Jacob's Pillow to Welcome Canada's Ballet BC, 7/17-21

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Ballet BC, one of today's top contemporary ballet companies from Vancouver, British Columbia, brings a diverse program to the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival July 17-21. Led by Artistic Director Emily Molnar, the company performs in three U.S. premieres full of intensity and expert technique. The program includes A.U.R.A. (Anarchist Unit Related to Art) by Italian choreographer Jacopo Godani,Petite Cérémonie, a piece created by Nederlands Dans Theater's Medhi Walerski, and Molnar's most recent work Aniel. Under Molnar's direction since 2009, the company was recently listed as part of Dance Magazine's "Top 25 to Watch," and as this new phase of the company's trajectory develops, Ballet BC offers a unique repertoire of works by Canadian and international contemporary choreographers alike. Kaija Pepper of Dance Magazinedescribes: "...the new Ballet BC is physically rigorous, dramatically solid, and truly contemporary. The company brings today's global dance conversation to Vancouver, British Columbia, like never before."

Consisting of a select group of 18 dancers, Ballet BC works with top choreographers to inspire a new era of innovation and collaboration, as demonstrated throughout this program. This company translates traditional ballet techniques into unconventional works, pushing the boundaries of the classical idiom. Molnar explains her efforts to ensure the future of dance as a growing art form in an interview with Pointe Magazine: "My biggest responsibility is to cultivate potential, to provide a productive environment where the dancers can grow. I want us to take the art forward, and make sure dance remains a valid art that's going to last."

Originally commissioned by Ballet Mainz in Germany, A.U.R.A. (Anarchist Unit Related to Art) (2012), is choreographed by Italian dance maker Jacopo Godani. Set to the electro-acoustic music of 48nord, the 15 dancers perform quick and continuous phrases within shifting groups, revealing an elaborate display of technique that is purely explosive. An expressive vocabulary is enhanced by the subtle nuances of Godani's aesthetic, with fast head-jolts and fluttering footwork that propel the dancers through space.

Created by Nederlands Dans Theater's Medhi Walerski, Petite Cérémonie (2011) is both elegant and witty. Set to music by Mozart, Puccini, and Vivaldi, this work is visually distinct in not only its costume design of black and white formal wear, but in its captivating lighting design as well. Using humor within precise gestural phrases, Petite Cérémonie sweeps the stage with large ensembles performing in effortless unison.

Molnar's Aniel (2012) is whimsical and playful. Set to an eccentric score recorded by the Cracow Klezmer Band and Masada String Trio, this work is inspired by avant-garde composer and saxophonist John Zorn's album Book of Angels. Aniel is both percussive and vibrant, and the stage is filled with "seriously fun dancing" (Deborah Meyers, Vancouver Sun).

Ballet BC is presented as part of the Weekend OUT series of events, which kicks off July 19 at Jacob's Pillow. Correlated events continue throughout the weekend and summer at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. For a full listing, visit: http://www.jacobspillow.org/festival/2013/07/a-weekend-out-at-the-pillow/.

Tickets are $39-$75, and now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob's Pillow box office. Box office hours are Sunday through Tuesday, 11am-5pm, Wednesday through Saturday 11am-8pm.