Rémi Benard

RemiBenardSautBernard Rémi is a native of Troyes and I met him whilst he was in Geneva running a course for Junior Ballet students. What a lot he has managed to pack into his 29 years! Interview by Caroline Bertoldo

What have you been doing since leaving BJ?

I left BJ about 5 years ago. However in my last year there, joined by a few others, I also danced with the company ALIAS in order to go on tour with "Sideways Rain".
Then after leaving BJ I did several auditions, and one resulted in me gaining a contract with Johannes Wieland at the Stadtstheater, Kassel. His company mixes very contemporary, physical and acrobatic dance with theatre; its central idea being the expression of feeling and character in terms of movement. I stayed there two years.
Seeking change, I left to join with Jerome Meyer and Isabelle Chaffaud to dance the lead role in a contemporary version of Le Jeune Homme et La Mort. We took this on tour in Holland before taking up residence at the Tanzhaus in Zurich.
The end of a six-month run left me with a few months to spare until the end of the season. However, with perfect timing, whilst I was auditioning in Malmō, Sweden I received a call from Johannes Wieland in Kassel asking me to replace a full-time dancer until the end of the season! I did three productions in repertory with the company, and then signed another one year contract.
I now needed a change and requested a "guest" contract; to give me space to re-charge the batteries and find myself a little. A full- time contract allows no time for such luxuries! In addition, being located in central Germany made it harder for me to travel. I wanted to return to France to explore the scene, see my family and shows.

So what did you do then?

I settled in Marseilles as a base and continued my core-strength training; running, bending, pumping iron and developing my six- pack! From time to time I also attended classes in classical dance at the Marseilles Opera. I did not really work since this was a sort of sabbatical. Instead I caught up on shows and travelled extensively. This helped clear my mind.

What do you do now?

I am exploring more commercial dance opportunities; gradually introducing myself to the world of film and commercials through my portfolio of photos. As a start I achieved a two-week contract in Dubai with Emilie Capel, a former lead dancer with Madonna.. This introduced me to a team of dancers of widely different styles, more experienced to this type of dance, including hip hop, break dancing and "tricking", (a fascinating amalgam of martial arts, break dancing and gymnastics!).
For the opening of the FAI World Fair Air Games 2015 I had to discover an extremely direct, "in your face" performance style, employing many simple movements, which did not require much much basic research. The presentation aimed more at audience- pleasing visual effect, without making any great technical demands.

What did this break do for you?

The experience really refreshed me at a time when I was rather lost, jaded and wondering whether I wanted to continue to dance. I had started to consider other possibilities, such as teaching, workshops and other more amenable opportunities within the profession.
Being contracted to a company is very intense and stressful. Freelancing gives more room for variety, a time to breathe and be yourself.

Why are you at BJ now?

I am at BJ for one week, having thought for some time that I would like to return. The training I received here opened doors for me to the professional world, and I sought to repay my debt by sharing the experience I have gained subsequently and introducing the dancers to different techniques.
When giving the auditions in Berlin for Johannes Wieland several BJ dancers attended. I noticed that they lacked certain experience in theatrical presentation, employment of physical expression and use of space. They needed to learn to employ of a wider range of technical tricks and the use of acrobatics, without losing the sense of dance.
Improvisation and a good sense of theatre are extremely important to a rounded performance; the ability to to search within ourselves for our own interpretations, rather than always repeating established tradition, which becomes rather stale.
I have come to do this now because Johannes will himself be teaching here later. He offers apprentice contracts, extremely interesting to students just departing BJand still needing to develop. The work is well paid and gives a valuable opportunity for Johannes to view their progress and for participants to study his work and add to their experience. Since this company can offer an entrée to similar companies, such as Ballet C de la B in Belgium, DV8, Peeping Tom, Pina Bausch and others the experience, this is an exciting opportunity.
I would love my courses to become a regular one to two week teaching and monitoring feature at BJ. But this would, of course, have to fit in with the overall BJ programme. I envisage exploring and developing new techniques to complement the existing BJ syllabus. Maybe even Johannes could be persuaded to create a new piece for BJ students.
After I have finished my week at BJ I return to Kassel.

