Lotte SIGH

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21 May 2010,17:02

“Kazan dancers have blown me away”

The premiere of the ballet “The Good, The Bad and You” took place in Kazan on May 18. The show production became possible thanks to joint work of Danish choreographer Lotte Sigh and Kazan chamber ballet “Panther”. Collaboration between the guest from Europe and Kazan dancers began within the framework of the international project “Intradance”. “Intradance” is organized by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) by the Centre Culturel Français, the German Goethe-Institut, the British Council, the Portuguese Instituto Camoes and the Instituto Italiano di Cultura. Lotte Sigh and representatives of the “Panther” ballet – manager Yelena Belyaeva and artistic director Nayil Ibragimov told journalists about the show at a press-conference at Tatar-Inform agency. Other guests of the information agency were assistant choreographer Phillip Jenkins (Australia) and visual designer from Denmark Lars Egegaard Sorensen. Journalist Leysan Abdullina hosted the press-conference.

Yelena, the first question is for you. Tell us please about the project “Intradance”.

Y. Belyaeva: Russia is known all over the world for its great culture, including dancing culture as well. Russia is a stronghold of classic ballet, but contemporary dance is not very well-developed, as compared to European countries. The European Union came up with this very good idea recently. % cultural centers are initiators of the project: the European Union National Institutes for Culture by the Centre Culturel Français in Moscow, the German Goethe-Institut, the British Council, the Portuguese Instituto Camoes and the Instituto Italiano di Cultura. 101 dance theaters from Russia and 33 choreographers from European countries participated in the bid for taking part in the project. 7 participants were selected from both sides. Our choreographer was Lotte Sigh.

Nayil, was it difficult to win? There were many competitors.

N. Ibragimov:
I think it was much simpler than that. It didn’t feel like we faced serious competition. We just sent recodings of all the shows we have staged. When we met with the project organizers in Moscow, we heard a lot of compliments and understood that our creativity had been highly appreciated.

Lotte, what is it like for you to work with Kazan dancers?

Lotte Sigh:
First of all, it’s been really great that our work has been going on for such a long period. We have been here only for a couple of weeks at times, but it was a great opportunity for dancers to grow and develop into the material. And they have taken it further. The dancers have impressed me a lot and just completely have blown me away. They’re so fast and so sweet and intelligent. I can say from the bottom of my heart it’s been a true pleasure.

And what did you like, Phillip?

Ph. Jenkins:
I cannot really pinpoint just one thing. I’m coming home with a thousand of different things. But I’m inspired especially by how hardworking, disciplined, and motivated they are. But most importantly, I don’t see them any different from other dancers - that’s the best thing about being from a different culture - when you dance together it’s left outside.

Lars, what is your role in the show? What are the duties of a visual designer?

Lars E. Sorensen:
My role as a visual designer is to make a beautiful set for the show in Kazan, to make dancers look organic with the light and the ballet decorations. We haven’t seen the stage yet, so I’m looking forward for it on Sunday.

Aren’t you worried that the level of technical maintenance of the performance will be lower than you expect it to be?

Lars E. Sorensen:
I think definitely the level here is good. I was really pleased to see the theater. So, the technical level and work of technicians is the same as in Europe.

What is the subject of the show?

Lotte Sigh:
Before coming here, I knew it would be a piece about human beings and would demand a lot of physicality. I came here in August and met the dancers. As I’ve said, I was really impressed by their abilities and realized that I got a chance to take it quite far. Based on that, I narrowed down the theme. The title is “The Good, The Bad and You” – it’s about human beings. The work is based on observations how we deal with each other and divide ourselves into groups, for instance, good or bad – in many different ways. Basically, it’s about human beings – you and me.

Is Kazan ready to perceive a modern production?

N. Ibragimov:
The new production has turned out to be quite democratic. Our audience doesn’t even understand classic ballet very well. Unfortunately, our perception of choreography very often is limited to club dancing and what we see on TV.

E. Belyaeva: We give concerts on a regular basis. We have acquired our own audience. This project is a very significant part of work with spectators.

Which premiere is more frightening for you – in Kazan or Moscow?

N. Ibragimov: Actually, we have no time to be afraid. There are too many problems to tackle yet…

Lotte Sigh: Basically, we are not afraid. We are looking forward to it. The dancers have been working so hard, and it would be a pleasure to finally get it on stage.

Why does the European Union show such interest to Russia? Has this project been realized I other countries already?

Y. Belyaeva:
Europe wants free “dancing” blood which we can give. As a matter of fact, Russia is a huge, talented and unique part of the word, which attracts interest of the EU.

What is the future of your ballet play after “Intradance” festival?

Lotte Sigh:
We don’t have anything planned yet. But we’re definitely trying to get this further. I hope we can perform it in Denmark. I hope “Panther” will have a chance to go somewhere else in Russia or other places.

By Nina Narykova


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