Συνέντευξη με τον Daniel Lommel

Για τον κύριο Lommel ότι και να πει κανείς είναι λίγο. Από την άλλη ότι πει μαζί του είναι εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρον .
(Για πρακτικούς λόγους η συνέντευξη έγινε στα Αγγλικά )

What motivated you to start dancing? At which age you did you realize you
wanted to be a dancer?

in 1956, I attended a performance of Maurice Béjart «Orphée», I was then at the School of
Fine Arts in Liège, Belgium. I was captivated by the style and presence of the dancers. I started
dancing at the theater of the same city with a Russian lady and then with Joseph Lazzini, ballet
master at the National Theater of Liège. Then with my parents we moved and went to Paris where
I studied with Mrs Nora Kissrt. There I continued at the same time my studies at the Decorative
Arts of the city of Paris. When I finished my studies, I did my Military Service, I entered the com-
pany of the Marquis de Cuevas, I then went to the Hamburg Opera House for three years with
Georges Balanchines and Peter van Dijck, and finally 15 years at Maurice Béjart.

What do you think makes a successful dancer?

The first and most important thing I think is a huge general culture in art history, music, psycho-
logy, theater and languages. This is mandatory and necessary basis. It is necessary to be able to
locate all the dance styles, whether modern, contemporary, classical, regional, jazz, or acrobatic.
It’s about knowing where you come from to know where you are going. It’s not about being
caught in an audition to dance, but wanting to belong to a specific place.
The second thing is to work with intelligence and perseverance, and above all many to work.
And finally be very talented and start young …

You’ve said previously that the support of your family was crucial to your suc-
cess. There are parents which wouldn’t support a dancer ‘s Career for their child.

What type of advice would you give to those dancers, to encourage them on their
career path?

IIt’s not just about family support. You have to be in the right place at the right moment, so it’s a
timing choice.
You need another choice of great teachers …
It also takes the choice of time …
I was lucky to be born at the right time, at the time of the greatest, in the century of the dance.
But the most decisive is the way of receiving instruction, and being attentive and humble throu-
ghout his training.

In your artistic path, what was the greatest challenge and the greatest achieve-
ment?

To be able to dance with Rudolf Nureyev

What is and How would you describe your first creative contact with Thessalo-
niki.

It is still a question of time, that of Melina Mercoury, but also the city itself, human and alive. a
city of avant garde, European. With its international fair. His film festival. Its simplicity, which
leaves time for reflection and concentration.

Art sometimes may sacrifice its quality in order to gain popularity. Do you
consider audience’s approval important for a dancer? If yes, how do you think
that someone can balance between the need to be approved and the desire to
stay true as an artist?.

We must not confuse Art with the fashion of art. Art remains Art. and crosses the centuries. The
problem of the dancer is not a problem of fashion, it must be built and express itself in what is
more lucid and authentic without ever failing to be at its maximum. Jacques Brel said «artists, I
do not know, I only know people who work more than others». I quite agree with this definition
of art.

Throughout your artistic career have you had the opportunity to work in diffe-
rent countries? In Greece today, many people migrate to pursue careers abroad.
With that in mind curiosity asks, what kept you here?

It should not be forgotten that I built my career in Europre, and in the United States. I came to
Greece on the invitation of Greek artists, I found the country splendid and I stayed there. Most of
the young people who emigrate are to build a life. I came to Greece after having made my career
as a dancer … Thessaloniki allowed me to prolong it, in order to learn new things, I wrote a book
about dance in the antiquity of your country and I was able to choreograph over 80 ballets with
Greek and foreign dancers.

Painting is also an expressive outlet for you. Is this the same now? Do you feel
these two types of art forms interact with each other through your self expression.
If so, how?

Painting was my first study. drawing taught me to see … but this art to play an important role in
my life. It was through my eyes that I was able to constitute a harmonic and balanced way of ap-
preciating the things of life. it allowed me to draw many costumes and sets for my ballets.

As a Dance teacher and a choreographer when do you feel that you have fulfil-
led your target?

Never, that’s why I make new ones …

When you watch a performance, what moves you?

the dancers who participate, the structure of the work, the music and if all these things are in
equilibrium …
a thousand thanks, sincerely
Daniel Lommel