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A Gentle Prod To Ballet BC From A Dance Amateur (That's Me)
Thursday, June 18, 2015


Nicole Ward, Albert Galindo - Photograph Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


I am an amateur of music, dance, theatre, photography and other forms of the arts. I am not an expert nor did I ever study any of the above disciplines. But in using the 19th century (particularly and English one) definition of an amateur I can assert that while I am not an expert in any of them I love them and having seen a lot of it I know a good thing when I see one.

Since December 1995 when I first saw Evelyn Hart dance I became interested in dance. Through assignments from the Globe & Mail, the Georgia Straight and a shooting-star of a magazine called VLM (run by another amateur, editor Bob Mercer) I have been to a lot of dance and seen many dancers and photographed a legion of them. I have been reading NY Times Dance Critic Alastair Macauley for 15 years in my daily delivered (hard copy) NY Times.



Of late living in a city where the laid back lifestyle promotes lazy mediocrity I have been near-obsessed with the dancers and the dance program of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company. There is none (of that mediocrity) to be found there.

My eldest granddaughter (now 17) danced there for five years and quit (perhaps because of a lack of encouragement from her parents). We pressured her to then go to a school on 4th Avenue and both my Rosemary and I were appalled at the lack of professionalism of the institution which was an amateur (the bad meaning of the word) fly-by-night operation. Without proper and insistent prodding my granddaughter finally quit for good.

My younger granddaughter, 12, has been dancing now at Arts Umbrella for five years and I must admit that there is a tad more parental encouragement.

John Alleyne, right, left Todd Woffinden & Crystal Pite - Photograph Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

I am happy about this because the Arts Umbrella Dance Company promotes excellence and they push their dancers beyond high-school dance standards. Any program produced by the Granville Island-based company is sure to be exhilarating one. I remember one in particular. I wrote about it here. I finished that blog with a gentle prod in the direction of then Ballet BC Artistic Director, John Alleyne. I did not mention in the blog that Alleyne was present (at the back row) at that Playhouse performance and that on my way out I went up to him and directly mentioned Alexander Burton and Alyson Fretz.

To my surprise both were shortly hired by Ballet BC for that coming dance year.
In that spirit I again write this blog gently prodding the powers that be at Ballet BC (yes, Emily Molnar that’s you)  that Spanish-born Albert Galindo and Nicole Ward should be immediately swooshed into the company.

I remember so fondly the first time I saw Emily Molnar dance with Ballet BC. She had come from William Forsythe’s legendary Ballet Frankfurt (and sort of changed directions with Crystal Pite who had left Ballet BC for Ballet Frankfurt).

 Even as the amateur that I am I know that there are two qualities that dancers must have. One, obviously is skill and grace. The second quality is more in the realm of something you cannot quite touch but you will know it’s there when you see it. Molnar on stage had presence.


Nicole Ward - Photograph Alex Waterhouse-Hayward
She was close to 6ft tall and in one of those early performances she wore a blood-red dress. Dance critics of the time (worse now) were too politically correct (not willing to offend) to mention that here was a very tall woman with a body in proportion to her height. It is my guess (I never asked Alleyne) that only one male dancer in the company could lift her. This was Edmund Kilpatrick. I further guess that when Alleyne choreographed for the company he had to consider Molnar’s size. Since then as they say the rest is history. I feel awfully lucky to have had the privilege to see this dance luminary dance.

Now both Albert Galindo and Nicole Ward are skilled. Skilled, because they have been through the training of all those Arts Umbrella instructors including Artemis Gordon. But I must point out that this pair have a presence in spades. Both are tall. In particular I see Ward as a proto-Emily Molnar.

So, from this amateur to you folks in Ballet BC (and yes, that’s you Emily Molnar) there is this gentle prod that you should scoop up the pair before someone else does.



     

Previous Posts
Summer Solstice At Mountain View Cemetery

Dahl's House - June 11 2015 - Arts Umbrella Dance ...

Martha Graham, Judith Garay, Desirée Dunbar, Artem...

Eligy To My Pet Monkey

They Go - We Stay

Nuts & Bolts - It's A Hip Life

Flipping Burgers - Opportunity - At Arts Umbrella ...

Directing Bard's The Comedy Of Errors - How?

Princess Hannah & The Princess With The Golden Hai...

Chapeau de Napoléon



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4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16