We've been following the Los Angeles based company, Barak Ballet, since they first debuted in 2013. We were so excited to catch up with founder and artistic director, Melissa Barak, to see where she gets her inspiration for choreography and where she hopes to see The Barak Ballet in the near future.
Melissa, it is so wonderful to have your company here in Southern California. What helped you to establish LA as the home base of Barak Ballet?
"I am originally from LA and have always embraced the free-spirited mentality this city possesses. Lots of creative, innovative minds come out of California. It's a real breeding ground for individuality. That’s something I wanted to capture in my ballet company. Ballet is an art form that needs to progress just like anything else, and what better place than a city like LA. In terms of dance, there are no rules, there’s no formula to follow. It really is a city that is currently shaping culturally."
Where do you find inspiration for your choreography?
"There are several sources I draw inspiration from. I find most of my inspiration out of music. It’s what helps me dictate the kind of dynamic I want to convey in a piece. It’s what pushes me to figure out which dancers to work with. Dancers themselves are a huge inspiration; I love intelligence, uniqueness, musicality, experience, honesty. I either get a feeling from a dancer or I don’t and I follow those gut instincts when it comes to casting. And finally, there is everyday life - a painting or installation at a museum, a relationship, an emotion, a color, etc. There is so much in the world to pull from. Possibilities are endless!"
What are your hopes and plans for the future of Barak Ballet?
"My hope is to see Barak Ballet really become the go to ballet company in Los Angeles. I’d love to see it build up to the kind of prestige as say the LA Philharmonic, which is a real cultural treasure here in LA. Barak Ballet is drawing the interest of some of the best and brightest in the field and I look forward to seeing that continue."
For more on the Barak Ballet, check out their links below.