The reviews are in, and Montreal digs the new, improved Ballet British Columbia.
The company has not been to Montreal since 2002, when it had very different repertoire, under then-artistic director John Alleyne. It has been a dream of the new a.d. Emily Molnar to win over the famously dance-savvy city as part of the troupe's current tour of Quebec and the Maritimes.
For its part, Le Devoir said "le pari est gagne": that's something like "the challenge is won" to those of you who nodded off in high-school French.
That review of the show last week at Montreal's Theatre Maisonneuve, headlined "Electrisant Ballet B.C." (yes, that's "electrifying Ballet B.C."), praised the company's versatility in a program that ranges from Jacopo Godani's hard-edged A.U.R.A. (Anarchist Unit Related to Art), Johan Inger's surreally theatrical Walking Mad, and Medhi Walerski's witty, and winning, Petite Ceremonie.
Meanwhile, the review in La Presse said the show was "une belle surprise" (no we're not translating that one for you), with dancers who were energiques et "fougueux" (energetic and high-spirited/fiery). Writer Iris Gagnon Paradis said Walerski's piece featured a "delicieux" monologue by a dancer about the differences between the masculine and feminine.
She deemed the evening "une soiree sans faux pas" with a final wish that Montrealers would see the company again, this time in less than a decade.
No doubt fired up by the positive press in the discerning cultural hub, Ballet B.C. proceeds to Quebec City on February 3, followed by Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, and Saint John. We expect the reviews to be strong there too, but somehow they won't sound as good as they do in French.