I try to be distinctive and true to myself on stage

Interview with Daniel Mulligan, Soloist at Ballet Zurich

First of all, congratulations on your nomination as a brilliant Mephisto by Dance Europe!

You have been with the Ballett Zurich for 11 years. What were the most important steps of your career?

The first job which was offered to me after ballet school was a contract with the Junior Ballet in Zurich in 2007. Heinz Spoerli, the ballet director at that time, pushed me quite a lot and gave me some good opportunities and small roles. After 2 years I was offered a position as „Gruppe mit Solo“ in the main company which means being a dancer in the Corps de Ballet of Ballet Zurich with some solo roles. I was very surprised that Heinz Spoerli appreciated me that much.

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Swan Lake has taken 4 years of patience

Interview with Li Cunxin, Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet, also known as Mao’s Last Dancer

Everybody knowns the story of Mao’s Last Dancer but not everyone is aware of his current career as the Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet. I was lucky to get the opportunity to talk to him about the new production of Swan Lake in May 2017. Then I was invited to watch a rehearsal which I really loved. It was heartbreaking!

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Nutcracker – a cash cow!

Did you know that the NUTCRACKER Ballet is a money making machine for ballet companies?

I just read an article in The Economist which stated that this ballet can generate up to 45% of a ballet company’s annual revenue in America. That’s why you can see at least one version in every state. It’s a tradition for families to come together and attend a performance of this famous Christmas ballet. Often, children from ballet schools are involved, dancing in the roles of small mice or toy soldiers. Magic happens when the beautiful music of the Waltz of Flowers starts.

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My favourite Drosselmeyers……

are without question Li Cunxin and Dominik Slavkovský.

qb-nutcracker-web-images-1300x600-3_hero_gallery
Li Cunxin with Queensland Ballet photo by David Kelly

Magic happened when Ballet Star Li Cunxin, was lured out of 18 years retirement for a special performance of the NUTCRACKER with the Queensland Ballet. Taking to the stage in Brisbane for one night only, the 56 year old dancer delivered a mesmerizing performance. While Drosselmeyer is predominately a character role, Li incorporated his own choreography – adding pirouettes and jumps to the performance. His twists and turns hinted at his past brilliance.

Li’s life story became known around the world after the book and film, Mao’s Last Dancer, told how he danced his way out of grinding poverty in China and ultimately ending into an international ballet career.

IMG_0892.jpgDominik Slokovský with Ballet Zurich photo by Gregory Batardon

On the other side of the world, at the Opernhaus Zurich, the young Slovikian dancer Dominik Slavkovský also took the role of Drosselmeyer to new heights. Ballet director Christian Spuck‘s fresh new choreography NUTCRACKER AND MOUSE KING allowed him to create a enigmatic character that captivated the audience as never before.

With his long lanky body and twisting fingers, the mysterious toymaker became a dark, dramatic and quite simply haunting character that guides us through the story.

Fotos
Li Cunxin: David Kelly
Dominik Slavkovský: Gian Paul Lozza and Gregory Batardon

It is Christmas Eve

and Time for Nutcracker

🌅Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all Ballet Lovers🌲

Enjoy these trailers with different interpretations of the most famous Christmas Ballet.

Photo on Top: Nutcracker and Mouse King by Christian Spuck, Ballet Zurich ©Gregory Batardon

5 Christmas gift ideas for Ballet lovers!

It’s only 25 days until Christmas – but there is still enough time to think about Christmas gifts!

Here are my top suggestions for all ballet lovers:

 

Theatre tickets

Invite your ballet loving friend to join you for a live ballet performance and top of the evening with a nice glass of champagne. There’s nothing better than some festive bubbles to enliven your discussion of the performance. The Nutcracker or Swan Lake are perfect ballet choices to get you both in the Christmas mood.

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Knackt das Ballett Zürich den Nussknacker?

Interview mit Christian Spuck über das neue Ballett NUSSKNACKER UND MAUSEKÖNIG am Opernhaus Zürich

Der NUSSKNACKER ist DAS weltberühmteste Weihnachtsballett. Warum braucht es eine Neuinszenierung?

Meine Neuinszenierung basiert auf der Original-Nouvelle von E.T.A. Hoffmann. Mich faszinierte die Idee, die Geschichte der Prinzessin Pirlipat wieder in das Ballett zu integrieren. Da lassen sich dann all die schrägen Theaterregister mit viel Ironie und Humor ziehen.

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