From the best of European ballet to Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project – an interview with Axel Ibot and Patricia Zhou

LADP_MurderBallades_2_Rose Eichenbaum
L.A. Dance Project in Justin Peck’s ‘Murder Ballads’. Photograph: Rose Eichenbaum

American Patricia Zhou and Axel Ibot, who is French, both have very classical backgrounds. The former has danced with the Royal Ballet and the Staatsballett-Berlin, and the latter was “Sujet” in the Paris Opera Ballet before he left to join Benjamin Millepied – French choreographer, ex-director of the Paris Opera Ballet, and founder of the L.A. Dance Project – in Los Angeles.

I wondered what edged them both towards this new beginning in a smaller-sized contemporary company. Continue reading

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Artistry at its best – Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project review

LADP_OntheOtherSide_2_Laurent Philippe
L.A. Dance Project in Benjamin Millepied’s ‘On the Other Side’. Photograph: Laurent Philippe

Last week, Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project performed three pieces from their repertoire, including Millepied’s brand new creation ‘Bach studies part 1’.

The evening began with Justin Peck’s ‘Murder Ballads’. The curtain opened to six pairs of shoes set out neatly across the stage, ready for the dancers, dressed in typical street wear, to run onstage and put them on. This began a series of cleverly used exits and re-entries through the wings, setting a fast pace, with lots happening simultaneously. Continue reading