What is your regime?

I do regular physical training to build stamina. Most importantly I eat properly, avoiding industrial foods, where possible, and eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetable. "You are what you eat" is a phrase I particularly like. Forget just the taste and eating of food and think of what it is doing to you and your inside! Sadly I am tempted away from this strict path from time to time!!
Feeling well enables me to achieve more, giving me stamina, relaxing sleep, greater energy and quicker recovery.

What plans for the future?

It is too early for me to answer that since I am at a sort of half- way house. There are a number of companies which give me a buzz. However I feel right now that it is important for me to get back to my roots.

What are your interests aside from dance?

Martial arts. I did gymnastics for about ten years and took part in the French Championships; but then had to stop because of a major injury. It was then that I became fascinated by the films of Bruce Lee and started Kung Fu. I loved this because it mixed gymnastics with martial arts.
Whilst at Troyes I also studied theatre at the Troyes Conservatoire for around 8 years. I have a real passion for the stage, especially comedy. Always a voluble and fluent speaker, I enjoy making people laugh. It lifts me to appear in front of an audience and be able to express myself. But I still need to burn up excess energy and so continue with sport, including rock climbing, which I did for 5 years.

What first drew you to dance?

When I was about 16 I was in a show called "Lizard Madness". It contained a range of performance techniques. But it was during a general rehearsal that I watched a dance duet between a boy and girl, which transfixed me with its wonderful mix of theatre and physical. I was smitten and had to try it myself.
So the year after I finished my drama studies I enrolled in a jazz and classical dance course, working with toddlers. I was impatient to learn everything, not only the vocabulary. I practiced hard every day and passed my Baccalaureat. Then I had to decide what to do next; the IUT (Institut Universitaire Technologique) or the National Conservatoire of Lyon.
I made enquiries about how to become a professional dancer and was told to audition. This got me into a contemporary dance position, which was a shame because I had never taken a contemporary dance course in my life.

What do you think you will do when your dance career ends?

Lots of ideas are formulating, but nothing definite yet. It will rather depend how I end my performing career. At the moment I wish to continue because this year's break has shown me the many diverse opportunities which still exist.
What advice would you give the dancers at BJ?
You need to prove yourself at BJ. Success must be earned, the first contract achieved is the reward for all your sacrifices.
Above all, believe in yourselves. Examine yourself to find the real you; then develop it! If you are unsure, your indecision will be obvious. Then, when you are given a very short time to prove yourselves at an audition, the difference will show; there is no room for hesitation.
This is a lifetime's work. Believe in what you do and dare.
I'm still discovering another kind of dance, more « commercial »: I make a photo book, for commercials, film shoots. Bit by bit, introducing myself to that environment, I got a two-week contract in Dubai, with Emilie Capel, a former lead dancer with Madonna. Iound myself with a team of people with very different backgrounds, contemporary dancers, others more used to this environment and a hip hop dancer breaker and three Trickers. It was for the opening of the world air sports championships. I found myself to be in search, of a very frontal visual effect, with many simple movements and without any research behind. Technically it was less extensive, but it had to have a nice effect, and please the general public.

What use was this break to you?

Having made the break really brought me back, when I was tired and a little lost, and I was wondering whether I wanted to continue ... or get into other aspects such as education, workshops and various pleasant changes within the profession. Life within a company very intense and very difficult. Life freelancing allows more availability and freedom to breathe, and have time for yourself

Why are you at BJ now?

