FRIDAY, AUGUST 5: Bermudian dancer James Waddell has brought to the island two of his contemporaries to perform at the Bermuda Civic Ballet’s Summer Selections at City Hall this weekend.
Jeppe Jakobsen and Remi Laudat bring to the stage two extremely different styles in their solo work and are the two male dancers in Eric Bean’s piece JoGo (The Game). Along with these two routines the pair will perform in a finalé group dance with about 20 other dancers. It is choreographed by director of the Bermuda Civic Ballet Coral Waddell, mother of James, and is set to John Woolridge’s popular anthem Proud to be Bermudian.
Jakobsen has been studying at The Central School of Ballet in London and, along with James Waddell and Laudat, has just graduated.
He is currently looking to audition for ballet companies around the world from the Norwegian National to the Royal New Zealand.
Laudat is from Essex and hopes to pursue a career in contemporary dance and, while he has already been accepted into one dance company, is still looking at companies in Europe and South America.
For his solo, Jakobsen will be performing classical ballet from Sleeping Beauty — Prince Florimund’s solo — which he performed as part of his graduation.
“It is very serene, melancholy and slow and that suits me better than so many male solos. If I could choose one thing to pursue it would be ballet.”
Laudat’s solo routine and personal style is more contemporary and high energy than Jakobsen’s piece. He will be doing the Brazilian-flavoured solo Troy Game by Robert North.
“There’s a lot of jumping — it’s very dynamic,” he explained. “It is taking the micky out of masculinity but it is very masculine at the same time. It’s quite hard to act it out.
“It’s very different to Jeppe’s which is very serene, as he says. Mine is very raw. It’s only a minute and 20 seconds but its tough — every other move is a jump or run into a jump but you feel really good afterwards.”
Both dancers had to source their own costumes for their solo pieces and, like the dances, they are quite contrasting. While Jakobsen will be elegantly attired in a princely golden jacket and white tights, Laudat will be in nothing but a pair of revealing shorts with beads from Cuba sewn into them.
Laudat is also performing in a contemporary piece by world-renowned choreographer Pascal Rioult who featured a show in the Bermuda Festival of Performing Arts last year.
“The piece is about four characters in a city and each one has their own personality,” explained Luadat. “Mine is very anxious, he is always looking around he’s always on edge as some people are in the city who are always in fear of what is going on. I’ve never done any of his choreography before so it’s a great opportunity because he is a great choreographer.”
One of the highlights of the show will be Eric Bean’s JoGo, a work he choreographed for Brandywine Ballet in West Chester Pennsylvania.
Mr Bean explained: “It’s basically about relationships and the cat and mouse game we play with each other. It’s contemporary ballet with a bit of a tango feel.
“It has five girls and two boys (Jakobsen and Laudat). It starts out very standoffish and regal — they are just flirting with each other. During the second section it becomes a bit more intense and longing — they are reaching for each other and deciding not to be a part of it and running from each other and chasing. It has a lot of classical technique behind it but it has that flare of modern.”
The finale piece by Ms Waddell to Proud to be Bermudian will incorporate various different ballet styles to represent the diversity of Bermudian society.
Other local choreographers are Sophia Cannonier, Vanessa Guishard, Jelani Veney and Dominique Anderson while those from overseas include Christopher Murray and Shawn Mahoney.