McGill’s Alegria Contemporary Ballet Company will be presenting Counterpoint, a series of works created by the members. One of the group’s co-founders and presidents Karen Chen was nice enough to answer a few questions about their upcoming show:
Angela Beaupre (AB): Your company started as a club at McGill. Is that still your base of operation?
Karen Chen (KC): Yes, it is. My co-founder Zoe and I created this club at McGill in order to give ballet dancers an opportunity to be able to exercise their passion at school. We saw a gap between the great modern, contemporary, and hip hop dance groups at McGill, and we wanted to bridge that gap. There are so many talented dancers in the McGill community that should be recognized!
AB: Do you have any aspirations to pushing the company to a more professional level? For example, becoming a fully realized professional dance company in the community?
KC: I have high aspirations for the company to constantly grow and improve, always becoming better than it was in its previous year. As for pushing it to a more professional level, we intend for the company to stay within the McGill community because of the opportunities it provides to the students, which is the very reason we created it. That being said, it does not mean we are any less professional about our goals and aspirations. We very much treat the company like a professional one. Our dancers are expected to be fully committed to the company’s, as well as their own, growth and success.
AB: Who has contributed to the creation of this upcoming show? Is the there an overarching theme in the choreography?
KC: Every dancer in the company has choreographed a piece in the show – sometimes even more than one. This year, our show is called “Counterpoint” – a musical term that describes the relationship between voices that are interdependent in harmony yet independent in rhythm, which embodies our overarching theme of unity and diversity. It embraces the diversity of all of our dancers, giving the audience a wide spectrum and variety of dance qualities and styles. Within the diversity comes unity.
AB: Is the choreographic focus more on the balletic or the contemporary, or is an equal mix of both?
KC: This year, the pieces are an equal mix of ballet and contemporary styles (and sometimes both!). I would say that the styles are better equally divided this year in comparison to our first show Emergence last year, where there was a bigger contemporary presence than ballet.
AB: Any plans more any more shows this year?
KC: Nope. This is our last show of the 2015-2016 season. This is our biggest and last show of the year. Counterpoint is the final culmination of all our rehearsals and hard work.
Counterpoint is at the Mainline Theatre (3997 St Laurent) on March 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. $14/12. Tickets available at venue.