Ballet BC: Walking Mad & Other Works

Comments 1 by Michelle Kim
Disclosure: Review — was not paid to write this review or any other. Michelle Kim did receive complimentary media tickets to the show in order to write her review. Please review the Policy & Disclosure section for further information.

I wanted to get this post about last night’s opening performance Ballet BC‘s Walking Mad & other works out earlier today, but I got distracted with buying tickets for when they perform at the Surrey Arts Centre next Tuesday. That’s how much I enjoyed the evening — it was original, accessible, and absolutely exquisite.

between disappearing and becoming 1
Photo courtesy of Ballet BC. Photographer: Michael Slobodian.

Featuring the Canadian premiere of Swedish choreographer Johan Inger’s Walking Mad, set to Maurice Ravel’s Bolera, the piece is an exploration of Socratic saying, “Great Blessings come to us through ways of madness.” The work was humorous and light-hearted at moments (I loved the party hats on the dancers’ heads!) and dark and almost depressing, in others—all of which constitute aspects of the madness experience.

One of the main props is a fence on wheels, which sometimes became a wall for dancers to hang on or balance or a floor for them to dance on. It also had doors for dancers to jump through and served as a metaphor for this piece on madness—a malleable wall that keeps us all from going crazy.

Though Inger’s work was no doubt completely enjoyable, the piece that moved — or even haunted — me the most me the most was between disappearing and becoming, choreographed by BC Ballet’s own Artistic Director, Emily Molnar. It is because of this piece I bought the tickets for my mom to see the show with me in Surrey (as she’s currently away).

Set to Icelandic cellist Hildur Gudnadottir’s work, the piece full of so much emotion had so many layers to it; one of which was a deconstruction female identity and her movements. There were parts of the piece where the female dancers moved very linearly and en pointe which served as such a contrast to when they broke out into a raw, passionate, more organic style of dance. This contrast was reflected in the black and white setting of the lighting design, which I thought was spectacular.

Molnar is such a talent and the company is so lucky to have her leading the reconfiguration and revitalization of the company, making ballet more appealing and accessible to audiences.

Only two shows remain at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and tickets are still available for tonight and tomorrow’s performances. Walking Mad will then head out to Surrey (Tuesday, March 13), Maple Ridge (Thursday, March 15), and Chilliwack (Saturday, March 17).

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1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. RichardMonday, March 12th, 2012 — 10:29pm PDT

    Right on, Ms Kim. This is a terrific program throughout, wonderfully diverse, but yes, Ms Molnar’s work is the most moving and memorable of the lot. Like you, I find that seeing the show at the QE was not enough, and I’ll be there with friends from Surrey too.

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