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The Spectator's moment : BJM - Ballet Jazz Montréal

The Spectator's moment : BJM - Ballet Jazz Montréal

The spectator's moment

The Spectator's moment or how to discover an artist, a piece of work or a company in just two minutes. It is a collection of programmes produced by the Maison de la Danse in Lyon and presented by Dominique Hervieu. Each episode is devoted to an artist or a company that is programmed at the Maison de la Danse and offers the public keys or artistic benchmarks for better understanding and appreciating the choreographic art.

© Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Foniadakis, Andonis

Andonis Foniadakis was born in Ierapetra Crete in Greece. He studied dance at the Dance School of the City of Ierapetra in Crete, at the State Dance School of Athens, and Rudra Bejart of Maurice Bejart in Lausanne Switzerland (with the benefit of Maria Callas scholar ship). As a dancer he collaborated with the Bejart Ballet Lausanne, the Lyon National Opera Ballet, the Karas Dance Company of Saburo Teshigawara. In 2003 he establishes his own dance company APOTOSOMA in Lyon France, as an artistic director choreographer and performer. As a choreographer he has collaborated with: Bale de Cidade de Sao Paulo, Bern Ballet, Dansgroep Amsterdam, National Dance Company of Wales, Helsinki Dance Company, Geneva Ballet, Ballet of Rhin, Washington Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, National Greek Ballet, Bejart Ballet, Junior Ballet Geneva, Hellenic Dance Company, National Dance Theatre of North Greece, OMMA Athens Concert Hall, National Opera of Rhin, Sociedade Masculina Brazil, Benjamin Millepied Dance company, National Conservatory of Dance Lyon, and his own dance company APOTOSOMA. He as well has choreographed two operas: "Les Boreades of Rameau "for the National Opera of Rhin, "Il Canto de la Pelle" of Claudio Ambrosini for the GRAMME in Lyon and the Biennale Musiques en Scene. He has shown works with his own dance company APOTOSOMA in France, Germany, Holland, England, Italy, Finland, USA and Greece. Besides his choreographic activities he is teaching seminars based on his own dance technique, and on choreographic composition. He lives and works in France and Greece.

Source : Danse Aujourd'hui

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Lopez Ochoa, Annabelle

The Colombian-Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa completed her dance education at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, Belgium. After a 12-year long career in various European dance companies Annabelle decides in 2003 to focus solely on choreography.

She has created works for 59 dance companies around the world such as Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Royal Ballet of Flanders,  BalletX, Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet Hispanico, Le Jeune Ballet du Québec, BJM-Danse Montréal, Compania Nacional de Danza, and many others.

In April 2012, she creates her first full-length ballet “A Streetcar named desire” in collaboration with theater director Nancy Meckler for the Scottish Ballet. “Streetcar” was acclaimed by both press and public, and received several awards. Since then she has been invited to create more narrative work  such as “Dangerous Liaisons” for Grand Rapids Ballet, “Broken wings; the life and work of Frida Kahlo” for English National Ballet, “Red Riding Hood” for Ballet Black, UK and “Vendetta, storie di mafia” for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

Ms Lopez Ochoa is a versatile choreographer who works regularly within the dance field but also creates for theatre, opera or musical comedy.

She belongs to the Theater-Dance collective “Fantasten” with whom she created successfully five physical theater plays, which have been performed in numerous theaters and festivals throughout the Netherlands. Annabelle has been invited to the faculty of Jacob’s Pillow Summer School 2016 as a guest contemporary choreographer and classical choreographer in 2018.

Source: choreographer's website

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Rustem, Ihsan

Choreographer Ihsan Rustem was born in London, where he trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Ihsan  is the Resident Choreographer for the NW Dance Project in Portland,  Oregon USA. He has created further works for Les Ballets Jazz de  Montréal, National Ballet of Chile, Hubbard Street Dance  Chicago 2, Istanbul State Ballet MDT, Tanz Luzerner Theater, Bern  Ballet, Ballett Augsburg, Kazan State Opera and Ballet, Whim W'Him  Seattle, Koblenz Ballet, Ballet Regensburg, Würzburg Ballet, Siberian  State Ballet,  Salt Contemporary Dance, Arts Umbrella Vancouver,  National Youth Dance Company and Cinevox Junior Company. He was a featured choreographer for Russia's popular TV show 'The Bolshoi Ballet'.

