Interview with Sarah-Jane Brodbeck and Katharina Lips
You both just founded the company Brodbeck & Lips in July 2022 to give the classical ballet a non-institutionalized platform in Switzerland and to bring international ballet stars to Zurich. Tell us more about your vision?
We want to enable international ballet stars to bring their joy of dancing in ballet galas to Switzerland.
As we have a deep respect and passion for this artform, we wanted to create something new for Zurich. Many big cities all over the world curate ballet galas – why not Zurich as well?! Instead of traveling to Berlin, London or Paris, world-class ballet stars come to our small metropole in order to enchant the audience. Especially after the last two corona years, which have been challenging to many dancers and their audience, we want to create an evening of pure enjoyment and delight.
It is our vision to develop an annual event, which has the power to inspire and aspire all kinds of people to pursue dance or just simply appreciate this art form. We’ve come to realize that only when you experience something, you can truly come to love it. So now, after having spent too much time watching these dancers on small screens, one can experience them live again.
Your first event is called „Homage to Ballet“ will be presented on 16. and 17. September 2022 at MAAG Halle Zurich. What stars are coming? What‘s the program?
We are very excited that we managed to create a beautiful line up of top ballet dancers. Our dancers are from 5 of the biggest ballet companies in Europe; Staatsballett Berlin, L’Opéra de Paris, The Royal Ballet, Wiener Staatsballett and the English National Ballet. We are incredibly proud of all our dancer, but to name only a few: Polina Semionova, Iana Salenko, Germain Louvet...
When it comes to the program, we have some real ballet treasures in store for these two evenings. Iana Salenko and her husband Marian Walter will be performing the pas de deux of the ballet „Diamonds“ from George Balanchine, and Kenneth McMillan’s “Romeo and Juliet” will be performed by Katja Khaniukova and her partner William Bracewell. The Étoiles from Paris Opéra will be performing “Grand pas Classique” as well as the “Dying Swan”. Polina Semionova will be dancing a pas de deux with Alejandro Virelles as well as the Solo of “Cinque” by Mauro Bigonzetti. Also, there will be some neoclassical and modern pieces such as the „Mare Chrisium“ by Arshak Ghalumyan – a piece for five strong female dancers.
It is important to us to show a wide range of different choreographers and styles, all of which have one thing in common: their strong influence on the development of this artform. This gala is an absolute must-see for every ballet enthusiast (or the ones in the making).
You both are part of the ballet and event world. Please tell us about your backgrounds.
Katharina and I come from very different backgrounds, but we share the passion for ballet and the art of dance. Katharina and I met as we were working for a dance project together at MAAG Halle in 2019. She was managing, I was dancing. As we became friends and after successfully working together a couple of times, the desire within us started to grow, to combine our strengths to make our mark on the dance world of Switzerland. „Homage to Ballet“ is our first project under the name of Brodbeck & Lips – and is just the beginning. The issue of dancers’ health and talent development are two topics close to our hearts, which we want to support with our experience and knowledge as well. We are full of ideas, which we like to bring to life in the near future.
International Ballet Stars of HOMAGE TO BALLET
The list of all dancers participating in the evening:
Iana Salenko; Principal of «Staatsballett Berlin»,
Polina Semionova; Guest Principal and «Kammertänzerin» of «Staatsballett Berlin»,
Germain Louvet; Étoile of Paris Opera,
Myriam Ould-Braham; Étoile of Paris Opera,
Marian Walter; «Kammertänzer» and Guest Principal of «Staatsballett Berlin»,
Davide Dato; Principal of «Wiener Staatsballett»,
Katja Khaniukova; First Soloist of English National Ballet,
William Bracewell; First Soloist of the Royal Ballet of London,
Maria Yakovleva; Principal of «Wiener Staatsballett»,
Alejandro Virelles; Principal of «Staatsballett Berlin»,
Weronika Frodyma; Soloist of «Staatsballett Berlin»,
Arshak Ghalumyan; Sooist of «Staatsballett Berlin»,
Krasina Pavlova; Soloist of «Staatsballett Berlin»,
Casia Vengoechea; Freelance Dancer from Berlin
Pamela Valim; Freelance Dancer from Berlin and
Sarah-Jane Brodbeck; Special Guest, former «Staatsballett Berlin» and «Ballett Zürich».
Website Brodbeck & Lips
More about the founders
Sarah-Jane Brodbeck, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Brodbeck & Lips
Sarah-Jane Brodbeck grew up in Zurich, where she became a professional Ballet Dancer. She danced over 15 Years as Solo Dancer in renowned international companies such as the Zurich Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet and most recently the Staatsballett Berlin. Her extensive repertoire comprises of a diversity of roles, choreographies and dance styles in Classical Ballet, Neoclassical and Contemporary.
In her free time she and some of her friends, organize and create, for Forceful Feelings, International and National Ballet Performances. She studies Dance Science at the University of Bern and is expecting to complete her MAS in Dance Science in 2023.
Sarah-Jane is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Brodbeck & Lips.
“I have been so privileged to be able to Dance as my Profession and now is the time to show my gratitude and transfer this passion to a new and different level.”
Katharina Lips, Co-Founder and Commercial Director of Brodbeck&Lips
Born into a Christmas Circus family, Katharina Lips, gained experience in show business at an early age. She studied Cultural and Economic Sciences at the University of Zurich, Bern and Fribourg and graduated with a Masters of Arts. After obtaining experience in the supply chain in management consulting at KPMG, in 2017 she returned to the cultural industry to join MAAG Music & Arts as Show Project Manager and was also the assistant to the Production Manager. She gained a wide range of essential experience in organizing touring shows as well as the MAAG productions.
Katharina is Co-Founder and Commercial Director of Brodbeck&Lips.
As an enthusiastic amateur ballet dancer and ballet follower, she is fulfilling her own personal dream with the production of “Homage to Ballet – A Night with the Stars”.
“I so often travelled to our neighboring countries just to see these talented “Ballet Stars” perform and now they are traveling to us – simply grandiose.”