Daniel Roberge wants to give men and women ballet dancers equal time

The American public tends to think of ballet as a light pink world of bundles, ribbons and shoes. But classical ballet was originally a male sphere. If the king Louis XIV ruled France, men were often the stars of court dances, which formed the basis of classical positions taught today.

Only in the 19th century did ballet re-focus around women, with the rise of pointe shoes and superstars ballerinas. Choreographer George Balanchine intensified this attention in the middle of the 20th century, devoting his life to the rise of dancers (he famously said: “Ballet is a woman”). In this world, men existed to support the ballerina by helping her make higher jumps and longer extensions.

Today, more and more choreographers combine these two movements, bringing men and women into equal planes. Dancer and choreographer Daniel Robert offers us a sample of such a balance in The rest is noise. City newspaper asked Roberge to discuss his new work for the Washington Ballet.

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