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You have described watching Barak in the corps very well with "leadership quality". I used to be drawn to her as a dancer and I wondered where she went after leaving New York City Ballet. Thank you for writing about her.


What a lovely interview! I am glad Melissa is expanding her horizons and getting to dance some new roles at LAB. I imagine working in the Corps of NYCB is good in the sense that you get to dance every night and they have long seasons. But it must be nice to break out of that mold and go to a company where you are given the spotlight. I look forward to seeing Melissa's new ballet!


Great interview, Philip! I haven't seen any of her work yet, but I'm intrigued by her interest in classical composers (Telemann, Shostakovich) that are rarely choreographed to. I hope to see her work sometime!


Melissa does have a knack for picking music; I look forward to seeing what she will do with the Britten. She told me it has a classic feel, and there will be tutus!


Excellent interview, Philip! You're so good at them. It's always fun -- and enlightening -- to hear dancers talk about their favorite ballets, the people who inspired them, and their own work. I can't wait to see her new ballet next week!


I found this page while doing one of my frequent searches for news of performances of the music of Benjamin Britten. I hope to attend a performance of the new ballet which is set to one of Britten's early works. In the 1960s my late life-partner and I made two journeys to the Aldeburgh Festival. I am always looking for opportunities of hearing Britten's music and have long thought that the Simple Symphony could translate into a dance work, as could many of his compositions.


Theo, thank you for stopping by my blog. The story of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears is one of the most fascinating in the history of music. And the Aldeburgh Festival must have been a particularly exciting place to be during the composer's lifetime. I hope the new ballet will be to your liking.

Anne Pautler

It's always such a pleasure to read about Melissa Barak, a dancer I first saw when she was about 12 and did "Pas de Quatre" in a Westside Ballet spring show. I'm looking forward to seeing her Siren on March 14 (Los Angeles Ballet's "Prodigal Son"). I hope "Simple Symphony" comes to the West Coast!

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