Back From A Brink

November 28, 2001

Ballet British Columbia dancers were in rehearsal last fall when they got the news: All the dancers and staff plus Artistic Director John Alleyne had been layed off. “It was very quiet,” says Simone Orlando, a BBC dancer in her 12th season. “Nobody was expecting this.” 


Refusing to accept defeat, BBC issued a challenge to their Vancouver community. If they could sell 12,000

tickets for the six performances of The Nutcracker, they would have enough funds to support a spring season. The flurry of media coverage and swell of audience support that followed was truly inspiring. “A lot of people have been fighting for the survival of this company,” says Alleyne. “They are constantly proving that ballet is a viable art.”


Since January, BBC has hit the ground running, rehearsing and mounting bold, exciting productions such as Jean Grand-Maitre’s vibrant Carmen and a new work by James Kudelka. They will perform Alleyne’s innovative A Streetcar Named Desire April 16–18. “We have gone through a tough, challenging time but are taking this opportunity to move forward,” says Alleyne. “It’s important that what surrounds art supports art. Especially when it strengthens our connection with the audience and lets our dancers grow.”