From NYC to YYJ with Ballets Jazz

Montreal dance company's bi-coastal 40th season brings them to Victoria's Royal Theatre.

Morgane Le Tiec and Brett Taylor of Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal dance in Wen Wei Wang's 'Night Box.'

By Colin Cayer

arts@mondaymag.com

 

When Christina Bodie returned to NYC to perform in Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal’s latest eclectic performance, excitement was soon clogged with concern and frustration. The Julliard alum could only wait on the sidelines as Hurricane Sandy caused the cancellation of The Joyce Theatre’s seven scheduled performances. It wasn’t the Western Canadian’s first NYC disaster, either.

“You know, it was interesting. I was also in New York for 9-11. It was like my third day of school. The city really came together.” Bodie’s alma mater followed suit, donating rehearsal space while the theatre prayed for electricity that would never come.

Safe now on the opposite coast, Bodie and Ballet Jazz are heading to Victoria to showcase three new pieces in their 40th season. “See the World” features the choreography of a Canadian, an Israeli and a Spaniard to kick off Dance Victoria’s 16th season.

According to Bodie, the city-sight-and-sound inspired “Night Box” by Vancouverite Wen Wei Wang is full of “moments when I can just be myself. It was just what came out naturally for me.”

But if she had to pick her favourite, the choice is simple. “Harry” by Barak Marshall is the dance of internal struggle. “It connects to my soul when I dance this piece. There’s something very human about it… and it satisfies that part of me that always wanted to do Broadway!”

“Zero In On” is a duet between Kevin Delaney and Céline Cassone. The pair performs the intricate choreography of Cayento Soto “incredibly.”

Every choreographer is different. Marshall’s piece was already choreographed when he came to the BJM. Wang offered a phrase of dance and then worked with the dancers to complete the piece. All the choreographers are extremely open to dancer feedback and that’s a big part of the magic of BJM.

“I’ve danced professionally now for eight years. I’ve learned that you don’t always need the perfect aesthetic to be a good dancer. Of course there’s a professional level we need to have.”

Bodie’s training in classical ballet at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet was cut short by ankle surgery, making point work impossible. In her year off and back home in Edmonton, Brodie auditioned for Julliard. Then, in 2007, she joined Ballet Jazz and calls the once devastating injury “a blessing.”

If Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal gives its dancers a break, the Alberta native is looking forward to exploring the streets and cafes of Victoria for the second time. Don’t wait to bump into her. Check out the latest of 2,000 total shows since 1972. Dance Victoria presents Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal to the Royal Theatre (805 Broughton) Nov. 16 and 17. Tickets at rmts.bc.ca. M

Just Posted

WINE NOTES: Discovering valuable Spanish gems

Check out the Spain section of your local wine store, recommends Monday expert Robert Moyes

Victoria’s Oktoberfest brings out the Bavarian in all of us

Stein and Dine at Victoria Public Market celebrates German food, beverages, culture on Oct. 19

Restaurant Review: Authentic Mexican molé hits the spot

Restaurante la Tortilla Mexicana’s hearty, spicy sauce works well over enchiladas, writes Allan Reid

REVIEW: Mullins’ Weaksauce hits the mark, like a good hockey pass

UVic Fine Arts alumni and frequent CBC writer’s biographical storytelling show here through Oct. 19

Two local authors walk away with Victoria Book Prize

Kathy Page and Aidan Cassie each walked away with a literary award

Fashion Fridays: How to pose in photos

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra launches new season

First up: Celebrating the Concerto on Oct. 27

Trudeau to appear on Jessi Cruickshank’s Facebook Watch show ‘New Mom, Who Dis?’

Federal Liberal leader to do sit-down interview with Canadian media personality on Wednesday

‘Joker’ laughs its way to October box office record

Warner Bros. said “Joker” grossed an estimated $93.5 million in ticket sales from 4,374 screens in North America

Ginger Baker, Cream’s volatile drummer, dies at 80

Baker wielded blues power and jazz technique to help break open popular music in the 1960s

‘Interesting mixture of emotions’: Scott Moir reflects on final tour with Tessa Virtue

Multiple Olympic ice dance gold medallists skating through B.C. during the Rock the Rink tour

It’s onward and upward for Victoria gelato artisan

After winning Gelato Festival gold, Stefano Mosi will compete at North American finals in 2020

Most Read