When the Straight checked in with Ballet B.C. artistic director Emily Molnar backstage at a theatre in Markham, Ontario today, she was still elated from the standing-o show the company had in Ottawa two days before.
The production there had special meaning for the troupe: in 2009, amid its near-death financial crisis, it had to cancel a tour to the nation's capital.
Now, symbolic of Ballet B.C.'s rise from the ashes, it made a successful return to the National Arts Centre. As the Ottawa Citizen put it: "Ottawa has finally been able to cash in its rain cheque from 2009. Tuesday night, Ballet BC was at Southam Hall for a single night. The program, a triple bill of short contemporary ballets, exemplified the company’s reinvention of itself.....If you missed the show, here’s hoping we won’t have to wait another four years before seeing this reinvigorated company again."
Of the works on the program, the reviewer raved: "The bowl-you-over physicality of [Jorma] Elo’s work is, in a way, more forgiving than the laser-cut angularity of Forsythe’s, and these dancers have the requisite boldness and vitality in spades."
Even bad weather has not taken the sheen off the tour, it appears. Molnar told the Straight the wicked winter storm that raked Ontario last week hit it just as it was taking the tour bus from Burlington to Kingston, a normally three-hour drive that ended up being seven long hours for the dancers. Still, even in this case, luck appears to have been on Ballet B.C.'s side: the dreaded 401 highway closed due to bad weather soon after it made the trip.