Dancing in the Light - An interview with Gael Lambiotte and Vanessa Lawson

Interviewer Michael Pink

The upcoming and much anticipated arrival of The Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Vancouver, performing Peter Pan, will feature two refined and dedicated dancers, Vanessa Lawson and Gael Lambiotte who bring a wealth of talent and creativity to the stage.

Vanessa Lawson has been a dancer with the RWB since 1997. She was promoted to soloist in 2002 and became a principal dancer in 2005, reaching the pinnacle of every ballerinas dream.

Critics have lauded her impeccable style and strength which combine to form a beautiful tapestry of ballet movement.

“ I have been dancing since the age of three”, says Lawson enthusiastically, “ and later joined the Edmonton Ballet amateur company. I find freedom on stage and am not afraid to show emotion.”

The freedom to perform and technical brilliance have led Lawson to a prominent career. Most recently, she was a guest artist in Mexico with renowned dancer Jaime Vargas, appearing in a gala performance at the Campania National de Danza in Mexico City.

She has also appeared in a dance gala with the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia.

Lawson has also benefited from outstanding mentors like famed ballerina, Evelyn Hart.

“When I first peformed the ballet, Giselle, Evelyn brought me to the studio for an intense and riveting four hour training session. We worked on emotion, expression, and the inner dialogue a dancer must have in their head when they perform a role” recalls Lawson.

“You have to have a dialogue in your head to convey the right emotions. In my case, I use past experiences to evoke the right feelings.”

“For the RWB, says Lawson, Vancouver is always a highlight.”

Truly, Vancouver audiences feel the same about the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the magnificent talent of Lawson, a bright star on the international dance horizon.

Gael Lambiotte is a Belgian born dancer who has been dancing since the age of five and risen to dance stardom, most recently with the RWB, which he joined in 2007.

Critics laud his quiet strength and graceful movement.

Lambiotte was drawn to dance through an older brother. “My brother was also dancing. I was doing academics in the day and training at night. Then a point came when I decided to go higher and train more. At fifteen, I decided to go for a professional career.”

His career has included many memorable events. The Nijinsky Award, the Alexandra Radius Award for best dancer of the year, guest artist with the Royal Ballet of London in 2002 and appearances in Europe, Japan and North America.

“I started my career in France then went to Germany for two years and then to Amsterdam, with a large 85 member company for seven years” recalls Lambiotte.

His career is truly international, having danced in several countries. “For me”, says Lambiotte, “ it is good to move and to take experience with you. Changes of life change your dance and your life. We live our dance.”

As a principal dancer with RWB and a global ballet enthusiast, Lambiotte will bring tremendous experience, creativity and the passion of his dance to the stage.

© 2009 Michael Pink