Interview with Kader Belarbi ~ English version

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Kader Belarbi – copyright David Herrero

Kader Belarbi is a former Principal Dancer at the Opéra de Paris, where he worked for 33 years. He is also an accomplished choreographer and the creator of more than 40 ballets. He has been Director of Dance and choreographer at the Ballet du Capitole since 2012. He kindly agreed to answer my questions by email – here is the English version of the interview. Click here to read the original French version. Continue reading

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Interview avec Kader Belarbi ~ version française

Kader Belarbi est un ancien danseur étoile de l’Opéra de Paris, où il a travaillé pendant 33 ans. Il est aussi un chorégraphe de renom et l’auteur de plus de 40 ballets. Il est le Directeur de la Danse et chorégraphe au Ballet du Capitole depuis 2012. Il a gentiment accepté de répondre à mes questions par mail – voici la version originale en français. Vous pouvez cliquer ici pour voir la version anglaise.

Des ballets que vous avez créé pour le Ballet du Capitole, lequel est votre préféré et pourquoi?

Je n’ai pas de préférence parce que chaque aventure chorégraphique est une histoire tellement particulière. Elle permet la rencontre avec un grand nombre d’acteurs autant sur le plan artistique et technique. Continue reading

Ballet du Capitole ~ Behind the scenes…

During my week with the Ballet, I got to see all the different departments that are involved in making the performance possible…

I visited the sewing workshop, where dancers try on the costumes and the seamstresses make/modify them.

I also got to spend some time with Alexandra Henocq, one of the theatre’s 7 prop managers. Their job is to design, create, make or buy all the props needed for ballets, operas, or any performance given at the Théâtre du Capitole. Continue reading

Ballet du Capitole ~ The ballet masters

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Julie Charlet in a rehearsal for ‘Giselle’ – copyright David Herrero

I was lucky to be able to speak to the Ballet’s two ballet masters, Vietnamese Minh Pham and French Emmanuelle Broncin. These interviews were intriguingly different, as you will see.

First I spoke to Minh: “What is your role exactly as ballet master?” He explained to me that he runs the classes, the rehearsals, and assembles ballets as the choreographer’s assistant. And how does he motivate the dancers? “It’s complicated! There isn’t a method, you just have to sense how they are feeling every day: whether they need pushing more, or if they’re tired and they need to go more slowly.” Continue reading

Ballet du Capitole ~ The dancers

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Ballet du Capitole in ‘Giselle’ – copyright David Herrero

During my work experience at the Ballet, a few of the dancers very kindly answered some questions for me:

The answer to my first question “Why did you choose the Ballet du Capitole?” was always pretty much the same: it’s a smaller ballet company with a very interesting and varied repertoire (a good mix of classical, neo-classical and contemporary); some of the dancers just wanted to try something new. They all love dancing here, and say there is a very good atmosphere.

I asked them whether they usually work more with the ballet masters or the choreographer. Continue reading

Ballet du Capitole ~ A typical day and the company manager

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Ballet du Capitole in ‘Giselle’ – copyright David Herrero

Last week, I was lucky enough to do four days of work experience at the Ballet du Capitole, our regional ballet company. The first thing I noticed the morning I arrived, and absolutely loved, was the international atmosphere… Everyone was speaking different languages, and this is definitely one of my favourite things in the exciting world of dance! In fact, the 35 dancers at the Ballet come from 12 different countries.

I learned so much during my week at the Ballet about what life is like working for a dance company – I thought I would share some of it with you! Continue reading