Ballet BC | Vancouver
choreography: Crystal Pite
music: Johannes Brahms: Allegro non troppo: Cello Sonata Op. 38 in e minor, Adagio affettuoso: Cello Sonata Op. 99 in F major | Yo-Yo Ma, cello, Emanuel Ax, piano
set design: Jay Gower Taylor
costume design: Crystal Pite and Joke Visser
lighting design: Tom Visser
staged by: Eric Beauchesne
premiere: NDT 1, 2012 | Ballet BC, 2015
The impetus for this work was a couple of Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. Allegro from Opus 38, written in the prime of Brahms’ life and Adagio from Opus 99, about 20 years later. These sonatas, and these two movements in particular, have been a touchstone for me at various points in my creative life. The first movement is expressed through solos and duets that are sometimes exuberant and passionate, sometimes urgent, reckless, aggressive. These are the states of a person in the prime of life and the Allegro resonates with that ambition and fortitude. I was exploring physical states of speed and flow, and the energizing conflict inside the body and between bodies. The second movement is set to the spare, soulful Adagio. Here I was working on the idea of creating a single entity made of seven dancers; a collective body, with unfolding and collapsing structures that required enormous co-ordination and consonance. Its component parts are individuals, but as a whole it is its own expansive and complex being. The same yearning that is present in the single character is manifested exponentially. Clearly, co-operation is essential to the second movement, in which I was trying to say something about acceptance and loss. For that, I needed to put conflict aside and deliver its opposite.
Canadian choreographer and performer Crystal Pite is a former company member of Ballet British Columbia and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. Pite’s professional choreographic debut was in 1990, at Ballet British Columbia. Since then, she has created over 40 works for companies such as NDT 1, Cullberg Ballet, Ballet Frankfurt, National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, and Louise Lecavalier/Fou Glorieux. She has also collaborated with Electric Company Theatre and Robert Lepage. Pite is Associate Choreographer of NDT 1, Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre and Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, London. In 2002, she formed Kidd Pivot in Vancouver. Integrating movement, original music, text, and rich visual design, Kidd Pivot’s performance work is assembled with recklessness and rigour, balancing sharp exactitude with irreverence and risk. The company’s distinct choreographic language – a breadth of movement fusing classical elements and the complexity and freedom of structured improvisation – is marked by a strong theatrical sensibility and a keen sense of wit and invention. Kidd Pivot tours nationally and internationally, performing such highly-demanded and critically acclaimed works as “Dark Matters”, “Lost Action”, “The You Show” and “The Tempest Replica”. Kidd Pivot’s residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (2010-2012) provided the opportunity of creation and constant presentation of works to European audiences. Pite is the recipient of the Banff Centre’s Clifford E. Lee Award (1995), Bonnie Bird North American Choreography Award (2004), and Isadora Award (2005). Her work has received several Dora Mavor Moore Awards (2009, 2012), and a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award (2006). She is the recipient of the 2008 Governor General of Canada’s Performing Arts Award, the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, the inaugural Lola Award in 2012, and the Canada Council’s 2012 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize. Most recently, she received a Laurence Olivier Award (2015) for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.
...so poignant it left the audience on opening night in silence for several moments before breaking into applause...
© The Georgia Straight
choreography, costume design: Sharon Eyal, Gai Behar
music and sound design: Ori Lichtik
lighting design: Omer Sheizaf
staged by: Osnat Kelner
premiere: Batsheva Dance Company, 2010 | Ballet BC, 2016
Eyal’s signature style and daring, sensual language requires of dancers an intricate and precise expression of the body. Working with frequent collaborators Gai Behar and Ori Lichtik, in “Bill”, Eyal combines dance, music and design into an instantly recognizable whole of raw, unexpected beauty created with equal parts ebb and flow.
Sharon Eyal was born in Jerusalem. She danced with the Batsheva Dance Company from 1990 until 2008, and began choreographing within the framework of the company’s “Batsheva Dancers Create” project. Eyal served as Associate Artistic Director of Batsheva, between 2003-2004, and House Choreographer of the company between 2005-2012. In 2009 Eyal began creating pieces for other dance companies in the world: “Killer Pig” (2009) and “Corps de Walk” (2011) for Norway’s Carte Blanche; “Too Beaucoup” (2011) for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, “Plafona” (2012) for Tanzcompagnie Oldenburg, “Untitled Black” (2015) for Goteborg’s Opera Dance Company… In 2013, Eyal launches L-E-V with her long-time collaborator Gai Behar. Eyal is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2004 Ministry of Culture Award for young dance creators and the 2009 Landau Prize for the Performing Arts in the dance category. In 2008, she was named a Chosen Artist of the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation.
Gai Behar was taking a big part of Tel Aviv nightlife scene as well as a curator of multidisciplinary art events from 1999 till 2005. He joined Eyal in co-creating “Bertolina” (2005), and has collaborated on her creations ever since.
Sharon Eyal’s “Bill” is not just another well choreographed piece, but rather a milestone, a significant and wondrous creation by a skilled and mature artist who is not afraid of complexity.
Founded in 1986, Ballet BC is an internationally acclaimed collaborative and creation-based contemporary ballet company that is a leader and resource in the creation, production and education of contemporary dance in Canada. Bold and innovative, the Company’s distinctive style and approach has helped it make a unique and valuable contribution to the development of dance in Canada. Ballet BC’s dancers are a group of open-minded and deep-thinking artists, each unique for their dynamic movement while sharing an intuitive passion for dance. Ballet BC is committed to its role as a leader in the community through dancer training opportunities, community and audience outreach and professional development activities. The Company presents a diverse repertoire of Canadian and international work from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and is a hotbed for the creation and performance of new titles. Since 2009, the company has developed a repertoire of more than 35 new works by acclaimed Canadian and international choreographers including: William Forsythe, Itzik Galili, Jorma Elo, Cayetano Soto, Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, Walter Matteini, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Jacopo Godani, Emily Molnar, Nicolo Fonte, Lesley Telford, Wen Wei Wang, Medhi Walerski, Fernando Hernando Magadan, among others. Since 2009., under the artistic direction of Emily Molnar, former member of the National Ballet of Canada, Ballet BC and Frankfurt Ballet, the company actively fosters collaborations that support artists, choreographers and audiences alike, furthering the boundaries of contemporary dance.
dancers: Brandon Alley, Andrew Bartee, Emily Chessa, Livona Ellis, Alexis Fletcher, Scott Fowler, Rachel Meyer, Racheal Prince, Justin Rapaport, Gilbert Small, Peter Smida, Christoph von Riedemann, Nicole Ward, Kirsten Wicklund