was so artistically refined and professionally polished.  Standing ovations, roses, bows and more bows, bravos, and curtain calls were all well deserved.

It was a shock to find myself back in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre lobby surrounded by other Vancouverites.  Looking at the haute couture dresses of some of the beautiful young women and the studied appearances of the handsome  young men about me as I departed,  I might as well have been at fashion week in Paris or Hong Kong.  I keep forgetting that Vancouver has become a artistically diverse city with countless denizens sufficiently sophisticated to appreciate even the highest forms of cultural advance.  

Artistic Director Emily Molnar had announced to great applause that Ballet BC had already nearly met their  spring fund raising campaign goals. The announced line up for shows in the coming year looks tantalizing.  Driving home I felt my spirit lifted by the ballet, my mind challenged and my heart touched. I love art when it's so truly accomplished,  original and moving.

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