Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Q & A with Dancer Fabrice Calmels of the Joffrey Ballet

Fabrice Calmels rehearsing Bells
Fabrice Calmels and dancer Valerie Robin rehearsing Bells.
Choreography by Yuri Possokhov, photo By Herbert Migdoll

What roles are you dancing in Rising Stars?
I am dancing in Edwaard Liang's new work, Woven Dreams, as well as Yuri Possokhov's, Bells.

When did you start learning the choreography?
I actually started learning the choreography last year when we had the choreographers come in for a few weeks to begin their creations, amidst preparing for various other upcoming shows and tours. Now they have come back in the last several weeks. We are very close to the performances, and are simply adjusting, fine tuning, and perfecting the nuances of each ballet to be just right for our audience.

How many hours have you spent rehearsing Woven Dreams and Bells?
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine an exact number of hours put into the production because every dancer puts in his or her own personal time in and out of the studio to prepare themselves for this production. Both pieces by Edwaard and Yuri are world premieres and they are great representations of the quality of dancers at the Joffrey. And for that reason, each dancer is committed to the choreography and to showing Joffrey at its best.

Fabrice Calmels rehearsing Bells (with choreographer Yuri Possokhov and dancer Valerie Robin)
Fabrice Calmels rehearsing Bells
(with choreographer Yuri Possokhov
and dancer Valerie Robin).
Choreography by Yuri Possokhov,
photo By Herbert Migdoll.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Rising Stars program?
I have to say, I think Rising Stars is an amazing program. When there are new works created on us as dancers and when there is a high expectation for successfully displaying a new work of art, we are constantly growing and improving the program. The two world premieres are so fresh and completely molded for the individual Joffrey dancer that each dancer is constantly finding our own voice in these works, and we wouldn't have it any other way. The pieces are growing and becoming better, which we didn't think was possible because it is new, it is ripe, and there is nothing stagnant about it. We aren't learning old works and are not simply filling a role that has been done before by someone else. When roles are created on your body, it allows you to bring a unique fervor to the work. I recommend our audiences buy tickets for both weekends because I guarantee you will be surprised to see the artistic evolution even within our two week run.

Describe a typical performance day.
Up until performance time, the work we have put in for these pieces has been nothing short of what I call a Titan workout. Choreography was given to us as dancers every day, and so at any given time you would see us constantly practicing to get the movements right, partnering to find the right musicality, getting familiar with the music to understand the tempo, each other, and our interpretations. We worked hard to sync up with one another to make a cohesive unit on stage. Now that the work off the stage has been done and its performance time, I rely on all that work I have put in until now to guide me, and just focus on enjoying my job. I leave myself plenty of time backstage to warm up, prepare my make-up, and mentally get myself to a place where I will enjoy the moment on stage rather than worry about the steps. The work has been done, and now is time to enjoy it.

Rising stars is a very exciting program, and is certain to be the final star of the Joffrey Ballet for the 2010-2011 Season.

Joffrey Ballet Rising Stars
May 14-15, 2011
Three contemporary choreographers partner with the powerful Joffrey dancers to push the boundaries of dance while exploring the lives we live in our dreams.

Woven Dreams, Choreography by Edwaard Liang
Bells, Choreography by Yuri Possokhov
Night, Choreography by Julia Adam

For more information and exclusive behind-the-scenes clips, visit http://www.joffrey.org/risingstars.

Fabrice Calmels Headshot_ATRU Blog
Born and raised in France, Fabrice Calmels began ballet training at age 3, following in the steps of his younger sister. In 1991, Mr. Calmels entered the Paris Opera School, under the direction of Claude Bessy. Mr. Calmels joined The Joffrey Ballet in 2002. Since joining the Joffrey, Mr. Calmels has performed in Age of Innocence, Apollo, Carousel a Dance, The Clowns, I/DNA, In the Middle…Somewhat Elevated, In the Night, Italian Suite, Light Rain, Les Noces, The Nutcracker, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz!, Le Sacre du Printemps, “…smile with my heart,” Suite Saint SaĆ«ns, Valentine, Midsummers Night Dream, Apollo, Othello and After the Rain.

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