Instituto: The filmmaker speaks!

Filmmaker Benjamin Halstead sent along his report from inside the studio:

The past week has been an absolute joy. It feels very comfortable to be back in the studio with the dancers I had the pleasure to get to know during the last Instituto in September with choreographer Judith Sanchez Ruiz. I remember thinking that company member, Mr. Nicholas Villenueve, had the devotion and talent to be a successful choreographer. He definitely struggled a bit with Judith’s experimental, improvisational creation process, and it is very clear that now that he is in charge, things are going to work a little differently. He is very organized, and as all the dancers will tell you, he knows exactly what he wants. Ranging from beautifully intimate to thrillingly acrobatic, his interpretation of the seasons is a true testament to his creativity.

His transition from company dancer to choreographer was pretty seamless. The dancers do enjoy working with a dear friend and seem to be very comfortable with him. -Perhaps, too comfortable? There have been a couple moments in which Nicholas has felt a little overwhelmed by the influx of comments, questions and suggestions from this colleagues. However, he handles it with grace and diplomacy.

It’s interesting to me how my presence in the studio is a layered one. Having now known some of the dancers for a while, sometimes I can be a buddy, and yet other times I can be in the way, and yet other times I feel like they see me as a threat and my camera is a gun pointed at their face. But they always seem to be excited for the next video to premiere. I am having a ball.


Speaking of premiere–Benjamin submitted his next video which includes a rare peek at Nicholas’ work!

Ballet Hispanico Instituto Coreographico 2011 – Nicholas – Part 2 from reels4artists on Vimeo.

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