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BWW Interviews: Fabrice Herrault, Dance Historian/Film-Maker

Interview: Fabrice Herrault, Dance Historian/Film-maker

Q. What was the inspiration or push that first put you in dance class?

A. The inspiration came from a doctor's request to my mother, as I was a thin and delicate boy. He thought ballet would strengthen me.

Q. What are the origins of your dance training?

A. Paris Opera Ballet School under Claude Bessy and Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris with teachers from Paris Opera Ballet.

Q. Tell us about your professional dancing experience.

A. Early in my career I was very hungry for experiences and made many moves so that I could fill out my dancing and my life as a young man.

I performed with the Hamburg Ballet, Monte Carlo Ballet, and Les Ballets de Marseille Roland Petit, Twyla Tharp and Dancers and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Q. You are a respected ballet teacher. How and when did this talent of yours show itself?

A. A major injury led me to explore teaching. I was given the opportunity to teach at Steps on Broadway. My instruction was very well received, and it was the beginning of my teaching career.

Q. Would you speak about your approach to teaching?

A. My approach with regard to teaching classical ballet is rooted in my training from the influential Paris Opera Ballet.

Q. You have been developing a reputation as a dance historian, via your films. Please tell us about your journey from ballet dancer to teacher to film-maker.

A. As a lifelong photographer, film seems to be a natural extension for me. I have always been passionate about cinema worldwide.

Q. What gaps in general knowledge are you aiming to fill with your dance films?

A. My aim is to honor those who have made exceptional contributions to the world of dance.

Q. What is your process? Tell us about your path to making a film.

A. It is difficult to talk about the process, because it is unknown territory when you begin to create the film. Besides the inspiration provided by the subject, music has a very strong influence on the making of the film, very much like a choreographer.

Q. We know that Rudolph Noureev (Nureyev) has a reputation that is larger than life, even after his death. With so many books and films about Nureyev, what made you choose him as the subject of your recent film, to be shown in NYC, at the Walter Reade Theater, on February 2, 2014?

A. Les Etes de la Danse, (Dance Festival in Paris) submitted the film to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of his death.

Q. What more is there to be uncovered or discovered about Nureyev that you want to give to the dance world?

A. I would like people to rediscover the great dancer he was in his prime.

Q. Did you have a personal connection with Nureyev?

A. Only inspiration.

Q. What future projects would you like to tell us about?

A. Many projects, not only dance related. I will tell you later.

Q. Your previous films deserve to be seen by a larger audience, including the younger dancers and dance fans that are continually coming of age. I, personally, would like to see them again. Do you have plans to have them shown again and/or will they become available on DVD?

A. So far my films are not commercial because of copyright issues.

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From This Author Marjorie Liebert