Ballet BC’s rising star

Innovative Ballet BC brings three varied pieces to town.

Ballet BC dancers Alexis Fletcher, Gilbert Small and Darren Devaney in Walking Mad. - MICHAEL SLOBODIAN
Ballet BC dancers Alexis Fletcher, Gilbert Small and Darren Devaney in Walking Mad.

Zoe Michalik is coming full circle. The 19-year-old began her dance career at Dartmouth's Coastal Dance at the age of four, was accepted into the National Ballet School at age 11, graduated and became an apprentice with Emily Molnar's Ballet BC last year and is returning to dance in Halifax with the BC company, this February 11.

"This is my first tour ever, and I'm so excited that it's bringing me to Halifax," she says in a phone interview from Quebec City, one of the stops on the Ballet BC multi-city tour. "I'm thrilled to get the chance to perform in front of my old dance teachers."

The show, presented by Live Art Dance, is made up of three dance pieces: A highly theatrical exploration of relationships between the sexes called Walking Mad by choreographer Johan Inger; a moody and unpredictable piece called An Instant by Canadian choreographer Lesley Telford; and Petite Cérémonie by Medhi Walerski, a piece that uses the entire company to explore "life in a box".

Michalik finds her work as an apprentice dancer challenging and rewarding. She says Ballet BC does a masterful job of building on the talents and strengths of each member of the company. "Contemporary ballet makes good use of the diversity and individuality that dancers can bring to a piece. It's like we are the choreographers' blank canvases. They can manipulate us, but we also have a role to play in the creative process."

While her classical training has put her in good stead, Michalik says Ballet BC's style is innovative rather than traditional. People should come expecting a varied and exciting evening of dance filled with humour, intensity and some really quiet, emotional moments.

Ballet BC
Wednesday, February 11 at 8pm
Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, 6101 University Avenue

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