Q&A with Aurelien Scannella

Q&A with Aurelien Scannella

Last Updated: 03 Dec 2015
Localista Team

West Australian Ballet’s magical Ballet at the Quarry 2016 season kicks off in February, featuring works by acclaimed choreographers David Dawson and Craig Davidson. Creative director Aurélien Scannella reveals that planning an incredible ballet season is all about balance.

You've worked all over the world. What's different about the Perth audience?

It's really hard to get into people's hearts, but once you get there it's great, people are very loyal. There's a real future for the arts in Perth. WA Ballet is growing every year, we are going forward and that's really important for the arts in general. I really like the way we all get together for projects and make it happen.

How do you go about balancing contemporary and classical pieces within a ballet season?

We're the only professional ballet company here in Perth – we have to give 'food' to everyone. It's like having only one restaurant serving only one dish, you would probably go once but that's it. I have to find the right balance between contemporary and classical. I'm trying to make everyone happy in a way, along with my dancers. As long as I see musicality and aestheticism… it's a visual art, so we need to see beauty on stage. It has to match, the music, the dancers, the choreography, the costumes – it's a whole thing for me. But I like both…as long as it's the right balance.

Tell me about David Dawson's featured works for BATQ, On the Nature of Daylight and 5?

In the ballet world David Dawson is one of the most beloved choreographers of this century. On the Nature of Daylight is a beautiful pas de deux. It's exactly what I like on stage, aesthetics and musicality. When you see the choreography and hear the music, it's just true beauty. David Dawson has also made a contemporary version of Giselle. We present the first part, called 5. I think we can use classical music for
contemporary ballet, and that's what I want to show to the public.

We love Andre Santos, and we're very excited to see his choreography for In Black.

I've been quite impressed by this piece and his talent. One part of my job is to give the opportunity of choreographing to my dancers, and bring their pieces to the big stage. I'm very happy to give Andre this opportunity.

What would you say to someone who was hesitant to watch ballet?

My priority has always been to bring quality to the stage. It's very important for me to respect our public. I would say, start at the beginning, there's always a first step. The Quarry is a beautiful way to introduce someone to ballet, or to dance in general. Bring your picnic and a bottle of wine. If you like it, then join us for our next show at His Majesty's!

Five by Night: Ballet at the Quarry, Quarry Amphitheatre, Feb 5-27.

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