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

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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

‘Romeo and Juliet’ reimagined by Adrienne Canterna with the Bad Boys of Dance ~ review and interview

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Adrienne Canterna and Eric Lehn as Juliet and Count Paris in ‘Romeo and Juliet’

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

‘Solstice’ by Blanca Li ~ review

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‘Solstice’ – copyright Nico Bustos

After successfully portraying the world of artificial intelligence in her 2013 creation ‘Robot’, Blanca Li continues logically on to exploring nature, and its relation with humans, in her new and exciting piece ‘Solstice’.

The curtain opens, and it’s back to the very beginnings of humanity – the rhythm and the movement is primitive, tribal, the basic, nude costumes (designed by Laurent Mercier) accentuate the rawness. 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

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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

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‘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