A word from Danse Danse
For its third visit to Montréal, Vancouver based Ballet BC invites us on a journey into choreographic spheres as intense as they are different. Crystal Pite, who quickly won your hearts, Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar with their pulsating movements, and the poetry of Medhi Walerski form a delicious trio.
When the performing arts had to shut down in March 2020, the Dutch company NDT was in full swing at Théâtre Maisonneuve, and the program included Crystal Pite’s The Statement. We’re fortunate enough to present that work to you today, performed by Ballet BC. Too few of you have seen it. It’s a true masterpiece, and the Ballet BC dancers do it full justice.
This is also Medhi Walerski’s first visit to Montréal since taking over as the company’s artistic director, and we’re delighted to welcome him. He is charming and talented; you’ll surely have the chance to meet him, and we’ll be inviting him back!
Our thoughts are with the residents of British Columbia who are dealing with historic flooding, and we are more than happy that Ballet BC was able to make it to us.
Enjoy the show!
Pierre Des Marais – Executive Director and Artistic Co-direcor
Caroline Ohrt – Artistic Co-direcor ans Director of Development
Danse Danse acknowledges that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’keha:ka Nation. We honour the continued presence of Indigenous peoples on the Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) territory, which has long served as a meeting place for exchanges between nations, and we are grateful for the opportunity to present live works of art here.
Executive Director and Artistic Co-director Pierre Des Marais. Artistic Co-director and Director of Development Caroline Ohrt. Director, Accounting and Administration Kim Hoang, CPA, CGA. Production Manager Hervé Holdrinet. Director, Sales, Marketing and Communications Hélène Nadeau. Coordinator, Communications Julia Giehler. Manager, Digital Marketing Anthony Cavigny. Media Relations Sheila Skaiem. Social Media Ariane Laget. Manager, Cultural Action and New Audiences Claire Oliver Coordinator, Philanthropic Development Agathe Henninger. Administrative Assistant and Customer Service Agent Evelyne Fournier. Stage Technicians Le Regroupement des techniciens de scène du Québec.
Board of Directors
President Emmanuelle Poupart, Partner – McCarthy Tétrault LLP. Vice President Michèle Meier, MBA, ASC, Senior Vice-President, Global Communications & Marketing - SNC Lavalin. Treasurer Thierry Pejot-Charrost, CPA, CA, Vice-President, Internal Audit and Risk Management – Transat A.T. Inc. Administrators Anik Bissonnette, Artistic Director - École supérieure de Ballet du Québec, Chantal Bouvier, President and CEO - Le Cercle des présidents du Québec. Nathalie Brunet, Portfolio manager and Investment advisor - National Bank Financial. Pierre Des Marais, Executive Director and Artistic Codirector – Danse Danse. Jonathan Lachapelle, CFA, Director, Portfolio Construction, Total Portfolio - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Sebastien Leblond, President & CEO - Capital RainMKRS Inc. Lucy Riddell, Vice Chair - R. Howard Webster Foundation.
Advisory Committee, Communications and Marketing
Michèle Meier, MBA, ASC, Vice President, Communications, Corporate Marketing and CSR and International Affairs - Ivanhoé Cambridge. Delphine Hareux, Director, Marketing and Client Experience, BDC Business Development Bank of Canada. Isabelle Brosseau, Program Director - Rouge 107,3.
Photo Caroline Ohrt + Pierre Des Marais © Damián Siqueiros.
A word from Ballet BC
We are thrilled to be back on stage in Montreal. These performances are significant and meaningful for Ballet BC, as this is our first tour since March 2020. We are excited to share this evening of dance with you as we rediscover the power of connection and togetherness.
The three works on this program will move you in different ways. Bedroom Folk, from Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, is an edgy, high-paced adventure full of physicality and mesmerizing movement language; The Statement, a theatrical masterpiece from the inimitable Crystal Pite, is a unique and completely inventive exploration of conflict and control; GARDEN, a work of my own, is inspired by Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 14, where the dancers embody the notes in a fluid and organic way.
Many thanks to Danse Danse for inviting us, and to the audience for welcoming us back so warmly.
Now, enjoy the performance. I hope this evening will bring you wonder and inspiration.
Artistic Director, Ballet BC
Photo Medhi Walerski © Michael Slobodian
Founded in 1986 by David Y. H. Lui, Jean Orr and Sheila Begg, with Annette av Paul as first Artistic Director, the company has been under the artistic direction of Reid Anderson, Patricia Neary and Barry Ingham, followed by John Alleyne for 17 years and Emily Molnar for 11. As of July 2020, the company is proudly under the directorship of Medhi Walerski.
Ballet BC is an internationally acclaimed collaborative and creation-based contemporary ballet company that is a leader and resource in the creation, production and education of contemporary dance in Canada. Bold and innovative, the Company’s distinctive style and approach has made a unique and valuable national contribution to the development of dance. 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’s dancers are a group of open-minded and curious artists, each unique for their dynamic movement while sharing an intuitive passion for dance. Ballet BC is committed to its role as a leader in the community through dancer training opportunities, community and audience outreach, and professional development activities.
