by Julie Gervais
Dancepanorama had the exciting opportunity to interview Angel Corella while his company, Barcelona Ballet, was spending an extra week in Detroit following their performances at the Detroit Opera House. Listen below as he discusses his transition to full-time Director, his Company’s work, and his outlook on ballet and its place in our contemporary culture.
dp: This a very special time for you. You have made an announcement that you will retire from American Ballet Theatre as Principal Dancer, this June. Was it a tough decision?
Will you continue to appear with your company?
Your Company has just recently made a new home in Barcelona. What is the significance of this move?
You just mentioned, and have spoken before about, your desire for the company not to be known as ‘Angel Corella’s Company’. What do you want the Company to be known for?
And, all of this rapid growth despite the fact that you launched the company just as the world was falling to its knees in financial crisis, and there are still many unresolved global finance problems. Did you ever question whether it would be better to wait until the economy improved?
You have the rare perspective of someone who has danced a rich variety of top-shelf repertoire, on big stages around the world. What trends do you see in ballet repertoire, and what differences do you see among countries and even regions, such as the American coasts vs. the heartland areas?
Speaking of audience development, it’s great that you have such a clear vision. Because everyone is looking for the answer to the question: how do you get people out of their living rooms and into the theatre?
You have dancers from all over the world, but the majority are from Spain. Is there a special quality – a Spanish energy – that you are excited to show to the world?
How have audiences been responding, as you’ve been touring around?
The television dance show explosion: do you feel like it’s a positive thing?
Finally, what else – because this question is what dancepanorama is all about too – what else can we do to get people more interested in dance?