Ballet BC is a creation-based contemporary dance company led by Artistic Director Medhi Walerski. Formed in 1986 by David Y. H. Lui, Jean Orr and Sheila Begg, with Annette av Paul as founding Artistic Director, Ballet BC has been a leader and resource in the creation, production, and education of contemporary dance in Canada and around the world for more than 35 years. The company was formerly under the artistic direction of Reid Anderson, Patricia Neary, Barry Ingham, John Alleyne, and Emily Molnar.
Ballet BC’s distinctive style and approach has made a unique and valuable contribution to the development of dance locally and globally. Attracting top international talent, our 20 dancers are a group of open-minded and curious artists, each unique for their dynamic movement while sharing an intuitive passion for their art form. We are a creative place and we work in a collaborative environment. We are a company that aims to create dance at its most essential: visceral, powerful, thought-provoking and transformative.
The company presents a diverse repertoire featuring more than 50 new works created since 2009, and is deeply committed to fostering creation and collaboration. Canadian and international choreographers include William Forsythe, Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, Medhi Walerski, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, Imre and Marne van Opstal, Adi Salant, Company 605, Jorma Elo, Wen Wei Wang, Itzik Galili, Serge Bennathan, Emily Molnar, Lesley Telford, Jiří Pokorný, Nicolo Fonte, Fernando Hernando Magadan, Kevin O’Day, Dorotea Saykaly, Shawn Hounsell, Gioconda Barbuto, Simone Orlando, Robert Glumbek and Aszure Barton among others.
Ballet BC is a leader and resource in the community through dance education opportunities, community and audience outreach, and professional development activities, which serve to make dance as accessible as possible to all.
Ballet BC regularly performs at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre (QET) in the fall, winter and spring. We also tour provincially, nationally and internationally.
Through our performances at the QET, regional and national tours, community and audience engagement activities and programming for children and youth, more than 40,000 people experience the work of Ballet BC each season.
Ballet BC has a new home on Granville Island, joining Vancouver’s premier arts and culture community.
A substantial rebuild and greening of an existing building, the 18,000 sq ft facility at 1286 Cartwright St features four spacious light-filled studios, a studio viewing gallery, a green room and event space, a health and wellness room, and increased office space for administrative and artistic staff.
The company’s operations on Granville Island will have a transformational impact, providing increased opportunity for collaboration and allowing the company to explore further ways to provide critical training opportunities for aspiring professional dancers.
The space will also be fundamental for the continued growth of our outreach and education initiatives, deepening existing partnerships with local partners, increasing accessibility and creating new avenues for engaging audiences.
In line with the company’s vision and strategic plan, Ballet BC is deeply committed to combating the systemic racism that exists within our society, and to being an organization that welcomes, amplifies, and celebrates the voices of all ethnicities and cultural identities.
Our company is dedicated to ensuring vital conversations surrounding equity and representation are actively occurring and that Ballet BC continues to pursue, embrace, and enact change within our company, industry, and society as a whole.
Through our Dancers of Today Scholarship program, our Choreographic Lab and Artists in Residence initiatives in partnership with Indigenous choreographers, movement workshops with at-risk youth and alternative schools, and Arts for All and Community Comp ticket programs, the company is continuing to develop meaningful ways to foster an inclusive community around its work, and provide access to arts experiences and education.
“Ballet BC continues to innovate while combining an awareness of current social injustices and realities.”
– LA Dance Chronicle