Emily Molnar Steps In At Ballet BC

Published in the October/November 2009 issue.

This July, Ballet British Columbia appointed Emily Molnar—one of the company’s stars in the 1990s and now an esteemed choreographer—as its interim artistic director. (Molnar replaces John Alleyne, who stepped down in June.) The announcement came on the heels of Ballet BC’s financial difficulties last fall, when the troupe temporarily laid off its dancers. Despite the upheaval, Molnar is optimistic. “It’s actually an exciting moment for the company,” she says. “It’s an opportunity for reinvention.”

 

Molnar, who has also danced with The National Ballet of Canada and the Frankfurt Ballet, is best known these days for the innovative works she’s created for troupes like Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. “Since I’m still an active artist, I understand what it means to work in the studio as a dancer today, and also what it means to bring a choreographic idea from conception to fruition,” she says. “Artistic directors sometimes get disconnected from those worlds.” Molnar also feels that the time she’s spent watching Ballet BC from the audience will work to her advantage. “I’ve had a chance to see where it fits into the Canadian dance scene and the international dance fabric.”

 

Molnar has ambitious plans for Ballet BC, which include adding more works by international (and Canadian) choreographers to the company’s repertoire. And although she is completing one work for Alberta Ballet, she has cleared her schedule for the rest of the year so that she can devote herself fully to Ballet BC. “A lot of running a company is about focusing on the dancers,” she says. “That doesn’t take money.”