Here I am at BJ for one week because I have been wishing to return for a while because this training has opened doors for me to the professional world and I also wanted to make my own contribution, now that I know what I am talking about.
After several years, I think I can steer the dancers. It's been two years since I have been teaching at Johannes audition in Berlin, and there are dancers from BJ who come. I noticed that they lacked certain things and I wanted to bring them what I have learned: help in theatricality, in a very physical movement, with lots of ground. How to use the technical tricks and acrobatics while remaining a dancer.
I also wanted to show them another aspect of improvisation with a high degree of theatricality, in the sense that we must seek within ourselves, and not stay comfortable, with what we had been used to do and whish can be rather light for that.
I also did it because Johannes will return in February for a week. There are apprentice contracts that could be interesting for dancers coming out of BJ and still need to mature. In addition, it is well paid. This is an opportunity for Johannes to see them and for them to see this work. It will add to their knowledge.
The work of this company can open up opportunities in similar companies, Ballet C de la B in Belgium, DV8, Peeping Tom, Pina Bausch, etc... The ideal would be, if pleasing and possible for my contribution to BJ to become regular monitoring: one or two weeks of training with this program, not only technically, to fill the gaps, but also to complete the Teaching given. And why not, if it fits within the context of BJ, allow Johannes Wieland to create a play for BJ.
It excites me to be able to do that, to be able to help. Then from 25 January to July I go back to Kassel. ! !

What is your lifestyle?

I train physically to continue as long as possible and eat properly: I avoid industrial products, I eat vegetables, fruit etc.: "You are what you eat" is a phrase that I love. Forget what food will bring to your mouth and think about what it will bring to the inside of you body. It is not always easy and I fail from time to time.
Feeling well physically allows me to do more things: endurance, better sleep, more energy, and faster recovery. Etc.

What are your wishes? Your desires in relation to your career?

It is too early to answer this question because I am a little in-between. There are some companies that make me vibrate, but I feel that for the moment, I need to get back to my roots.

What do you enjoy a part from dance?

Martial arts. I started with gymnastics for about ten years, and I've been to the championships of France. I had to stop for one year after a major injury. Then I started the Kung Fu because I loved the films of Bruce Lee and it suited me completely because it mixed gymnastics with martial arts.
I started theatre at the Conservatory of Troyes, in parallel, and carried on for 8 years. I also did rock climbing for 5 years. I had a taste for the stage in the theatre, and I was drawn to comedy (I was a hyperactive speaker and I loved making people laugh, I loved people to know that I was there). I needed to express myself. I loved the stage, but the hyperactive side was very present, so I continued with sport.
I was in a show "Lizard madness", where all the arts were mixed. During this show we all met and I saw the dance rehearsal: a duet between a boy and a girl, I remained frozen, speechless, as there was theatricality. There was both a theatrical and physical side. I was 16, I told myself, "I want to do that, I must try."
The year after I had finished my drama cycle, and I enrolled for jazz and classical dance, I took lessons with toddlers: I had to learn everything, all the vocabulary but I practiced everyday. I ending my final year, I passed my Baccalaureate and therefore, I wondered what I would do after the exam: IUT (Technological University Institute) or the National Conservatory of Lyon.
I enquired how to become a professional dancer: I was told to have an audition and I got it in contemporary section: it's a shame because I had never taken a contemporary dance course in my life.

What do you think you will do when your dance career on stage ends?

I have lots of ideas but nothing definite yet. It depends on how I end my career. I want to go on. During this year's break, I saw that there were lots of different things in this field.

What would you say to the dancers at BJ?

At BJ, we need to prove ourselves because we have not yet succeeded, we have not yet got a first contract, or reward in relation to all these sacrifices.
I want to tell the dancers at BJ, above all to believe in themselves, know who they are and assume. When in doubt, it's going to show. Where you need to prove yourself at an audition, over a very short time, at this precise moment that is what will make the difference. There is no room for hesitation.
It is a work of a lifetime. Believe in what you do and dare.

Alice Baccile

Baccile web 15-16Interview by Caroline Bertoldo: Sean Wood was interested to find out what she had been doing since leaving the company and asked me to investigate. My only knowledge of her, before I made contact on Skype, was that her Facebook page featured pictures of dancers.
My first surprise was to be greeted on Skype with a contact photo in the form of a hologram surrounded by the words "Merkabah, unconditional love". For one initially afraid of revealing certain facets of myself, I straightway learn that Alice has no such fear of revealing her innermost feelings. In answer to my comment on the picture she replies, "It is my aim."