The Company presents a diverse repertoire of Canadian and international work from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and is a hotbed for the creation and performance of new works. Since 2009, the Company has developed a repertoire of more than 45 new works by acclaimed Canadian and international choreographers including William Forsythe, Cayetano Soto, Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, Medhi Walerski, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, Adi Salant, Emanuel Gat, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Jacopo Godani, Company 605, Jorma Elo, Wen Wei Wang, Itzik Galili, Serge Bennathan, Walter Matteini, José Navas, Emily Molnar, Lesley Telford, Nicolo Fonte, Fernando Hernando Magadan, Kevin O’Day, Shawn Hounsell, Gioconda Barbuto, Simone Orlando, Robert Glumbek and Aszure Barton among others. Ballet BC actively fosters collaborations that support artists, choreographers and audiences alike, furthering the boundaries of contemporary dance. The company embraces excellence in the practice of contemporary ballet, with its wide diversity of technique and style, honouring its roots and components.
Works / Credits
Previously nominated by Dance Europe for Best Production, Medhi Walerski’s GARDEN is an elegant and sophisticated work inspired by Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 14. While reflecting the refined dialogue between strings and piano, the dancers move fluidly through a series of duets, unison, and counterpoint, embodying the notes in a pure and organic way.
World Premiere September 2016, Nederlands Dans Theater I
Company Premiere November 2021, Ballet BC
Choreography Medhi Walerski.
Staging Rupert Tookey.
Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 14: Allegro moderato e maestoso & Andante sostenuto. By Camille Saint-Saëns. Performed By Cristina Ortiz, piano; Fine Arts Quartet. Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
Sound Design Pierre Pontvianne.
Lighting & Stage Design Theun Mosk.
Ballet BC Associate Lighting Designer James Proudfoot.
Costume Design Medhi Walerski, Joke Visser.
December 1 + 4
Rae Srivastava, Zenon Zubyk, Dex van ter Meij, Jacob Williams, Justin Rapaport, Kiana Jung, Sarah Pippin, Livona Ellis, Miriam Gittens, Anna Bekirova.
December 2 + 3
Rae Srivastava, Zenon Zubyk, Dex van ter Meij, Jacob Williams, Justin Rapaport, Kaylin Sturtevant, Emily Chessa, Livona Ellis, Miriam Gittens, Anna Bekirova.
This dance/theatre hybrid by the world-renowned Crystal Pite explores conflict of power through her distinctive and wildly inventive choreographic style. Originally created for Nederlands Dans Theater 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 fuelling a conflict in a distant country. Tensions rise when they are asked to take responsibility for their actions.
World Premiere February 2016, Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague
Company premiere November 2021, National Arts Centre, Canada
Choreography Crystal Pite.
Music Owen Belton.
Text Jonathon Young.
Vocal Performance Meg Roe, Colleen Wheeler, Andrew Wheeler, Jonathon Young.
Lighting Design Tom Visser.
Set Design Jay Gower Taylor.
Costume Design Crystal Pite and Joke Visser.
Staging Roger Van der Poel and Rena Narumi.
December 1 + 4
Livona Ellis, Rae Srivastava, Anna Bekirova, Justin Rapaport.
December 2 + 3
Miriam Gittens, Evan Rapaport, Sarah Pippin, Zenon Zubyk.
Choreographed by esteemed collaborative duo Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar and set to a hypnotic house beat, Bedroom Folk combines music, movement and light to act as equal protagonists in this visually mesmerizing piece. Originally introduced to North American audiences in 2019, Bedroom Folk has become a highlight in Ballet BC’s global touring repertoire.
World Premiere April 2015, Nederlands Dans Theater I.
Company premiere May 2019, Ballet BC.
Choreographer Sharon Eyal.
Co-creator Gai Behar.
Assistant to the choreographer Tom Weinberger.
Ballet BC Rehearsal Assistants Justin Rapaport, Lara Barclay.
Music Ori Lichtik.
Lighting Designer Thierry Dreyfus.
Lighting Director Alon Cohen.
Costume Design Rebecca Hytting.
1st Cast Evan Rapaport, Rae Srivastava, Dex van ter Meij, Jacob Williams, Justin Rapaport, Zenon Zubyk, Livona Ellis, Emily Chessa, Miriam Gittens, Kiana Jung, Sarah Pippin, Anna Bekirova.
Solos Zenon Zubyk, Justin Rapaport, Evan Rapaport, Livona Ellis, Miriam Gittens, Emily Chessa.
|Dex van ter Meij|
Medhi Walerski became Artistic Director of Ballet BC in July 2020. Raised in France, he initially trained in Normandy with Laurie Bokobza and Christine Caroly before joining the Conservatoire Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. Walerski danced at the Paris Opera Ballet and the Ballet du Rhin before joining the Nederlands Dans Theater in 2001. For more than a decade he was an integral part of the company, contributing to the creative, innovative style that NDT is famed for. He was awarded the Dutch dance prize VSCD Zwaan in 2013.
