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February 8, 2022

Myriam Ould-Braham, Étoile du Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris

Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, Myriam started dancing at the “Conservatoire de Paris” in 1992. The following year, she joined the “Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris”. At the age of 12, Myriam was then successful to the “Paris Opera Dance School” to continue her training. With her schooling completed in 1999, she joined the “corps de ballet” at the “Paris Opera Ballet”. Two years later, she was promoted to “Coryphée”, before being promoted to “Sujet” in 2002 and “Première Danseuse” in 2005. In 2012, Myriam was nominated for the title of Principal Dancer.

Since joining the “corps de ballet”, Myriam has participated in numerous productions, mainly classical and neo-classical: “Alicia Markova” by D. Delouche, “Giselle” (“Pas de deux des vendangeurs”), “The Sleeping Beauty” (Aurora, the blue bird), “The Nutcracker” (Clara), “Romeo and Juliet” (Juliet), “La Bayadère” (Nikyia), “Paquita” (3rd act), “Don Quixote” (Kitri)… just to name a few.

During her career, Myriam has been awarded prestigious prizes: in 2002, the Carpeaux Prize; in 2005, the Arop Prize and the Leonide Massine Prize. In 2014, she was awarded the “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”, for her contribution to the French and international art scene.

January 17, 2022

Matthew Ball, The Royal Ballet, England

Born in Liverpool, Matthew Ball joined The Royal Ballet School aged 11 and graduated through the School Awards. Naturally, he joined the Company during the 2013/14 season and is promoted to First Artist in 2015 and Soloist in 2016. The same year, he is designed Best Emerging Artist at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and nominated twice for Best Male Dancer and Performance. In 2017, he is promoted to First Soloist and Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet of Covent Garden in 2018, quite a lightning rise!

In addition to his highly acclaimed classical roles, Matthew Ball has created numerous roles with renowned choreographers such as Wayne Mcgregor, Crystal Pite, Christopher Wheeldon, Hofesh Shechter, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Kim Brandstrup and Cathy Marston.

With a strong interest in choreography, Matthew has also begun to create his own work, choreographing a trio for his Royal Ballet colleagues entitled ‘Waveform’, which was recorded and streamed for The Royal Ballet’s ‘Draftworks’ programme, and also a commercial campaign for the phone manufacturer ‘Xiaomi’ shot at the Natural History Museum.

In recent years he has branched into different fields working on several fashion and film projects including collaborations with Nick Knight OBE, Gareth Pugh, Erdem and British Vogue as well as features in King Kong Magazine, Esquire, Hero and Man About Town.

As charismatic figure, he has appeared in two short dance films directed by Pennefather Productions, co-starring with Francesca Hayward and Natalia Osipova, as well as the role of Tybalt in the highly acclaimed feature length film “Romeo and Juliet Beyond Words”.

Portrait photo ©Andrej Uspenski

©Andrej Uspenski

January 17, 2022

Yasmina Naghdi, The Royal Ballet, England

Born in London, Yasmine began her career path as a Junior Associate, before entering full-time training at “The Royal Ballet School”, White Lodge and Upper School. In 2009, the young artist won the “Young British Dancer of the Year Competition”. The following year, she joined “The Royal Ballet” where she was promoted to First Artist in 2012, Soloist in 2014 and First Soloist in 2016. In 2017, she obtained the coveted rank of Principal Dancer. In 2018, Yasmine was nominated for “Best Female Dancer” at the “Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards”.

Her major roles with the Company include Odette/Odile (“Swan Lake”), Aurora (“The Sleeping Beauty”), Giselle, Juliet (“Romeo and Juliet”), Gamzatti (“La Bayadère”), Kitri (“Don Quixote”), Tatiana (“Onegin”), Swanilda (“Coppelia”), Sugar Plum Fairy (“The Nutcracker”), “The Firebird”, Mathilde Kschessinska (“Anastasia”), Pink Girl (“Dances at a Gathering”), Irina (“Winter Dreams”), Terpischore (“Apollo”), Young Girl (“Two Pigeons”), Florence Billington (“The Unknown Soldier”), Stop Time Rag and Bethina Waltz (“Elite Syncopations”) and the Girl (“The Invitation”). She also performs the “Concerto” second movement pas de deux, “Within the Golden Hour” central pas de deux and “Symphonic Variations”.

Her further repertoire includes “Le Corsaire Grand Pas”, “Act III pas de deux” (“Sylvia”), “Ballet Imperial” (Balanchine), “Symphony in C”, ‘Emerald’, ‘Rubies’, ‘Diamonds’ (“Jewels”), “Tarantella” (Balanchine), “The Four Temperaments” (Balanchine), “Monotones I”, “La Sylphide”, and ballets created by Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon.