Alice Baccile is 30 years old and danced with BJG from 2008-2010.

What did you do after leaving BJG?

I went for three auditions, and after the second was invited to join the Munich Gartnerplatz Theatre. Sadly what I was led to expect at the audition did not work out in reality. However since this was my first contract I took it to find that I had not been informed that musicals were in the repertoire! This was a bit of a shock.
The theatre turned out to be something of a machine, churning out shows, with no real demand for creativity or artistry. Nevertheless there were a number of interesting guest artists, who assuaged my dissatisfaction a little. One of these was Gustavo Ramirez, whom I had known from BJG days

How long did you stay in Munich?

For two years. Then the director, who had appointed me, left and his replacement asked me if I would stay. After discussion I turned down a new contract.
Further auditions were unsatisfactory so I freelanced between 2012-2014, working in England, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium.

How did you find work and where did you live?

Through word of mouth; choreographers approached me.
I made Munich my base and also worked there in a club, which I enjoyed. It programmed opera and shows in the style of Cirque du Soleil.

What did you do after that?

I joined the Blelefeld Stadttheater. I was immediately taken by the director's creativity and artistic vision. However, after one year he left for Braunschweig, so I followed him there.

What did these years teach you?

I learned a lot about myself. For example, when I joined BJG, I was very tense, too rigid and disregarding of myself as a person. My time in Munich brought me to my senses and made me consider what I was really looking for. I concluded that life is not just dance; the dancer has feelings and personality.
Then what I learned as a freelance at Braunschweig and the club is the importance of finding yourself and projecting that personality. Accept that you make mistakes and do not always judge yourself against others. I have never been comfortable with competitive comparisons

What do you aim for?

To achieve complete self knowledge. I have not yet achieved that; it is a life-long process. The important thing is to develop towards that end. I am only just beginning.
I examine myself to learn more about who I am. We all have contradictions and must accept that.

What do you like?

I love and respect nature and those people who show respect for nature, themselves and each other. I do not like the bells in the morning at Blelefeld! (She laughs).
Contact with my family and other people also means a lot to me. My dream is to share a big house with all the people I love; a sort of commune.

Do you have other interests?

Learning about Consciousness and self knowledge. I read and study a lot of books on personal development.
What will you do after you stop dancing?
I am visiting Thailand in the summer to help me prepare for my Yoga Teacher Diploma.

And after that?

I plan to return to Munich since there are plans to open a yoga centre at the club and the person designing the centre has asked me to manage it. I need a place in which to sleep, enjoy good food and teach yoga. This could be in either Munich or Berlin.
In addition I have thoughts of studying naturopathy and/or nutrition at university.

What advice can you give to the dancers at BJG?

Everything depends on you yourself. Find out what you want and, if you are really sure and passionate about it, it will will come to you. You need to look within yourself to discover what you really want to achieve. If you find that dancing is your life, I have shown you that there are plenty of opportunities for finding work. But you need to seek what suits your particular style and personality. If you have a gypsy temperament you can go freelance. If it is security you need you should join a company.
It is important to stay involved, to network, Auditions are an excellent means of getting to know people; not only to get a job, but to make connections, explore new things, meet new challenges. You learn a lot about yourself this way, as I found out. This helps you mature as an artist and a person, by being made to face different situations and environments and visit different places.

Would you like to add anything else?

In the summer of 2011 I visited India to learn a healing method, called "Deekska". It was thought provoking and profound.
BJG was like a family to me and I am delighted to have been asked to do this interview. It gives me the opportunity of saying how very grateful I am to Sean and Patrice for the incredible work they did of me and still continue to do every day.
Finally I would like to say to the dancers at BJG: Never think you are too old for anything!


