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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My favourite Drosselmeyers……

are without question Li Cunxin and Dominik Slavkovský.

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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

Eine Schweizerin in Brisbane

Interview: Lou Spichtig jetzt beim Queensland Ballet

Die 19-Jährige Schweizer Ballerina Lou Spichtig absolvierte eine professionelle Ausbildung zur Bühnentänzerin an der Tanzakademie Zürich und schloss 2015 mit einem Eidgenössischen Fähigkeitszeugnis ab. Auf internationalen Wettbewerben gewann sie zahlreiche Awards: drei Goldmedaillen – beim Varna International Ballet Competition 2016, beim Youth America Grand Prix 2013 und beim Tanz-Olymp 2012 in Berlin. Lou war die beste Schweizer Kandidaten 2015 beim begehrten Prix de Lausanne und gewann den Publikumspreis sowie den Studienpreis Tanz Migros-Kulturprozent 2013.

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