16 + a room, Solo Echo & Bill | Ballet BC at The Joyce, June 1-5, 2016….
For the first time in 18 years the Canadian contemporary ballet company, Ballet BC (British Columbia) appeared at the Joyce Theater featuring the works of three female choreographers, June 1-5, 2016.
The evening opened with artistic director’s Emily Molnar’s 16 + a room. Ms. Molnar is a former member of Ballet Frankfurt so it should come as no surprise to see the influences of William Forsythe in her choreographic choices. As I watched I was impressed in how she incorporated the body in space in relation to Dirk P. Harbrich’s original score as she wove the dancers and the music into a visual tapestry
There were moments in the 16 + a room where I was reminded of Mr. Forsythe’s masterpiece, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. For me, that is a great compliment, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated is one of my top ten dance works I’ve ever seen…and I have seen a lot.
The curtain opens and the dancers are standing still, momentarily another dancer walks on stage carrying a sign that read “THIS IS A BEGINNING” and so it is. In a burst of energy dancers start running off the stage.
Within moments Rachel Price and Scott Fowler begin a powerful and emotional duet. The moment they touched you felt an energy, and unbridled passion as Mr. Fowler supports Ms. Price as she twist, turns, bends her body in quick constant movement…their duet was the star of the evening… Bravo to both Ms. Price and Mr. Fowler.
Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo was, for me rather somber affair. I am use to seeing suich works by Crystal Pite as Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue or Grace Engine…both of which pack a powerful punch.
Solo Echo has a restraint to it, a mellower energy than what I have come to associate with Ms. Pite’s choreography. There is sense of caring and concern shared among the dancers, They stand in a line with each dancer’s arms encircling the dance in front of them…that dancer slips from those arms is if he is too difficult to contain, Solo Echo was a beautiful piece and exceptional danced but just not what I had expected….
Closing the evening was Bill choreographed by the Israeli duo of Sharon Eyal and Gal Behar. So far I have seen four of their works… Too Beaucoup, Sara, Killer Pig and now Bill…and after the bows and when the curtain has fallen…I am always left wondering one thing….Why!
The manner in which this choreographic duo envisions the use of body in space, is for me, just strange….and not in good way. It’s as if the two insist on making the body seem as unattractive as possible. Legs bent, spine arched with arms reaching with the fingers spread like some type of spider. The head of the dancer sometimes even seems at odds with the rest of the body.
To be honest the audience seemed to have greatly enjoyed Bill, But sadly, after watching the performance, Bill left me with the same unanswered question…Why!