Elisa Badenes was recently named principal dancer at the Stuttgart Ballet, in Germany, at the age of 22. Following her debut as Nikiya in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere, performing as a guest artist with the Australian Ballet in Melbourne, Luke Forbes was waiting to hear how it went.
Elisa’s dance career had humble but sound foundations, starting out as a student at the dance conservatoire in her home town, Valencia, in Spain. At the age of 15 she submitted an audition video to the Prix de Lausanne and was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to compete. Although her first competition experience was disappointingly short lived, upon being eliminated in the first round the Royal Ballet School promptly offered her a scholarship anyway. Continue reading Elisa Badenes
In an interview available on the New York City Ballet’s YouTube channel, Wheeldon paraphrases George Balanchine in the course of describing his own creative processes: “make no fuss, just make a ballet. Don’t worry about it too much as you’re doing it, but just make dance, and get better because you make a lot of dance”. He continues, with an equally nonchalant flair, “we’ve got three weeks, let’s make a ballet”. With so little time, one can presume that the choreography develops in a way which emphasises the dancers’ own strengths, particularly as they wouldn’t have much time to fine tune their interpretations working under such hectic conditions. As a result, Wheeldon’s repetitor, Jason Fowler, a former NYCB dancer, is left with the challenge of reproducing works that emerged quite instinctively and spontaneously.
– LUKE AARON FORBES
Excerpt of an article published by Dance Europe, Issue 198, August/Septmeber 2015. Purchase the entire issue here: http://www.danceeurope.net/store/issue-198
Michael Carter is an Australian dancer based in Europe who began his dance career at the Australian Ballet after graduating from the Australian Ballet School. Following stints with Leigh Warren & Dancers and the Sue Healey Company, Carter left Australia to join the Ballet Victor Ullate in Madrid, Spain, and in 2007, the Compañía Nacional de Danza under the direction of Nacho Duato. For the lucky few who experience such success both at home and abroad, this would typically mark the final stop of a laudable and diverse career. However, Carter found himself disillusioned with being, in his own words, “just a dancer, and not an artist.” Carter associates artistry with having the scope for interpretation and independent decision-making in the creative process, elements more familiar to choreographers and contemporary dancers than dancers in classical and neoclassical companies. Continue reading Michael Carter
The call for expressions of interest to take part in the Springback Academy promised mentorship in quality dance criticism. The texts participants produced were subsequently posted on the Springback Academy website in an attempt to “stimulate conversations online that will enable Aerowaves to connect with digitally active dance enthusiasts across Europe–ensuring people who are not in Barcelona share ideas, thoughts and views.” However, in a round of introductions prior to the festival and again during a panel discussion titled Critical Issues, the seemingly conflicting efforts of prominent dance press personalities at Spring Forward to (i) encourage discussions about dance online, and (ii) simultaneously problematise dance criticism published/posted online, became apparent. Continue reading (Ine)quality and dance criticism: but what about the dance?
When I met Martin Hansen after a performance in Germany, he was thrilled to catch up with a fellow Australian. Hansen had just performed his critically acclaimed solo work, Monumental, at the PACT Zollverein in Essen.
Hansen trained at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and after that, he describes how “I did the first year of the BA at the VCA too. I dropped out with the intention of returning, but never did.” Hansen visited Berlin for the first time in 2006, eventually moving there for good. “I possessed the typical desire for travel and adventure and I was very interested in dance practices that were taking place in Europe,” he recalls. Continue reading Martin Hansen
Looking for a job overseas is a daunting prospect. Where do you start? Where do you go? How do you arrange an audition? Australian dancer Luke Aaron Forbes has been through the process and shares his thoughts with Dance Australia readers.
Annually from December to March sleepy dancers on German long distance trains are a common sight. These well-travelled creatures are easy to spot on their way to auditions, stretching in their cushioned seats, comparing outfits and brushing their hair often before the sun has risen. This is not a uniquely German phenomenon; it can be seen in many western European countries. Germany, however, with over 60 dance companies in municipal and state theatres, and opera houses, as well as hundreds of freelance groups, is the most active “dance landscape” in the world, with auditions to be found even in the remotest of towns. Continue reading Auditioning in Germany
Anna Süheyla Harms, an Australian dancer based in Stuttgart, Germany, has become dance critics’ sweetheart over the past year. With her deep red mane of hair, long limbs, Turkish middle name and fluent German, not only is the German press mystified, it’s besotted. In a regional newspaper Anna has also been compared to a win in the lottery by her director, Eric Gauthier, and apparently, audiences feel the same. Continue reading Anna Süheyla Harms