Nederlands  Dans Theater have named Ihsan as one of their Up & Coming  Choreographers for the 2018/19 season where he is currently creating a  new work for NDT2 to premiere in The Hague in June.

His  work for the NW Dance Project has been recognised with numerous  accolades. State of Matter won the 2012 Sadler’s Wells Global Dance  Contest as well as the Public Prize at the 25th International  Competition for Choreographers Hannover, and Carmen received Dance  Magazine's 2017 Readers' Choice Award for Best Collaboration. Rustem was also the 2014 recipient of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's International Commissioning Project. 

From  2000-2014 Ihsan Rustem was a dancer with the Ballet Theater Munich,  Introdans, State Theater Bern Ballet, Tanz Luzerner Theater and  Adventures in Motion Pictures. He originated roles in creations by Wayne  McGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Alexander Ekman, Matthew Bourne, Stijn  Celis, Patrick Delcroix, Cayetano Soto, Felix Landerer and worked with  choreographers Mats Ek, Jiri Kylián, Paul Lightfoot / Sol Leon, Hans van  Manen and William Forsythe, amongst others.

He is the former Artistic Director of the Dance Art Studio Ballettschule Luzern.

​Ihsan lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

Source: choreographer's website

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Plasson, Fabien

Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).

During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc) .
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.

From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.

Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of, an online international  video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.

Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website

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Ballet Jazz Montréal

Emerging from a collaboration between Geneviève Salbaing,  Eva Von Genscy and Eddy Toussaint in 1972, BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de  Montréal – is a repertory company that creates, produces and presents  contemporary dance performances based on the technique, rigour and  aesthetics of classical ballet. Its work consistently appears on local,  national and international stages.

The company offers its artists high-level professional  ballet training and gives internationally renowned choreographers the  freedom to develop their artistic process in keeping with BJM’s  identity. In doing so, the company is able to create an exclusive  repertoire that is accessible to all. As a leading ambassador of Quebec  dance across the globe, BJM is synonymous with flawless execution. Its  distinctive style is at once artistic, sexy, explosive, original and  accessible.

Since being named artistic director in 1998, Louis  Robitaille has reoriented the company toward audiences open to new  choreographic forms. He has linked BJM with rising names in the world of  contemporary dance, such as Crystal Pite, Aszure Barton and others. The  company also regularly collaborates with internationally renowned  choreographers, including Mauro Bigonzetti, Andonis Foniadakis, Itzik  Galili, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Barak Marshall, Benjamin Millepied,  Rodrigo Pederneiras, Ihsan Rustem and Cayetano Soto. In recent years,  the company’s artistic direction has favoured multidisciplinary  creations that blend ballet with other artistic disciplines such as  theatre, video and music.

Every piece created for BJM remains faithful to an  aesthetic exerting a positive influence. With accessibility and quality  as its key values, the company has managed to incorporate enjoyment into  creations that are strong, expressive and demanding. The distinctive  personality and high calibre of its performers ensure the company’s  sustained success and reputation. Through its many productions,  performances and educational activities, BJM is able to encourage  discovery, stimulate imagination and democratize dance, all while  sharing with local and international audiences its deep passion for this  discipline. Having presented more than 2,000 performances for over 2  million fans in 67 countries, BJM is a true ambassador of Canadian dance  and artistic vitality across the globe.

In 2016, BJM and its artistic director were awarded the  Rideau Hommage prize in recognition of the company’s reputation and  continued presence on the Québec stage.

In 2017, BJM proudly celebrated 45 years of history, ballet, touring and meeting audiences.

Source: Ballet Jazz Montréal

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