On a Wednesday afternoon in Toronto, I watched two former dancers, husband-wife duo Alisia Pobega and Louis-Martin Charest, work alongside a group of serious sixteen- and seventeen-year-old ballet dancers from Canada’s National Ballet School. Pobega crouches in one corner of the studio with half of the students rallied around her, speaking in low tones. Charest is on the opposite side of the room with his back to the mirrors, his dark hair barely perceptible above a crowd of ballet bodies clothed in leotards, loose t-shirts, and sweatpants. He draws the students in closer. They lean towards him, straining to hear. Every now and then, a student slyly glances across the room to the other group. Laughter escapes from one side and punctuates the air.
Alisia Pobega with students at Ecole Superieure de ballet Quebec. Photograph by Paolo Santos
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading