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Stage: Ballet British Columbia has the UK in its sights. Diane Parkes spoke to Emily Molnar

- January 29, 2018


When Emily Molnar became artistic director of Ballet British Columbia she had a vision for the company – for it to grow, develop, build new work and reach new audiences. It’s taken a few years but gradually that vision is being realised.

Emily, a former principal dancer, took over the helm of the Vancouver-based company in 2009 and since then Ballet BC has become one of Canada’s most sought-after contemporary dance companies. So much so that she feels it is now time to bring the company to British audiences.

“Since 2009 we have really been developing the perspective of the company and questioning what we mean by contemporary,” says Emily. “It’s such a loaded word but our question was ‘what exactly is our responsibility to a contemporary point of view in Canada and in relation to the international dance world?’”

And for Emily, Britain is a key audience. “The UK is a very important platform for dance in the world today, it’s developing, producing and presenting some incredible work at the moment. So to be able to come to the UK and share the work and tour is exciting for us,” she adds.

The UK is a very important platform for dance in the world today

“It’s happening for us now, it didn’t happen overnight. The company is more than 30 years old and it’s taken me, and us, nine years but touring like this gives us the impetus to go forward. It also gives us the information that we need to understand what the next level is for us. We needed to build the work, we needed to build our practice, we needed to build our culture and then eventually go out to various audiences. We’ve been touring for quite a while now but the reach has not been as far, it’s tended to be closer to home. And it’s the natural evolution to expand into the European market and particularly come to the UK.”

Emily is ambitious for the company and is hopeful that the dates will open other doors for Ballet BC.

“I hope this UK tour will create other opportunities for touring across Europe. We want to continue to develop our audiences around the world. The company will have a future by building audiences around the world.”

The programme features a triple bill of works all created by female choreographers. Emily’s own work 16+ a room, Canadian dancer and choreographer Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo and Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal’s Bill.

“The programme offers a variety of voices from the contemporary dance world, we have work by two Canadian choreographers and one international. It’s very important to us that we have a global conversation. Crystal and Sharon are both very prominent voices right now in international dance and we are really pleased to be able to showcase their work to international audiences.”

Under her leadership, Ballet BC has a strong commitment to creating new work and the company now has more than 40 new works in its repertoire which have been created by international choreographers.

Ballet British Columbia
Brighton Dome, 9 March,
01273 709709,

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