Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Michelle Loucadoux: From Ballet to Broadway

Michelle Loucadoux as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

It was not the most auspicious of beginnings. At age three, Michelle Loucadoux made her stage debut as a dancing poodle. But beginnings are not endings, and as Loucadoux’s fellow dancing poodles bounded off to chase other dreams, she kept at it: tap, jazz, dance competitions, the occasional pageant. She says, “I was a physically active kid. My parents wanted to get some of my energy out.”

Loucadoux came to ballet late. A production of Phantom of the Opera captured her imagination, and she enrolled in classes at Southwest Virginia Ballet, a school with a pre-professional company in Roanoke, Virginia. “It wasn’t until I was I was fourteen that I had formal, consistent ballet training,” she remarks.

She didn’t just stick a toe into the waters of ballet, she jet├ęd in...

To read the balance of my article, please visit The Dance Enthusiast

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Impressions of New York Theatre Ballet

Amanda Treiber of New York Theatre Ballet in Fang and Melendez's "Song Before Spring." Photo by Rachel Neville.

Music exerts an almost magical pull. It makes you think; it makes you feel. Often, it makes you move. In dance, music’s allure is particularly pronounced. Flesh meets sound, and the results can be captivating — for performer and for witness.

In New York Theatre Ballet’s Legends & Visionaries program at New York Live Arts, a quartet of pieces exposes this union between movement and music. Live music, a rare treat, adds a sonic sheen to the intimacy fostered by formidable dancing and performative restraint.

Ballet can have a reputation for exalting its history, rehashing the same rarefied works over and over. Yet, to move forward, the past must be excavated and examined. To this end, Diana Byer, Artistic Director of New York Theatre Ballet, has assembled a collection of pieces that compels the past and the future to meet in the present. The legends are Jerome Robbins and Richard Alston (better known across the pond), the visionaries San Francisco-based Milissa Payne Bradley and the team of Steven Melendez (principal at New York Theatre Ballet) and Zhong-Jing Fang (corps member at American Ballet Theatre).

Classicism acts as...

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast.