Petite Cérémonie

Lively and playful is the dancing in these excerpts of this world premiere production of Mehi Walerski’s piece, Petite Ceremonies. The dancers are members of a Canadian contemporary ballet company called Ballet BC. The music is selections from Mozart, Puccini, Rogers & Hart and Vivaldi, compiled by Medhi Walerski.

Ballet BC is an internationally acclaimed collaborative and interactive contemporary ballet company whose focus is the promotion and education of contemporary ballet in Canada. Petite Ceremonies is a piece that was created on this company of eighteen exceptional dancers that was premiered early in 2013.

The choreographer, Medhi Walerski is both a dancer and choreographer with Nederlands Danse Theater 1 and 11. His background is extensively in classical ballet, contemporary and improvisation. He began dancing in France with companies such as the Paris Opera and Ballet du Rhim in Mulhouse France and later with the Nederlands Dans Theatre.

Petite Ceremonies is created out of the responses Walerski recieved from the dancers after asking “What life in a box” meant to them. The piece became an exploration of the restriction as both constraints and opportunity. He uses white boxes as part of the set and choreography to represent the thoughts people have and the connection and autonomy they require. They add a very distinct and choreographic dimension to the choreography.

The piece is set on a bare stage stripped of the black curtains to reveal the grey cement wall, and piping. It opens with the space framed by the boxes set in lines on each side of the stage.

The piece begins with a lone dancer in black tux, doing a simple side step, who is joined by a second dancer wearing a black dress, who takes on this simple motif. This motif recurs throughout the scenes in varying configurations. Walerski has included clever theatrical devises such as quick lighting black outs, dancers grouped together to perform quick gestures and movements in unison, and talking among the dancers. In the middle clips duets perfumed in a central rectangle of light flanked by dancers sitting on each side. And in the closing scene we see fast and erratic moving dancers pushing boxes that are stacked into a pyramid on which they sit for their final picture pose.

The choreography is lively, fun and enthusiastically performed with physical and passionate abandonment. I was immediately impressed by the freshness and playfulness of the dancing and the fascinating variety of vignettes.

Enjoy this new choreography brimming with lively playfulness! And SHARE it on!


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