One night only -- Ballet BC presents a tantalizing triple-bill of daring modern dance on February 12

Vancouver-based Ballet BC (under the artistic direction of Emily Molnar) returns to the NAC to perform a terrific triple-bill of exhilarating contemporary ballets from three of the world’s leading choreographers. Bold and innovative, the company has a distinctive style and approach, and its 18 exceptional dancers blend their rigorous classical technique with muscular athleticism and a sharp contemporary attitude. Herman Schmerman by William Forsythe, 1st Flash by Jorma Elo, and Petite Cérémonie by Medhi Walerski will be performed in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday February 12, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Herman Schmerman (1992)
Choreography, Scenery, Lighting: William Forsythe
Music: Thom Willems
Costumes: Gianni Versace, William Forsythe
As the lighthearted title implies, Herman Schmerman is a lot of fun. It's also a choreographic masterpiece, a riveting and dynamic piece which deconstructs the formal hierarchies of classical ballet, particularly the pas de deux. The work was created by iconoclastic choreographer William Forsythe, recognized as one of the world’s foremost choreographers. During his 20-year tenure as Frankfurt Ballet’s director and now with The Forsythe Company, his works are prominently featured in the repertoire of virtually every major ballet company in the world.


1st Flash (2003)
Choreography: Jorma Elo
Music: Jean Sibelius, Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
The ultra-modern 1st Flash, originally created for Nederlands Dans Theater by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo, is pure excitement -- a highly musical, frenetically-paced piece for six dancers. The dancers bring mesmerizing choreographic 'wow' to the gorgeous Sibelius violin concerto, which seems to interrupt the dancers’ silence. Jorma Elo was singled out as a "talent to follow" by dance critic Anna Kisselgoff in The New York Times '2004 Year in Review'. He is resident choreographer of Boston Ballet and a former member of Nederlands Dans Theater, Cullberg Ballet and The Finnish National Ballet. Major companies around the world dance his critically acclaimed works.

Petite Cérémonie (2011)
Choreography: Medhi Walerski
Music: Mozart, Puccini, Vivaldi
Originally created for Ballet BC, this ballet is a powerful and poetic full-company piece by rising European dance star Medhi Walerski. Inspired by asking what ‘life in a box’ meant to company members, it explores restriction as both constraint and opportunity. Petite Cérémonie offers a range of dimensions, culminating in a surprising and delightful mix of dance and theatre, full of imagery and adventure, a dazzling landscape of movement and ideas. It’s an inspired bit of madness, with a soundtrack that spans everything from big-band swing to Antonio Vivaldi to metallic clanging. Dance Europe calls Walerski an “original voice” who makes dances that are “out of this world... a dreamlike experience. A dream you never want to wake from.”


Founded in 1986 and now under the artistic leadership of Emily Molnar, Ballet BC is a ground-breaking dance company that presents bold new choreography -- a powerful blend of ballet and contemporary dance -- created by some of the world’s leading dance-makers. Bold and innovative, the company’s distinctive style and approach has made a unique and valuable contribution to the development of dance and art. Ballet BC consists of 18 dancers with exceptional classical and contemporary dance training who are renowned for their artistry, dynamic movement, and passion. The company’s repertoire has works from acclaimed Canadian and international choreographers, including Jiří Kylián, George Balanchine, John Alleyne, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Crystal Pite, José Navas, Wen Wei Wang, Paul Taylor, Agnes de Mille, Martha Graham, Lar Lubovitch, James Kudelka, Jean Grand-Maître, and Aszure Barton. Ballet BC regularly performs in Vancouver and tours provincially, nationally and internationally; up to 25,000 guests see Ballet BC presentations each season. As a cultural institution, Ballet BC brings value and opportunity to the life of the community. It is a creative place, a collaborative environment, a company that aims to create dance at its most essential.

"This kind of bold, contemporary choreography is challenging, but it’s obvious the fearless corps is up to the task. The crowd was wildly appreciative on opening night, ... this kind of virtuosity, physical power, and surreal yet emotionally engaging imagery is stuff, and it gets the adrenaline going to watch a company take these kinds of risks...”
Janey Smith,, November 18, 2011

"It looks as if Ballet BC is on a roll: This launch of Emily Molnar’s second season at the head of the small West Coast company was another fun and also thoughtful night out”
Kaija Pepper, The Globe and Mail, November 18, 2011

"Ballet BC reaches dizzying heights. Illustrating once again that ballet in Vancouver is reborn with a revitalized devotion to exciting contemporary aesthetics, Ballet BC combines incredible dance talent and compelling choreography.”
Day Helesic, The Vancouver Observer, November 22, 2010

  • Ballet BC performs Herman Schmerman, 1st Flash, and Petite Cérémonie in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday February 12, 2013 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40, $50, $63, and $75 for adults and $21.50, $26.50, $33, and $39 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card).
  • Tickets are available at the NAC Box Office (in person); tickets are also available (with service charges) at all Ticketmaster outlets, by telephone from Ticketmaster at 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS), and online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC's website at
  • Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices. To reserve your seats, call 613 947-7000, ext. 634 or e-mail
  • For additional information and photos/video of the production, visit the NAC website at

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Clara Wicke
Marketing and Communications Officer, NAC Dance
613-947-7000, ext. 379, Cell 613-617-4782