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

An interview with Nathan Makolandra from L.A. Dance Project

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Nathan Makolandra – copyright Morgan Lugo

After the show, I had the chance to interview Nathan Makolandra, who has been dancing with the L.A. Dance Project since it began in 2012.

I asked him how he got into the company. “I was a senior at Juilliard, and Benjamin [Millepied] had done some work with seniors the previous year”, he told me. “He was going to be starting this [LADP] company, so he called the director and said he’d like to come and look at the current batch of seniors. After auditions at Juilliard, he asked me to join what would be the L.A. Dance Project. It’s been over four years now, and it’s been cazy!” Continue reading

Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project ~ review

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‘Reflections’ – copyright Rose Eichenbaum

Earlier this week, I went to see Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project perform four pieces from their repertoire (Reflections by Benjamin Millepied; Duets by Martha Graham; Helix by Justin Peck; and Hearts and Arrows by Benjamin Millepied).

They were all incredibly different, each had, I thought, its own particular meaning. Continue reading

Paradise found

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Paradis perdus – copyright David Herrero

Last week, I was lucky enough to spend four days doing work experience at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, one of France’s major theatres, with its own in-house opera and ballet companies.

The ballet company is made up of 35 dancers of 12 different nationalities, and performs at least 4 ballets a year of which 2 are new creations.

I learned a lot about all the aspects of the theatre, from the administrative work to opera rehearsals, wig making, and much more… It was really interesting and amazing, and I am now completely certain that it is in the arts that I want to work. I felt very at home.
But my favourite part of course was attending the class and rehearsal of the Ballet du Capitole. Continue reading

Interviews with LINES dancers

Some members of the LINES company very kindly agreed to chat with me after the perfomance, for which I’m very grateful; they were all so lovely!

Michael Montgomery

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Michael Montgomery – RJ Muna

What’s it like working for LINES ballet?

LINES was actually my dream company, and I got asked to join them in my junior year in college. I really think that Alonzo [King]’s philosophies on dance, movement and arts intertwine perfectly with nature and humanity. He has a way of stripping away all that materialistic crap that dance can get self-absorbed in. It’s a lot of hard work physically and spiritually, but it’s really rewarding. It’s a moment where I’m really grateful to be alive and be dancing. Continue reading

‘Shostakovich/Writing Ground’ by Alonzo King with LINES Ballet ~ review

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Meredith Webster and men in Writing Ground – Margo Moritz (Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet)

Right from the opening, it was obvious why the company is called LINES ballet: the simplicity of the lighting, decor, and costumes meant you could completely focus on the stunning lines created by the dancers’ incredibly fluid bodies. It was almost like watching a series of still photographs, swept up into a swirl of movement. Continue reading