Dear fellow artists and art lovers,
What a privilege it is to be the 2016-17 Artslandia Ambassador! I hope this note finds you well.
Another season has begun! One can feel the studios of the city bursting with excitement and creativity as artists and organizations dive into the intimate process of creating and producing performances. It is a thrill to experience this process— bringing an idea to life is a meaningful time of discovery and learning. There are many delicious layers to the development of a season and to unlocking the puzzle of a show, all building towards opening night. The magic that happens when we come together to create a work is a special gift unlike anything I can describe. A community of people directing their like-minded passion towards a common goal is exhilarating. I love being a part of a collective consciousness aimed at something greater than myself, one that touches others on a universal level. What would life be without art? I am very grateful to be able to call myself an artist and feel deeply inspired by the many people I get to work with.
Since July, it has been busy at Ballet BC as we prepare for the upcoming season. We started with the creation and setting of four new works for our first program in November, a full evening by international dancemaker and Ballet BC Resident Choreographer, Cayetano Soto. In August, we had the pleasure of previewing one of these works at “Babylon”, the launch of our new annual summer “friendraiser”. It was great fun to celebrate a summer evening with our community and activate the plaza and lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with dance inspired by exotic floral installations designed by local artists.
Presently, we are working on new commissions by three talented BC-based choreographers for our March program that celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary. As well, I am working on a new work for the Company, a collaboration with the National Arts Centre set to an original score by Montreal-based composer Nicole Lizée. Wow, there’s such a vibrant and dynamic whirlwind of energy and activity inside the studio and office! There is never a dull moment at Ballet BC and I would imagine it is the same for all of us in the performing arts.
What a magnificent canvas the stage is that allows us a window into our world, a place to tell stories, a possibility to build communities. Through performance we are given the occasion to feel, listen, contemplate, and escape the daily routine. When I think of a performance, I think of its power and ability to capture our attention and to transform us. Today, more than ever, I see the performing arts as a unique opportunity for people to be moved by shared experience and connection with our humanity.
There are so many extraordinary performances to experience this season in Vancouver. I invite you to take in as much as you can and let it inspire you wherever you are. Let’s all be curious, ask questions, build discussions, support each other and enjoy our experience as creators, performers and audience members.
I look forward to seeing you throughout the season! I’d like to share with you this quote about life and art from one of my favourite writers, Rainer Maria Rilke:
To look at something is such a wonderful thing of which we still know so little. When we look at something, we are turned completely toward the outside by this activity. But just when we are turned completely toward the outside like that, things seem to take place within us that have longed for an unobserved moment … All things exist in order to become images for us in some sense. … Life has been created quite truthfully in order to surprise us…”
See you at the theatre!
Artistic Director, Ballet BC and Artslandia Ambassador