Dance nerds, classical music fans, and even lovers of the fairy tale should have their tickets in hand already for this weekend's productions of Cinderella by French company Malandain Ballet Biarritz. For a night of stunning entertainment, it falls in the 10-zone. But...on a scale of one to 10, just how exciting is it to have booked Malandain Ballet Biarritz? And what else is there for the unlucky who can't make the show?
Charles Santos, executive director/artistic director of TITAS Presents, had a pretty confident answer for us. He practically shouted "10!" through his keyboard. And if anyone had any doubts, he went on to explain, "We presented them back in 2002, and I've always loved the quality of the dancers and the choreography. When I saw this very contemporary version of Cinderella in Paris, I knew we had to have it. It's really beautiful and current."
Known internationally for pushing boundaries from founder Thierry Malandain's choreography to the company's non-traditional and sparse sets, Malandain Ballet Biarritz removes the convention from ballet without robbing it of strength, sensuality, or those necessary weightless moments. It's fairly hot and a maybe a little weird. According to Santos, the company's reputation matches with TITAS.
"I selected this for TITAS Presents because of the quality of the company, choreography and dancers. TITAS is known for quality and for being a bit 'left of center.' This version of Cinderella is certainly that."
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Keeping with the strange allure of the company and the exciting nature of TITAS, Malandain Ballet Biarritz isn't just limiting their affect on Dallas to stage presence. At 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, barres will replace cars on Flora Street (and the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus) in front of the Winspear Opera House as MBB's Arnaud Mahouy conducts Big Barre, an outdoor ballet class.
All levels of dance experience (yes, even zilch) are welcome to participate. The public can even just watch, although with such international renown so close, why not jump in for at least a plié? "There could be 50 to 300 participants," offered Santos, adding that the hope is for a couple hundred. And why shouldn't there be?
With dance classes sometimes cost-prohibitive, or just hard to fit into schedules for working, non-pro-dancer adults and especially kids, this free class with an international company is something for the extra-curricular to do list--or is it the tendu list?
If in need of a little help, just find a stranger who looks like they know what they're doing (pro tip: For best options, look for a Booker T. student, someone who's pulling off wearing layers, or a person whose movements you'd describe as "fluid") and get down for an experience that's probably won't come around again any time soon. Comfortable clothing is recommended, as are anything for the feet from socks to demi-point ballet shoes. Free parking is available in Red Lexus Parking below the Winspear. Visit attpac.org to RSVP.