Crystal Pite earns British Olivier Award nomination for Flight Pattern

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      Vancouver dance artist Crystal Pite has just been nominated for an Olivier Award for Flight Pattern, a piece inspired by the refugee crisis that she created for the Royal Ballet last year.

      The prestigious awards for performing arts are often described as Britain's Tony Awards. Pite already has won one, last year with cocreator Jonathon Young, for Betroffenheit, which returns to Vancouver from Wednesday to Saturday (March 14 to 17). (We talk to her about its homecoming here.)

      The Brits are big fans of Pite, whose short Solo Echo just drew rave reviews yesterday as part of an all-female Ballet BC program that was showing at London's Sadler's Wells. (See our coverage of that here.)

      When it debuted almost exactly a year ago, the Guardian called Flight Pattern "a sombre and deeply affecting work" while the Telegraph called it "a heart-rending but extraordinarily beautiful emotional odyssey". Set to Henryk Gorecki's sorrowful Third Symphony, it portrays a whirling, struggling mass of grey-coated figures.

      The production marked the first work created by a female choreographer for the Royal Ballet in 18 years; the first at its Covent Garden main stage this century.

      The official award ceremony will take place April 8 at the Royal Albert Hall. 

      Pite's up against some big names in the new dancework category, a true sign of the circles she travels in these days--and of the male dominance that still reigns in her field. Fellow nominees are Hofesh Shechter, Wayne McGregor, and Ben Duke.