November was an exciting month for Ballet BC. Shortly after closing No. 29, we announced that Artistic Director Emily Molnar was appointed Sessional Artistic Director of Dance at The Banff Centre. This new 6-week leadership position was created to guide and inform all Banff Centre dance initiatives throughout the year. We recently sat down with Emily to discuss what this visionary role means for The Banff Centre and Ballet BC.
For those who aren’t familiar with The Banff Centre, how would you describe the organization and its role in the arts?
EM: The Banff Centre is unique in the world. It is an internationally respected institution and a leader in fostering innovation and excellence in the arts, through a variety of programs, presentations and residencies.
Though you just began working with The Banff Centre, could you give our patrons a brief overview of your new role? What are your core responsibilities?
EM: My role as Sessional Artistic Director of Dance is a new position designed to guide and inform all Banff Centre dance initiatives, programs and other forms of professional development throughout the year. Working with the incredible team at The Banff Centre I will focus on a broad spectrum of programming that is supporting and responding to the various needs and ideas in dance and of dance professionals in Canada and internationally.
What are you most excited about creating at The Banff Centre?
EM:First off, I am excited for what this appointment means for professional dance in Canada. This is a new position The Banff Centre has developed and in doing so, is providing a new level of support for dance in this country and abroad.
I am honoured to be a part of this national platform and looking forward to continuing to build on the history of The Banff Centre as a creative hub that encourages new ideas, collaborations, and approaches in dance and the arts. I am inspired to be thinking in this larger context and eager for the opportunity to engage and learn from new perspectives.
How will you balance two visionary leadership roles, being both the Artistic Director of Ballet BC and Sessional Artistic Director of Dance at The Banff Centre?
EM: I am honoured to serve both these organizations and each will complement the work I do with the other. One of the key differences between these jobs is that my role at Ballet BC is full-time whereas my work with The Banff Centre will be done within 6 weeks over the course of a year. Scheduling and timing will work in tandem with my core responsibilities at Ballet BC, but I will certainly have support from The Banff Centre (as I do at Ballet BC) through the talented staff that will collaborate with me to administer the programs and initiatives I’ll be leading.
Both of these roles enable me to follow my passion for dance and my desire to cultivate an environment that encourages the creative spirit and human potential. I am excited to see how these roles will work in partnership to deepen artistic awareness and understanding and help to support the breath of talent we have in dance in Canada and abroad.
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Photo by Michael Slobodian