Portrait photo ©Andrej Uspenski

January 17, 2022

Eve-Marie Dalcourt, Freelance Artist

Hailing from Canada, Ève-Marie trained at the « École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec », directed by Anik Bissonnette, between 2011 and 2016. She took her first steps on stage during the School’s annual Show. She took Summer Intensive course of the “Arts Umbrella” in Vancouver in 2015 and of the “Nederlands Dans Theater” in 2016. During these same years, she was awarded the “Prix Avenir” by the city of Longueuil in Canada and the “Danse-Danse Award” in Montreal.

As a budding artist, Ève-Marie joined the “NDT2” in 2016, directed by Nancy Euverink and Fernando Hernando Magadan, performing all over the world the works of today’s most talented choreographers. Eager to support and facilitate new initiatives and artistic voices, she has become a Freelance Artist in 2019. She continues her artistic journey by joining the “Klever Dance” company by Kristian Lever for a year, before joining the “Nunes Dance” company, directed by Juliano Nunes, for the 2020-2021 season. At the same time, she will take part in new creations by Wubkje Kuidersma, Antonin Rioche and Parvaneh Scharafali, produced by “Korzo Theater”.

Ève-Marie also shows an interest in teaching. Since 2019, she has been giving numerous workshops and Summer Intensive courses in American universities, in European festivals, by way of Japan, all of which enriches her universe…

In 2020, she was the creative coach for the “Young Talent Project” organised by the “NDT” for the “Royal Conservatory in The Hague”.

Most recently, Ève-Marie has joined Alexander Ekman’s team, having already supervised the staging of “Cacti” at the “Royal Swedish Ballet”, and assisted Mr Ekman in the production of “PLAY” at the “Paris Opera Ballet”.

Photo portrait ©Miriam Guttman

©Rahi Reznavi

December 2, 2021

Patricia Velázquez, Ballet Malandain Biarritz, France

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Patricia started dancing at the age of 4. In 2003, she was a finalist at the “Youth American Grand Prix” and joined the “Royal Winnipeg Ballet School” in Canada, where she remained until 2005. She also perfected her technique during summer courses at the “Young Ballet of Québec” and the “Royal Ballet School” in Covent Garden, before joining the “Real Academia de Ballet” from 2004 to 2008. During these years of training, Patricia was awarded numerous prizes and scholarships.

In 2009, she began her professional career by joining the “Compañia de Danza Clásica y Neoclásica” of Jalisco in Guadalajara, where she danced her first solo roles. She continued her career in Mexico, in the “Compañia Nacional de Danza” of Mexico City the following year, and in Luis Serrano’s “Ballet of Monterrey” in 2011. That same year, she won the “Opera Prima en Movimento” contest, a “Reality Show” type competition broadcasted in Mexico. In 2012, Patricia spread her wings to France to join the Malandain Ballet Biarritz, where she currently dances.

Photo portrait © Olivier Houeix & Yocom

December 2, 2021

Toon Lobach, Freelance, Netherlands

Hailing from the Netherlands, Toon started dancing at the “5 O’Clock Class”, a dance school directed by Jocelyn Bergland. In 2015, he took summer classes at “the Nederlands Dans Theater”, before training at the “Dutch National Ballet Academy” directed by Jean-Yves Esquerre until 2017. At the same time, he was a trainee at “the Nederlands Dans Theater 2” for a year, before joining the company directed by Nancy Euverinck and Fernando Hernando Magadan in 2017. For almost three years, he danced pieces by Paul Lightfoot & Sol Leon, Johan Ingen, Hans van Manen, Marco Goecke, Alexander Ekman, Juliano Nunes, and many others.

In 2020, his career took a turning point as Toon decided to take his freedom back to dance as a freelancer, following his dreams and desires. Since then, this brilliant dancer has been performing in the works of famous choreographers. These include Juliano Nunes’ “Synergy” and “COR”, Paul Lightfoot’s “Selvportraet” and Alexander Ekman’s “Cacti”, in which he is also the rehearsal director.

December 2, 2021

Frederik Deberdt, Ballet Malandain Biarritz, France

Born in Izegem, Frederik Deberdt naturally studied dance at the Royal Ballet School of Flanders. In 1999, he was a finalist in the Eurovision Contest, took part in the Varna Competition, while being engaged at the Royal Ballet of Flanders, directed by Robert Denvers. He also danced in the Young Ballet of Europe, created by Jean-Charles Gil in Marseille. In 2001, he has joined the Malandain Ballet Biarritz, where he has performed most of the major roles in the repertoire.

At the same time, he has recreated some of Thierry Malandain’s ballets in various companies such as the Ballet du Capitole in Toulouse, the Metz Opera, and the Ballet du Rhin, as well as at the Cuban National Ballet School.

