Medhi Walerski in conversation with Assis Carreiro
Monday November 22, 2021
Ballet BC’s new artistic director knows better than most the importance and need for international engagement. Born to French-Polish parents and raised and trained in France where he performed with the Paris Opera and Ballet du Rhin, he went on to have a career as a dancer and choreographer with Nederlands Dans Theatre in Holland, he came to his new position in Vancouver during lockdown.
In conversation with an ex-pat who has also worked and lived internationally, they discuss what working internationally means and how important it is despite the realities of global warming and covid-19. How vital is collaborating and touring across borders and cultures to feeding the spirits of artists and audiences. Is sustainability going to hinder future opportunities and create greater isolation and misunderstanding?
Medhi Walerski became Artistic Director of Ballet BC in 2020. Raised in France, Walerski danced at the Paris Opera Ballet and the Ballet du Rhin before joining Nederlands Dans Theater in 2001. For more than a decade he contributed to NDT’s famed innovative style and was awarded the Dutch dance prize VSCD Zwaan in 2013. Walerski has created with and performed works by Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot, and Sol Leon,Crystal Pite, Johan Inger, and Wayne McGregor among others. Since his choreographic debut in 2008, he has created numerous acclaimed works for NDT and Ballet BC including Petite Ceremonie (2011), Chamber (2012), and Silent Tides (2020), as well as works for Bern Ballet, Goteborg Ballet, StaatBallet Hannover, Charlotte Ballet, Ballet State of Georgia, and more.
Assis Carreiro is a cultural entrepreneur working for over 3 decades in the international performing arts world, with a specialization in dance. Assis represents international choreographers and designers and provides bespoke mentoring and strategic consultancy to arts and cultural organizations including DanceEast, Australia and CAPACOA. She is a Trustee of Rambert School of Ballet and Dance and Eastern Angles Theatre and Australian’s Project Animo.
Assis has served as Artistic Director, Ballet Flanders, Artistic Director and CEO, DanceEast (UK) where she led the creation of the Jerwood DanceHouse; Cultural Strategist, High Commission of Canad & Director, Culture, Quebec Delegation (UK); Programmer at DasTAT, Ballet Frankfurt; Artistic Director, DanceXchange; Head of Education, Outreach & Publications, The National Ballet of Canada.
Born in the Azores and raised in Canada, Assis has lived UK since 1994. In 2014, she was awarded an MBE for her services to dance.