French ballet star wins plaudits with contemporary performances in Moscow

Source:AFP Published: 2017/7/10 16:58:40

Laurent Hilaire Photo: IC

French ballet star Laurent Hilaire, who this year joined Moscow's renowned Stanislavsky ballet troupe as artistic director, has wowed Russian audiences with his first program that introduced top contemporary choreographers.

Hilaire, a former principal dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet, took over direction of the Stanislavsky Music Theatre six months ago, a rare choice of a foreigner to head a Russian ballet troupe.

The audience responded with rapturous applause to his first program which premiered Saturday and saw works by two internationally renowned choreographers performed by the troupe for the first time.

The first Frenchman to head a Russian troupe in 150 years, Hilaire has vowed to "open up" the repertoire of the historic Stanislavsky theater, which focuses on classics.

Hilaire staged Suite en Blanc by the late French choreographer Serge Lifar as well as groundbreaking US choreographer William Forsythe's The Second Detail and Czech Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort.

"This is a challenge for the troupe. They had never done Lifar, they had never done Forsythe," Hilaire said, adding that the warm reception was a pleasant surprise.

"People had told me the ballet audience in Russia was rather conservative." he said.

Posted in: DANCE

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