About Ballet BC Annex

The Project

Ballet BC Annex project, a collaboration with Arts Umbrella Dance, offers an invaluable opportunity for schools and communities across BC to engage in world-class dance and educational programming.

The Annex project tours schools in Metro Vancouver and throughout BC, bringing contemporary dance repertoire, professional performances, and workshops to student groups and audiences of all ages. In the 2023/24 season, we are thrilled to present a new creation by UK-based choreographer Joseph Toonga, as well as Ballet BC Artistic Director Medhi Walerski’s Blink of an Eye.

In schools, workshops led by dancers and Ballet BC’s Outreach and Education team will accompany each performance, offering insight into the choreographic process and the career path of a dancer. Students will learn excerpts from the performance and engage in creative dialogue.

What to Expect

Ballet BC Annex dancers as well as select guest artists will visit your school or community location.

The half-day program will consist of the opportunity to watch a performance and participate in a dancer-facilitated workshop learning Ballet BC repertoire. There will also be an opportunity for students to engage with the artists and ask questions.

Learning Outcomes and Experiences

  • Exposure to diverse professional dance training opportunities
  • Opportunity to engage with and learn from professional Ballet BC dancers
  • Development of relevant criteria for interpreting and analyzing, and reflecting on dance
  • An understanding of the power of collaboration and teamwork in artistic processes
  • An understanding of contemporary dance in today’s world and how art remains relevant
  • Activation of creativity and innovative thinking
  • An understanding of dance as a career path

2023/24 Repertoire

Us | Joseph Toonga

‘Us’ is inspired by Toonga’s previous project in London, ‘It’s Us not I’ This work delves into the essence of embarking on a collective journey, encompassing both enjoyable and supportive experiences. The piece challenges performers both physically and in terms of stamina, encouraging them to discover moments of joy within the realms of exertion. ‘Us’ is a dynamic and intense exploration of the strength found in unity, blending elements of hip hop and contemporary dance to create a unique movement language.

Blink of an Eye | Medhi Walerski

Ballet BC Artistic Director Medhi’s Walerski’s ‘Blink of an Eye’ was originally created in 2011 for eight dancers. It is centred on the virtuosity of the artists themselves, as well as the music. The work is an echo to Bach’s violin concerto, which guides the choreographic language.

“The performance connected our school with the larger arts and culture community in Vancouver, and brought us together to share a common experience that helps deepen our learning.”

– Zoe Read, Tupper Secondary School dance educator and Annex participant

Ballet BC Annex Dancers with Joseph Toonga in studio. Photo by Michael Slobodian.

 

If you are an educator interested in Ballet BC Annex, please contact outreach@balletbc.com.

If you are interested in supporting this program, please contact developmentmanager@balletbc.com.