In a media release, Ballet BC has named French dance artist Medhi Walerski as its new artistic director. Walerski will take over the role from longtime AD Emily Molnar, who leaves at the end of the current season for The Hague to join Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT).
Launching his career at the Paris Opera Ballet, in a bit of irony, Walerski went onto became both a company member and make his choreographic debut with the Dutch contemporary dance company. Walerski’s career would see him continue to create for NDT as well as other companies as an independent choreographer.
No stranger to Ballet BC, Walerski has choreographed several works for the company, including Petite Céremonie and his first full-length narrative work Romeo + Juliet. Created in 2018, Romeo + Juliet has gone on to be Ballet BC’s most successful productions and will receive a new mounting by the Vancouver contemporary dance company in March of this year.
“I am honoured and thrilled to be joining Ballet BC as artistic director and to work and collaborate with its incredible artists and team,” says Walerski in the release. “Building on the company’s legacy and sharing the diverse and innovative creative vision of Ballet BC with audiences across Canada and the world is something to which I look forward with great anticipation.”
With Walerski having worked with Ballet BC over the past several years, the search committee cited his “deep knowledge of and respect for the vision that Molnar has maintained,” and in his abilities to lead the organization artistically.
“I am very confident that Medhi’s ambitious and contemporary vision will continue the legacy that Emily built as artistic director in her 11-year tenure with the company,” says Ballet BC’s president and board chair Linda Brown in the release.
Saying she was thrilled Walerski’s appointment, the outgoing Molnar called him “an inspired emerging leader.”
“Medhi’s accomplishments as an internationally renowned dancer, as well as his eight-year choreographic affiliation with the company, will surely bring Ballet BC forward with a fresh new vision,” says Molnar in the media release.
Walerski will take over as artistic director in July in time for Ballet BC’s 35th anniversary 2020-2021 season.