Interview with Mourad Merzouki ~ English version

Mourad Merzouki – copyright Michel Cavalca

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

Interview avec Mourad Merzouki ~ version française

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

Interview with Adrienne Canterna

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Adrienne Canterna in ‘Rock the Ballet’

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

‘Rock the Ballet’ by Adrienne Canterna starring Bad Boys of Dance ~ review

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‘Rock the Ballet’

Last week, I went to see ‘Rock the Ballet’, choreographed by Adrienne Canterna and featuring the Bad Boys of Dance.

As soon as ‘Rock the Ballet’ starts, the theatre is filled with contagious fun and energy. The first scene showcases the six Bad Boys of Dance, before dancing beauty Adrienne comes onto the stage, seducing them all. Continue reading

Interview with Yacobson Ballet’s principal dancers

The Lilac Fairy, Aurora and Prince Désiré in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ – copyright Yacobson Ballet

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

Yacobson Ballet’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ ~ review

‘Sleeping Beauty’ – copyright Yacobson Ballet and M. Logvinov

‘Sleeping Beauty’ was created and first performed in St Petersburg in 1890 – it was lovely to see it revived by a St Petersburg ballet company, and staged by French dancer and choreographer Jean-Guillaume Bart.

Russian ballet is often seen as the best, most prestigious ballet there is, and at the performance I saw, you could just feel the high expectations in the audience… Which were not disappointed. Continue reading

‘Correria Agwa’ by Mourad Merzouki with CCN’s Käfig ~ review

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‘Correria Agwa’ by Mourad Merzouki (in close collaboration with the dancers) is composed of two pieces: ‘Agwa’, the company’s first creation, and ‘Correria’.

The show opened with ‘Correria’, a frenetic, almost breathless performance, based on the theme of running (correria translates as ‘the race’). This theme was made completely obvious by the dancers either actually running on the stage, or miming a running movement which was incorporated throughout the choreography. The dancers would do this in all kinds of different positions (in lifts, on the floor…). Continue reading

Interview avec les danseurs de Käfig ~ version française

‘Agwa’ – copyright Agathe Poupeney

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

Interview with Käfig dancers ~ English version

‘Agwa’ – copyright Michel Cavalca

Last week, I was lucky enough to meet four Brazilian dancers from Mourad Merzouki’s Käfig dance company, part of the CCN. After watching their rehearsal of ‘Correria Agwa’, a performance I got to see later in the week, I talked to Aguinaldo ‘Anjo’ De Oliveira Lopes, Alexsandro ‘Pitt’ Soares Campanha Da Silva, Hélio Robson Dos Anjos Cavalcanti and Geovane Fidelis Da Conceição.

Almost all the dancers from the current Käfig company previously worked with a Brazilian hip-hop company which came to France in 2006 for the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon. Continue reading

Interview with Kader Belarbi ~ English version

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