Portrait photo © Olivier Houeix & Yocom

November 3, 2021

Maria Kochetkova, English National Ballet, England

Born in Russia, Maria trained at the Bolshoi school in Moscow and danced at the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet before joining the San Francisco Ballet as principal dancer in 2007. She is one of the most talented dancers of her generation, invited to dance at the Bolshoi, the Stanislavsky, the Mariinsky, the Mikhailovsky, the American Ballet Theater, the Rome Opera, la Scala in Milan, the Tokyo Ballet and at the National Dance Company in Madrid. Since 2015, she has split her time between the San Francisco Ballet and the American Ballet Theater, becoming one of those rare principals who can enjoy the luxury of belonging to two companies at the same time.
Maria has danced in all the principal roles in the great classical ballets, while eagerly awaiting creations from modern and contemporary choreographers, who are always delighted to be able to express their art through such an exceptional dancer.
She has taken part in numerous international gala events, including “Roberto Bolle & Friends”, the Ballet Stars of the 21st Century concert in Paris or “Ballet Now” at the Music Center in Los Angeles.

Passionate about art and fashion, Maria appeared in a video for the stylist Julien David for his spring/summer collection 2015 and in the video clip for “Unbound” by “The Cathedrals”, the “Spirit of Van Cleef & Arpels” video and Visa Checkout and Gap advertising, all in 2014. She plays Juliet in the film on Tomasson’s Romeo and Juliet: Great American Dance.
She was nominated as best female dancer in 2014 by the “Circle National Dance Award (U.K.)” and for a Benois de la Danse in 2013 for her role of Tatiana in Onegin by Cranko. In 2009, she received a gold medal at the “NBC Superstars of Dance”. She won the “Isadora Duncan Dance Award” for the best individual performance for Giselle in 2008, gold medals at the International Competitions in Korea and Italy in 2005, gold medal at the Luxembourg International Ballet Competition in 2003, silver medal and the jury prize at Varna in 2002, silver medal at the Prix de Lausanne in 2002 and the bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 2001.

In 2018, Maria decided to seek more freedom and chose to become a freelance principal dancer. She continues to dance all around the world to our great delight.

Following the pandemic, Maria decided to go back to her beloved company, the English National Ballet, in September 2021.

Les Hivernales de la Danse. Photography Gerard Boymans

November 3, 2021

Sebastian Kloborg, Freelance Soloist

Sebastian trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and naturally progressed to join the Royal Danish Ballet in 2003 where he was promoted to soloist in 2009.

His classical repertoire boasts Romeo and Juliet, Albrecht in Giselle, the Prince in Cinderella, Theseus/Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Professor in La Leçon, numerous pieces by Balanchine,…

His modern repertoire includes Petite Mort, Bella Figura, Cacti, La Stravanganza, The Unsung. He created roles for Sol Léon & Paul Lightfoot, Natalia Horecna and Jacopo Godani.

From 2012 to 2014, he danced with Gauthier Dance//Theaterhaus Stuttgart, directed by Eric Gauthier. He created various roles in Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White by Itzik Galili, Malasangre by Cayetano Soto and Burning Bridges by Jirí Bubenicek. He has also danced in pieces by Mauro Bigonzetti, Hans van Manen, Alejandro Cerrudo, Christian Spuck and Eric Gauthier.

He successfully tried his hand at choreography with Strangers (2015), Betty Be Black (2016), 1970now (2016) for the Royal Danish Ballet, Limberly (2016) for the German National Youth Ballet and Ways To Go (2013) for Gauthier Dance.

January 20, 2019

Osiel Gouneo, Ballet de Munich, Germany

Célèbre pour ses sauts incroyables et sa technique impressionnante, Osiel est un peu considéré comme un ovni dans le milieu de la Danse classique. Formé à l’école Nationale de Ballet de la Havane, comme tout danseur cubain talentueux, il suit les traces de ses prédécesseurs en rejoignant le Ballet National de Cuba à l’âge de 18 ans. Il ne lui faudra que trois petites années pour accéder au titre d’Etoile. Avide de nouveaux challenges, il quitte son île pour le froid d’Oslo où le Ballet de Norvège l’accueille pour trois saisons. Invité dans de nombreuses compagnies internationales, il danse notamment à Londres, Moscou et New-York, c’est finalement au Ballet de Munich qu’il décide de se fixer, en tous cas pour le moment…

Bien sûr, il a remporté bon nombre de prix… Parmi eux, la médaille d’or au Grand Prix de Cuba et au Concours International de Pékin, la médaille d’argent au Concours de Varna et le Prix de la meilleure révélation sur la scène internationale lors de la cérémonie annuelle des Positano Awards.