In his new production ‘Vertikal’, top French choreographer Mourad Merzouki yet again defies all expectations – he pushes past another set of boundaries and explores a whole new dimension: a world (almost) without gravity. The show is a collaboration with vertical dance company Retouramont, who provided the dancers with rope mechanisms, allowing them to achieve apparent weightlessness. 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
Alvin Ailey is, I think we can fairly say, one of the most renowned dance institutions in the world. The choreographer, dancer and cultural leader Alvin Ailey founded the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. Sixteen years later, the second company, Ailey II, was created and is now made up of twelve young and ambitious dancers, bursting with energy, talent and promise.
Before the performance, I watched their class led by artistic director Troy Powell – it was quite an experience. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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