Ballet B.C. and Arts Umbrella strengthen alliance

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      Ballet B.C. and Arts Umbrella have officially joined in a tightly-knit pas de deux that could enrichen both dance companies, and the city's cultural scene at large.

      At the latter troupe's season-finale show on Saturday night (May 23), the organizations announced they had agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding  that will formalize their decade-long alliance. The companies, which both emphasize a style that falls between contemporary dance and ballet, intend to strengthen their ties, sharing resources and visiting choreographers from around the world, with Ballet B.C. continuing to recruit from Arts Umbrella dancers.

      Former Arts Umbrella dancers that now perform for Ballet B.C. include Emily Chessa, Livona Ellis, Alexis Fletcher, Scott Fowler, Connor Gnam, and Christoph von Riedemann, as well as apprentice Maya Tenzer. A recent Straight article reported on the fact that Arts Umbrella grads are being hired not only at our critically lauded local company, but at cutting-edge contemporary troupes around the world, as far away as the Netherlands, Italy, and Israel.

      "Ballet BC will continue to foster young and emerging dancers through our professional development programs and shared resources, and draw from Arts Umbrella’s remarkable talent pool for larger stage works,” said Dr. Kevin B. Leslie, president and chair of Ballet B.C.'s board of directors, in a press statement. “We look forward to contributing significantly to the future of dance through this solid alliance between our organizations.”

       “This affiliation allows Arts Umbrella and Ballet grow our shared vision of bringing new, exciting, and contemporary dance forms to Vancouver and the world,” said Michael Lee, chair of the Arts Umbrella Association board. “Arts Umbrella is excited that young dancers in our vanguard dance program will have the potential for this incredible connection to the professional dance industry.” 



      Mark Ward

      May 25, 2015 at 1:28pm

      Congratulations to both of the Artistic Directors of Ballet BC and AU, Emily Molnar and Artemis Gordon respectively, on what promises to be a very exciting and enriching experience for both dancers and audiences for many years to come.