Andrea Carrucciu

CarruciuPortrait"Andrea Carrucciu, 26 years old, is Sardinian, as his name implies, but at the age of five he moved to La Spezia, Italy. He began dancing at 4 years old and was a student at Ballet Junior from 2010 to 2011.
I first met Andrea when he was a young "ex-pat" in Rotterdam where he was studying dance at Codarts before joining Ballet Junior. He was 17 years old and he stayed there for two years.
After Codarts Andrea went back to Italy to have a major operation on his knee which left him bed bound for six months."
Interview by Caroline Bertoldo

1) How did you cope during this difficult time
This was the moment when I decided that I really wanted to be a dancer: when you have to stop for such a long time, when your knee hurts and you simply cannot dance you have the time to think carefully: I said to myself that when my knee had recovered I really wanted to dance. In fact you could say the operation was a good thing. When you are dancing you are in the moment and you don't often have time to think. Sometimes it's good to stop for a month if you can choose to. For me, stopping was key, even though it wasn't my choice, and it made me realise "I want to do everything I can to succeed".

2) What have you been doing since leaving Ballet Junior?
I looked for a company where I could also express my own creative language. Having danced with a company in Portugal I went to London for a two month project and then joined BalletBoyz, following an audition.

3) How did you join BalletBoyz?
I was already in London and I didn't know if I wanted to continue working freelance or try and be part of a company. I saw that there was an audition for BalletBoyz and I went along without any real conviction: the name BalletBoyz is misleading: it sounds like it's a brand or a rather artificial marketing tool and I wasn't sure about it.
The BBC had made a documentary about the two directors who used to be principal dancers with the Royal Ballet. In fact the name BalletBoys came from the TV documentary; the company has continued to grow since and the name has stuck. People know the name and it works well because people know straightaway that it's an all-male company.
The company also does film work and documentaries with the BBC and Sky Arts. I've taken part in three documentaries for the BBC and I did a solo for Channel 4.
In November 2015 we were in Normandy to make a feature length dance film on the War, choreographed by Ivan Perez: it was a collaboration between the BBC and Arte. The film is called "Young Men" and is released next November. We shot 1h 30minutes of dance in two weeks! It was very intense. In fact we have danced this piece on stage for two years and we thought we knew it well.

4) Does being filmed change the way you dance?
Yes, very much: the stage version and the film version are very different – it's almost a different story. The film tells the story of a group of soldiers and the horrors that they suffer during the war and the way in which they are transformed by the war. One of the phrases that we used as inspiration is "in war, there are no unwounded soldiers" because the choreography shows that as well as the physical damage the soldiers are also traumatised by the psychological damage that is inflicted on them.
Most of the scenes were filmed outside in the fields and sets that were created for the film; some scenes were shot in an industrial hangar where I dance a solo that tell the story of a wounded soldier who suffers shell shock. So we were outside and it was November, it was very cold! Sometimes we had to dance while were up to our knees in mud and we could hear the sounds of explosions. We had to adapt the choreography and the movements.
In fact when you dance for a film the dance itself is very different: you have to show the intention of a movement rather than the movement itself. You have to find a balance between the actual dance and cinematic effect. We were surprised to see the difference.

5) What are you doing at the moment?
Right now we are putting on a new production at Sadler's Wells Theatre from 20th – 24th April. We had about 10 weeks to create the piece and the result is great. We have very strong links with Sadler's Wells.
For this show we are presenting two very different works: the first has been created by a neo=classical choreographer and we are wearing rabbit masks!! It represents life. The second work represents death and it's a contemporary piece with an empty stage. It's really interesting to see two such contrasting works.

6) How do you live your life?
I find there are advantages and disadvantages to living in London: it's a city which has so many things to offer, where there is a melting pot of people and where you can find anything and everything. It's a cosmopolitan centre of art and culture, so when I go out I can always explore and find something to see. You never get bored! But, at the same time, it's huge, it can be stressful, it takes ages to to go anywhere. For example to get to work it takes me and hour and a half there and back. So when I get home I'm very tired, I have something to eat, take a shower and go to bed. It can be hard to meet up with friends. You cannot be spontaneous and get together at the drop of a hat like you can in Geneva: in London you have to plan everything. I sometimes go out at the weekend but often you just want to stay home and rest and relax. At Ballet Junior the quality of life was more easy going.

