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The International Ballet Gala at the Bucharest National Opera
On the evening of 28th January, 2015, the Bucharest National Opera is hosting the International Ballet Gala. The guests of the institution are the prima ballerinaAlina Cojocaru, the prima ballerina of the Berlin State Ballet,Iana Salenko, the young and talented Cuban ballet dancer Osiel Gouneo and also the premier danseur of the Berlin State Ballet,Marian Walter. They will be joined by the ballet dancers of the Bucharest National Opera. Johan Kobborg, the artistic director of the Ballet, will offer us some details about it.
The audience is invited to the International Ballet Gala. What have you prepared for those who will be present today in the Bucharest National Opera hall?
When I imagined this gala, I took into account two important factors: the first one was obviously to have a programme that would please the audience. So I created a collage using pieces that the audience knows very well, but also pieces that people rarely get to see in here or performances they have perhaps never watched before. At the same time, I had to organise everything so that it would be as appealing as possible for the dancers too.
There are many styles in this gala, although the event as a whole can be described as classical. We do not have a lot of contemporary dances, but, nevertheless, we are also including a world premiere - Pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet - and choreographies by Kenneth MacMillan and Sir Frederick Ashton. It is a varied programme and I would like to think that everyone in the audience will have at least one moment they will enjoy. Also, I am sure that the four guest artists are thrilled to be on the stage of the Bucharest National Opera.
How did the four mingle with the corps de ballet of the Bucharest National Opera?
I myself was in the same position. I travelled a lot and I can tell you it is extremely interesting to meet other dancers every time. We learn a lot from each other. Every time I collaborated with other dancers I had to expect something different. You are always alert and this brings a new perspective on interpretation. You are not stuck in a rut because you never know how the others will react. I have always invited people that I know and respect, so I will not be surprised at all by what they will do. I know they are not only very good dancers, but also extraordinary people and this is equally as important when you suggest a guest. They have to get involved and understand the fact that this is an event of the ballet company and not just an evening for them to shine.
I'm asking you this question taking into account the fact that you are the artistic director of the ballet company - how is the dialogue with the musicians of the Bucharest National Opera?
In my day-to-day work I have always tried to have live music every time we dance. Dance cannot be separated from music. It has to create music, to be a representation of the auditory art. I like to think that we are always establishing a dialogue by means of what we, the dancers, do on stage, and what the musicians do in the pit. As a dancer, it is important to be able to react to the music around you, not just perform certain moves. You have to adapt. It is not just about the dance or just about the music. They are together every time and for me it is a pleasure to collaborate not only with the orchestra, but also with each department of the opera, because everyone has worked a lot in order for this event to be the best we can offer at this point.
I am very proud of the dancers and I would certainly be glad to watch such a gala. But I will be on stage, together with them. It is undoubtedly an event no one should miss, whether they are connoisseurs of ballet, or watching this kind of show for the very first time. I am very proud of the result. It is a celebration and I am glad to be a part of this gala.
Translated by Ana Cristina Dumitrache and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest