en l'air

Dylan Gutierrez
March 1, 2010, 6:05 pm
Filed under: On Stage

Dylan Gutierrez from Joffrey Ballet is our new ‘on stage’ dancer. Dylan previously danced with the San Francisco Ballet before moving to Chicago to perform with The Joffrey Ballet.

en l’air: Besides ballet clothes, what’s in your locker or dance bag?

Dylan Gutierrez: My iphone, my wallet, my watch, and usually a pair of sunglasses
en l’air: What ballet schools did you attend and how long at each?
Dylan Gutierrez: I started out at my mothers ballet school the Los Angeles Ballet Academy, and I left at sixteen to train with the Royal Ballet School. I graduated after 2 years.
en l’air: What type of ballet shoe do you wear?
Dylan Gutierrez: I wear a leather wear moi, the leather is soft and breaks in really quickly.
en l’air: What is playing on your iPod right now?
DG: Right here by Erk Tha Jerk haha
en l’air: Do you have any embarrassing ballet moments?
DG: I did ABT’S Nutcracker when i was about 13 years old I did the Russian dance in the second act. There were 4 men including me and we came out onstage behind a HUGE russian doll. One day while we were in the wings i asked if we could move the russian doll a little bit forward so that i could properly fit behind the other men. After doing so we started the dance and the big russian doll started moving out onstage, but this time because it moved forward it hit the set peice in front of it knocking it over and nearly taking out clara and the prince (the prince played by sasha radetsky). The house lights had to come up and we had to start again. We brought the house down …. literally hahahah
en l’air: What’s the most memorable performance you have seen (not performed in)?
DG: My most memorable performance i have seen has to probably be…. when i saw the Batsheva Dance Company at the Met in New York the whole thing just blew my mind, it was so different and truly amazing.
en l’air: What’s the most memorable performance you have been in?
DG: The most memorable performance I have been in was my graduation performance from royal ballet school  at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden where I dance the Pas De Deux in David Bintley’s Gallantries and the Pas De Deux in Natlie Weir’s Unwritten.
en l’air: Do you have a pre-show ritual?
DG: not really.. i just eat and mess around with the gents/my friends.
en l’air: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
DG:I make beats on my computer and i love to go out and have a good time with my friends. We like to get wild haha.
en l’air: If you were not a dancer, what else would you be doing?
DG: I would love to try and be a musician and learn how to properly produce music, it really interests me
en l’air: Do you have any advice for nonprofessional dancers?
DG:My advice for a non professional would be to have total confidence and beleif in their own potential and then working properly to reach that potential and sustain it. That is what I try to do I beleive in what i am able to do and i do not stop trying to improve it
en l’air: What is the absolute best thing about being in a company?
DG: The best thing about being in a Company is getting to do what I love every day and getting to meet great people and go great places.
en l’air: What is the hardest part of being a professional?
DG: dealing with pain, and dealing with pressure from an artistic staff and peers.

Davit Karapetyan
February 24, 2010, 9:52 am
Filed under: Video Of The Week

Here is a highlight video of SFB’s Davit Karapetyan. Check out SFB’s “interact” site to see more videos of all of their principle dancers.

Miles Pertl
February 24, 2010, 9:45 am
Filed under: In The Studio

Miles Pertl, an American from Kirkland, Washington is a student at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany. In his third year and in the highest level, Miles tells us what it’s like to be a foreign student in a German ballet school.

en l’air: What other schools have you been to?

Miles Pertl: I attended PNB (Pacific Northwest Ballet) for a couple years and then switched in 2004, I switched to IBT (International Ballet Theater). I switched because there was better training and more performance opportunities. I also went to SFBS (San Francisco Ballet School) summer sessions in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

en l’air: How did you get to Germany?

Miles Pertl: In 2007 I participated in YAGP and did well. Mr. Matacz (the director of the school in Stuttgart) offered me a spot immediately after seeing my modern solo there. It took a lot of thought to decide where to go (I also had offers at ABT studio company and SFBS trainee program). In the end, I decided to come to Stuttgart because it had and stronger school and the obvious…it was in Europe!!!

en l’air: What is your basic day schedule like?

MP: Everyday is different, but right now, we start at 8:30 and have a two and a half hour ballet class. We then rehearse for the upcoming shows. I am doing “In and Out” by Hans van Manen, “Concerto” by Macmillan, “Words Unsaid” by Sascha Rivera and “Pineapple Poll” by John Cranko. Not to mention that soon we will have to perform a hip hop number and a 15 min flamenco piece. So with all of these pieces we rehearse a lot! On top of these rehearsals we have pas de deux/variations every week. We also have modern workshops scattered throughout the year. There are very few days that we finish early.

en l’air:Who are your main teachers?

MP: My main teachers are Peter Pestov. He is an 80 year old man from Moscow. He is the teacher of Vladimir Malakhov, Alexei Ratmansky, Yuri Possokhov, Sascha Radetsky, Mikhail Kaniskin, Gennadi Saveliev, Nikolai Tsiskaridze and many many more. He is a legend and he proves it everyday we take class with him. He pushes you harder than anyone else would, and makes you work in ways that no one else could.

en l’air: What’s your status with Academic School?

MP: I graduated from Lake washington High school in 2007 with a diploma. I finished High school just in time to come to Stuttgart.

en l’air: Favorite Male and Female dancer?

MP: I have so many favorite dancers. my favorite classical ballet dancers are Mikhail Baryshnikov and Sylvie Guillem. But my favorite dancer of all time is Ana Laguna. She is a true dance artist that can make you upset or cry just by doing a simple tendu.

en l’air: Favorite ballet to watch?

MP: Carmen By “Mats Ek”. Each time I watch it, I see something new and feel something new (and I’ve watched it a lot!) This choreography looks so simple but has so many layers underneath. It has an arc to it: from beginning everything connects to what was before it and what was after it, but it still has the abilty to surprise.

en l’air: What are 5 Ballets you have to do before retiring?

“Petit Mort” By Kylian
“Poeme de l’Extase” By Cranko
Anything new that Forsythe creates
La Maison de Bernarda Alba” By Mats Ek
and something by Jasmin Vardimon
( I really want to be a part of new pieces being created)

en l’air: Why do you like ballet?

MP: I love being on stage. Its an answer that everyone gives to this type of question but it is true. The experience of being backstage and feeling that atmosphere is very specifically unique to the world of dance. Thats what I love most about ballet.

en l’air: Most played on your iPod recently?

MP: Blind Pilot -Three rounds and a sound (the whole album kicks ass)
Bon Iver – for Emma forever ago
Modest Mouse – Good news for people who love bad news
Kaiser Chiefs

en l’air: Random things in your locker/bag right now (besides dance clothes)?

MP: A lot of chocolate. hot hands (hand warmers), my ticket to Sylvie Guillem’s show last month.

en l’air: Things you like other than ballet?

MP: My girlfriend! Music, baseball, football, soccer, basketball, coffee, pizza, and rootbeer.

en l’air: What are you most looking forward to?

MP: Im really looking forward to dancing new pieces and participating in the creation of new ballets

en l’air: What do you like most about your school in particular?

MP: I love how international our school is. We have kids from all over the world (Italy, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, Armenia, Turkey, the U.S., England, Serbia, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Holland, and Ukraine) having such a mix really improves everyone’s dancing and their knowledge of the dance world. Plus you are able to make friends that will last a lifetime from around the world!

Roberto Bolle
February 21, 2010, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Photo Of The Week

Roberto Bolle and Darcey Bussell (photo by M. Brescia)

Jón Vallejo
February 17, 2010, 9:26 am
Filed under: Video Of The Week

Jón Vallejo in William Forsythe’s Enemy in the Figure © Dresden SemperOper Ballett

Spencer Badesch
February 16, 2010, 7:11 pm
Filed under: In The Studio

This year is the first year of the Joffrey Ballet’s Academy of Dance. We asked Spencer Badesch, a trainee  with Academy of Dance, what it is like at the new school.

en l’air: Where are you from?

Spencer Badesch: I was born in Columbia, South Carolina. Grew up in West Palm Beach, Fl and went to high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts. I like to consider myself from North Carolina

en l’air: Schools you’ve attended?

Spencer Badesch: Academy of Ballet Florida, The North Carolina School of the Arts, The Washington Ballet School, and the Joffrey Academy of Dance

en l’air: How many years?

SB: Like ten years at Ballet Florida, 4 amazing years at NCSA, and a year at Washington Ballet

en l’air: Summer Programs?

SB: Ballet Austin, The Harid Conservatory, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, ABT NYC

en l’air: What is your schedule like at Joffrey?

SB: Basic Day. Joffrey Ballet’s Trainees’ have class from 1 to 6 every weekday and 10 to 4 on Saturdays. We begin with techique class, followed by men’s class, partnering, contemporary, rehearsals, etc. The trainees take class with the company on a rotating schedule and when casted in a company production, rehearse with the company each day.

en l’air: Who are some of your teachers?

SB: At Joffrey we have Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev. The teachers that have meant the most to me are Donna Morgan, Christine Spizzo, Nina Danivola, Kee-Juan Han and Carlos Varcarcel. There is nothing better then finding a good teacher. My teachers not only taught me the fundementals of ballet, but also influced who I am as a person today.

en l’air: What is some repetory you have done this year in class? Unfortunately, I have spent the majority of this year sidelined by a knee injury. The Joffrey trainees get to learn tons of good rep. Once I get back to dancing, I hope to learn more Aprino ballets as well as anything classical.

en l’air: What is your Academic School status?

SB: I graduated North Carolina School of the Arts

en l’air: Favorite Male and Female dancer? Favorite male would probably be David Hallberg. His musicality, ability to make everything look so effortless, and the way be really becomes the chartacter he is portraying really make him stand out. Not of mention, he was blessed with a perfect ballet facility. I have many favorite female dancers! I love to watch anything Diana Vishneva dances. She is the definition of beauty. Also I really enjoy Tamara Rojo’s dancing. After I saw her dance MacMillian’s Manon this summer, I can’t get enough of her.

en l’air: Favorite ballet to watch?

SB:Classical.. it would be between Giselle and Romeo and Juliet. I also love to watch anything by Alonzo King or Jiri Kylian

en l’air: 6 Ballets you have to do before retiring?

SB: Albrecht in Giselle, Romeo and R&J, Siegfried in Swan Lake, anything by Alonzo King and Kylian, and many Chris Wheeldon ballets…

en l’air: Why do you like ballet?

SB: I feel free when I’m dancing, its so relaxing. I enjoy all the work that goes into making everything look effortless

en l’air: Most Played on your iPod recently?

SB: anything classical

en l’air: Things you like other than ballet?

SB: computers, politics, business, electronics

en l’air: What are you most looking forward to?

SB: hopefully joining a company soon

en l’air: Hardest part of being a student?

SB: dress code!

Myles Thatcher
February 14, 2010, 10:26 am
Filed under: Photo Of The Week

Myles Thatcher, Apprentice, San Francisco Ballet

Photo by Oliver Endahl of Ballet Zaida