Before the performance of Mourad Merzouki’s brand new, gravity-defying show, ‘Vertikal’, I spoke to two of the performers from Merzouki’s company, Käfig. Vincent ‘Keys’ Lafif is a break dancer, and Pauline Journe originally trained as a jazz dancer, before turning to contemporary age 20. Having also done a lot of gymnastics, she tries to mix different styles of dance and acrobatics, and to take inspiration where she can, to create her own style. I realised during the performance, that this is what many of the ‘Vertikal’ dancers have done – they each have their own distinct, individual style, but come together surprisingly beautifully. Continue reading
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
In her ‘Romeo and Juliet’, first created in 2013 and starring the Bad Boys of Dance, Adrienne Canterna breaks the rules of traditional ballet. This fresh and exciting version of Shakespeare’s tragedy reaches out to a wide audience, combining classical ballet with modern dance and even hip-hop. Continue reading
It was a pleasure to interview young and ambitious Ailey II dancers Yazzmeen Laidler and Adrien Picaut, who talked to me about their personal experience and being a part of the prestigious Ailey II company.
Yazzmeen graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After auditioning for the first company, she was invited by artistic director Troy Powell to audition for Ailey II, the second company; she is now in her second and final year there. Continue reading
After contemporary ice skating company Le Patin Libre’s incredible performance of ‘Vertical Influences’, founder Alexandre Hamel kindly talked to me about the group’s story, their work and ambitions, and the challenges they face…
Like most people in Canada, Alexandre began ice-skating at a very young age – unusually for a boy, it was figure skating, not ice hockey, he got into. After 17 years of competitions and rigorous training, Alexandre decided to rebel… Continue reading
Mourad Merzouki is a French hip-hop dancer and choreographer. He is the founder of the Käfig dance company, and the current director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne, near Paris. During this phone interview I learned about Mourad’s roots, what inspires him, the way he works… But above all, I learned about the beautiful message he strives to convey through his choreography. Continue reading
Mourad Merzouki est un danseur et chorégraphe de hip-hop français. Il est fondateur de sa compagnie Käfig, et actuellement à la direction du Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne. Dans cet interview téléphonique j’ai pu découvrir ses racines, ses sources d’inspiration, son travail au quotidien… Mais surtout, j’ai pu découvrir le message incroyable qu’il souhaite faire passer à travers ses spectacles et chorégraphies.
Mourad est entré de le hip-hop totalement par hasard. Il a commencé le karaté et la boxe à l’âge de sept ans dans une école d’arts martiaux parce que son père voulait. Continue reading
Meeting international dancer and choreographer Adrienne Canterna was something of a dream come true for me – I have adored her work since I first saw ‘Rock the Ballet’ in 2012.
Adrienne started ballet at three years old, and quickly started taking tap, jazz and modern classes – she then got into acrobatics: “Everything just kept coming, one thing after another!” Continue reading
Before attending St Petersburg’s State Academic Yacobson Ballet’s performance of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, I spoke to three principal dancers: Alla Bocharova (Aurora), Darya Elmakova (the Lilac Fairy), and Andrey Sorokin (Prince Désiré), as well as Lidia Zernova, the company manager.
Alla and Darya both studied at the Vaganova Russian Ballet Academy in St Petersburg, and Andrey studied at Perm State Choreographic College. Andrey has been dancing with Yacobson Ballet for six months, and Alla and Darya are both on their fourth season. Continue reading
La semaine dernière, j’ai eu la chance de rencontrer 4 danseurs brésiliens de la compagnie Käfig du CCN de Mourad Merzouki. Après avoir assisté à leur répétition de ‘Correria Agwa’, un spectacle que j’ai pu voir quelques jours plus tard, j’ai discuté avec Aguinaldo ‘Anjo’ De Oliveira Lopes, Alexsandro ‘Pitt’ Soares Campanha Da Silva, Hélio Robson Dos Anjos Cavalcanti et Geovane Fidelis Da Conceição.
Presque tous les danseurs de la compagnie Käfig actuelle avaient auparavant déjà travaillé avec une compagnie de hip-hop brésilienne, venue en France en 2006 pour la Biennale de la Danse à Lyon. Continue reading