Walerski has worked closely with many renowned choreographers, creating and performing works by Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, and Wayne McGregor among others. Walerski’s choreographic debut was in 2008 for NDT 2. Since then he has created numerous acclaimed works for NDT and Ballet BC including Petite Ceremonie (2011), Chamber (2012), and Silent Tides (2020), as well as works for Bern Ballet, Göteborg Ballet, the Ballet State of Georgia, Staatsballet Hannover, Staattsheater Wiesbaden and Charlotte Ballet. As an educator, he is regularly invited to lecture and give workshops at dance conservatories and festivals around the world.
Choreographer The Statement
In 2002, she formed her company Kidd Pivot in Vancouver. Kidd Pivot tours internationally with works such as Betroffenheit and Revisor, both co-created with playwright Jonathon Young, as well as The Tempest Replica, Dark Matters, Lost Action, and The You Show.
Pite’s many awards include the Benois de la Danse for her creation The Seasons’ Canon (2016) at the Paris Opera Ballet, the Governor General of Canada’s Performing Arts Award: Mentorship Program (2008), and the Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal (2018). She is the recipient of three Sir Laurence Olivier awards for creations with Kidd Pivot and The Royal Ballet.
Choregrapher Bedroom Folk
Sharon Eyal was born in Jerusalem. She danced with the Batsheva Dance Company from 1990-2008 and started choreographing within the framework of the company’s Batsheva Dancers Create project. Eyal served as Associate Artistic Director for Batsheva between 2003-2004, and as a House Choreographer for the company from 2005-2012. During her time with the company, she created 16 new creations.
Since 2005, Eyal has collaborated with Gai Behar on her creations as well as L-E-V company and different projects. From 2009, Eyal has made over 30 new creations for dance companies around the world, such as Bedroom Folk, salt Womb, Feelings and Sara for the Nederlands Dans Theater; Half-Life for the Royal Swedish Ballet; Untitled Black and Autodance for GöteborgsOperans Danskompan, Sweden; Killer Pig and Corps de Walk for Carte Blanche Dance of Norway; Too Beaucoup for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Plafona for Tanzcompagnie Oldenburg, Germany; Soul Chain for Staatstheater Mainz, Germany and more.
Eyal collaborated with major names out of the traditional dance world such as: Dior – Spring Summer 2019 Fashion show; and The National and Mike Milles album/movie – participating in 2 music videos for the songs ‘Hairpin Turns’ and ‘Hey Rosey’ from the album ‘I Am Easy To Find’, as well as, a live performance for their international tour’s opening concert at the L’Olympia in Paris.
In 2013, Eyal launched L-E-V. The company’s creations are co-produced with some of the leading dance venues around the globe such as Sadler’s Wells, London and Julidans, Amsterdam. The co-producers list consists of many other great venues: Montpellier Danse Festival; GROS Culture Percentage – Dance Festival STEPS; Theater Freiburg; The Banff Centre; Carolina Performing Arts,North Carolina, USA; and TorinoDanza.
In the years since L-E-V was founded, the company had more than 180 performances, some in the most exclusive venues around the world such as Joyce Theatre, New York, the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Massachusetts, Sadler's Wells, Londres, Festival Montpellier Danse, Edinburgh International festival and Julidans, Amsterdam.
Co-creator, Bedroom Folk
An artist, curator and producer, Gai Behar has worked in video, music and performance art. He has organized several avant-garde underground events with live music, and techno raves featuring performance and installation artists. He has also produced and launched various night club concepts in Israel. Gai joined Sharon in co-creating Bertolina in 2006 and has collaborated on the creation of Sharon Eyal ever since.
Dancers portraits © Brendon Meadows. Portrait Medhi Walerski © Rahi Rezvani. Portrait Crystal Pite © MIchael Slobodian. Portraits Sharon Eyal, Gai Behar © Gigi Giannella.
Dance workshop for all
With Livona Ellis
Saturday, December 4, 2021, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
onstage of Théâtre Maisonneuve
Complete your Ballet BC experience at this dance workshop for all, led by dancer Livona Ellis.
The workshop will be given in English on the stage of Théâtre Maisonneuve. Masks must be worn. Vaccination passport and ID required.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet
December 8 - 19, 2021
Digidanse webcast on demand
At the crossroads of dance, theatre and music, 22 dancers of diverse backgrounds come together with fantastic energy in Babel 7.16, a show by Belgian choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet. An exhilarating and exotic journey where all languages meet and mingle.
Chapter 3: The Brutal Journey of the Heart
Sharon Eyal + Gai Behar
February 9 - 12, 2022
First noticed as a choreographer with Batsheva Dance Company, Sharon Eyal has become one of the most sought-after creators on the international scene. It’s impossible not to be swept into the energy of her furiously sensual dance, which transfigures the torments of love.
A whirlwind of flamboyant bodies.
Story, story die.
Alan Lucien Øyen
January 26 - 29, 2022
At the forefront of a new generation of Scandinavian artists, Norwegian Alan Lucien Øyen has made a name for himself in theatre, opera and dance. In demand by both the Opéra national de Paris and Tanztheater Wuppertal, Øyen fascinates with his theatrical approach to movement. At the heart of a captivating dialogue between movement and language.