Election Day has come and gone, and for those seeking to swap political stimulation for a cultural venture, the esteemed ballet company Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal is in town. This international group pays tribute to the diverse history of ballet. They’re a Canadian company currently on their American tour, advancing a dance form originating in Renaissance Italy with the help of some dazzling talent from around the world.
Canadian choreographer Wen Wei Wang presents her poignant and unsettling piece “Night Box.” American Barak Marshall’13s contribution, “Harry,” is an absurdist drama danced by thirteen members of the dance troupe. The Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto is responsible for “Zero in On.” Soto is described as “Europe’s best kept secret.” Not for long!
Artistic director Louis Robitaille continues BJM’s tradition of perpetual exploration, a hallmark of the group since 1972. Themes of the human condition epitomize the works, making them accessible to people from all walks of life. The diversity and range of influences are reflected in the body language, music, and, most importantly, the way the dancers dance the pieces. Marshall’s Yemen heritage inspired “Harry,” which is accompanied by jazz, Israeli folk song, and traditional music. His opus combines both hope and humor. Wang describes her pieces as “reflecting the sounds, the rhythms, the beats and the flashing lights of our society within an ode to love, loss, sexuality, and joy.”
“Canada’s BJM is a dynamic force, presenting stimulating dance and artistic works that touch audiences with the company’s emotion, beauty, and expressiveness,” added Lisa Woske of Cal Poly Arts.
Cal Poly dance professor Diana Stanton will hold a pre-show lecture at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center’s Philips Recital Hall. This night of international talent will take place on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. in the PAC’s Cohan Center. Student and adult tickets for the performance range from $30 to $54. Call 756-ARTS (2787), order online at calpolyarts.org, or visit the PAC ticket office, open Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. The office is also open as of noon on all performance days.