7) What are your wishes as far as your career is concerned?
I'm not sure. I don't have a big dream, I take each day as it comes. I want to dance with different companies. I think it's important for a dancer to travel and not to stay with the same company too long. That way you can meet people, learn more as a dancer, get to know different ways of dancing and learn new dance vocabularies. As long as you are young it's good to keep going.
My plans involve travel and I'll stop when I want to, but certainly not for the moment.
If I'm interested in a particular choreographer I'll go for an audition. I'm not even sure if I want to be part of a company full time or if I want to go freelance again: both have their advantages and disadvantages and you have to think about what you want. As a freelance you can work with different choreographers but it's stressful when you don't have any work. In a company you are always with the same dancers and you dance the same works for several months. Both options are interesting and I want to consider at what point in my life I should choose one or the other.

8) What are your interests apart from Dance?
I'm interested in everything around dance, so art, music, painting etc...Before I went to Codarts, I spent 3 years at the Academy of Art in Italy, in the sculpture department and I danced in the evenings. I decided to leave in order to pursue dancing and I stopped drawing because there wasn't enough time for both. I love going to museums and to the cinema.

9) What do you envisage doing when your dance career ends?
For the moment I don't really think I want to become a dance teacher. I'd like to choreograph but only once I've developed as a dancer, when I have my own vocabulary of movement, my own style, because I don't want to imitate anyone else.
I's also like to be an osteopath: as a dancer you know your body, you receive massages, you have physical examinations and you know your muscles and your bones. It would be interesting to work with other dancers and to be able to treat their specific problems.
I'd also like to design theatre sets because in this way I'd be able to combine my art background and my dance experience.

10) What message would you like to give the dancers at Ballet Junior?
I'd say to them what I have always said: Ballet Junior will make you love dance.
And also, you'll always meet other BJ dancers throughout the world! It's like one big family.
When you go to auditions and other BJ dancers are there, you can sense it: you recognise each other, there is something special; you share a sense of each other even if they weren't in the same year as you.
It's a really great school, in my opinion, one of the best; it's a very high level and you can see that in auditions.
Sean and Patrice work individually with each dancer. They aren't trying to create a company where everyone is the same. They push you to develop your own style, and your strengths in dance.
Their repertoire is incredible! Even professional companies don't always attract the choreographers that they have.
Being at Ballet Junior really helped me. It was at the time just after my knee operation. They introduced me to the world of professional dance.
They look for dancers who have talent: they have the ability to spot talent in dancers and take risks in order to encourage talent in a way that many others wouldn't.
It's 5 years since I left BJ and we still stay in touch and exchange news and photos.


Annalisa Cioffi

AnnalisaCioffiInterview by Caroline Bertoldo: I recall Annalisa Cioffi, especially in Thierry Malandain's "Pierre de Lune, as a beautiful dancer with a powerful and glowing presence. Therefore, keen to know what she is doing now, I asked her what had happened since she left BJG in 2001. She told me that she had joined Thierry Malandain's Ballet Biarritz, where she had stayed for about 8 years.

Did you have to audition?

My first visit with Sean and Patrice to audition in Paris with a few other dancers from BJG was not a great success (Annalisa laughs). However it did give me the opportunity to study Thierry and his company at work. ! The following year I went to St Etienne, where I studied Pierre de Lune with Thierry. As a result he asked me to audition for him in Biarritz and to stay with the company for four to five days to work on some choreography. This led to me being invited to join the company as a trainee....and my adventure started.

And then?

What an incredible experience! At 19 I was the youngest member of the company. There were only 12 dancers, which meant that the relationship between choreographer and dancers was very close. Thierry was always very sympathetic when working with us. Since that time the company has grown considerably and I have found myself working with other dancers of widely differing personalities, who graduated from a classical background to working in a contemporary style. ! I fell in love instantly with Thierry's style of choreography. For some it seems neo-classical, whilst others class it as very
contemporary. But for me it is his own personal style; fluid and both light and extremely powerful. The first time I saw Pierre de Lune I was dumbstruck at the power released in the dancer. It all looked so easy....but, of course, was not! In addition each character was clearly delineated and enabled each dancer to add something special and personal to the interpretation of the piece. One did not feel like a corps de ballet, but individuals in a group, each with recognisable characteristics. Thierry's liking for groups could cause problems when a dancer was unable to dance and there was no understudy available as a replacement. Each group member would have a solo moment or appear with only one or two other dancers. This meant I danced a lot!!
In my 8th and last year I gained my Classic State Diploma and then had to stop dancing due to health problems.

What did you do next?

Since I could no longer dance professionally I returned to Italy with my diploma, where I started teaching at my mother's Dance School in Pesaro. I was also free to give a few freelance performances, freed from professional pressures

What do you teach?

Classical Dance. In addition I ran an improvement course for two years. I am still teaching.

What do you like about teaching?

What particularly struck me when I started teaching was the happy spontaneity of the children's dancing, their joy of performing, palpable as they came on stage.
When required to give over 100 performances a year professional dancers can struggle to find enthusiasm; and yet it should always be there. This determined me to convey my experience to young dancers, to show them what a beautiful art dance is. Teaching makes me happy and I will pursue it.

I am told that you have a young child.

Yes; an 8 month old boy called Alessandro. Becoming a mother is so beautiful. I watch the way he moves and crawls and visualise Contemporary Dance. For me he dances; it is like second nature (she laughs). Dancing is such a natural thing and I find this fascinating, not only from a mother's viewpoint.

What other interest do you have outside Dance?

All forms of art interest me and I like exhibits and concerts. Whilst we have much music in this region, unfortunately there are few exhibitions and very little Dance. Good Contemporary Dance carries little appeal, although foreign companies do visit occasionally. By good fortune the International Civitanova Danza Festival is held here. ! Youngsters nowadays are easily beguiled by television into thinking that appearing on it will grant them instant success and recognition. They are not attracted by the hard work and discipline of a theatre career. Much work remains to be done in building awareness of different cultural opportunities.

Do you wish to be involved in this work?

I am. We arrange theatre visits for students and have been organising a small Contemporary Dance Festival,
Hangartfest, for the past 12 years. This is an international platform for young choreographers. Young artists in residence are encouraged to present their work in public. However this is uphill work. Since we are a private school we get no support from the Town Hall and have to find our own resources. But there is still hope.
Seeing what Sean and Patrice have achieved with BJG and EDG, I aim to do something similar here.....wonderful, but practically impossible. Attitudes need to shift towards a willingness to promote Dance. Geneva has moved far in the right direction; Pesaro lags far behind.

What message would you like to give the BJG Dancers?

Follow your dreams. There is always someone who will warn you that you will not succeed; it is too difficult, or you have not got the looks! If you are really determined you will achieve. ! Dance can offer many diverse opportunities to anyone who is keen. The important thing is to dance in whatever discipline and style drives you. However tough it is, do not give up; keep putting more energy into it. ! I come from a small town in Italy. When I started in Dance School none envisaged that I would make it to BJG and onwards to Malandain and a worldwide career. Dreams do come true.....if you have a great deal of determination.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I owe Sean and Patrice a lot. It was they who introduced me to Contemporary Dance. Before that I had followed the Classical route and barely touched on Contemporary. However when I joined EDG I was total immersed (she laughs) and taught all the different styles. Every day I took Contemporary Dance classes and in addition was taught how to cope in the professional world. I was shown what it was like to work within a company; the rehearsals, the classes, the performances and much else.
They played a large part in confirming to me that this was my vocation.

DIPgeneve100pxThe Ecole de Danse de Genève is accredited by the Département de l’instruction publique, de la formation et de la jeunesse Service écoles et sport, art, citoyenneté and recieves funding from the République and canton de Genève. 
It is a member of  CEGM and certified Artistiqua .

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