In two weeks time, JBA’s festive program 5! moves out of the studio and onto the stage of hetpaleis in Antwerp. The anticipation is high for what is sure to be a firecracker of an evening- we hope many of you will be there to help us celebrate as we whirl you back in recent time with a nostalgic glimpse at JBA’s notable successes during the past five years.

Starting the evening, is ‘Études’ performed by the students of the Royal Ballet School Antwerp & of course there will be a brand-new and tantalizing JBA creation. The program not only looks great – we can promise you, it will be!

As is his wont and has always been part of his guiding mission in shaping JBA, Alain Honorez set out to find for this special evening, a choreographer whose work would challenge his dancers, stimulate the public and demonstrate the beauty, variety and longevity of this wonderful art form we call ‘ballet’.

He found that someone in Le Wang who is now in the process of creating an unusual and beautiful ballet ‘The Wind’s Gift’ which will premiere on June 7, 2024.

This young Chinese-born dancer/choreographer trained and then graduated, from the Beijing Dance Academy, where the dance education is rigorous and thorough.

Le Wang was talented enough to take part in the prestigious ballet competition, Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland where he danced away with one of the prizes!

This led him to follow his dream, enabling him to join Nederlands Dans Theater 2. After a couple of seasons he decided to move to Monte Carlo where he had been offered a place with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo after the Lausanne competition. Le fitted in well, rose swiftly up through the ranks of the company and was soon dancing soloist roles.

Wang is a young man of decisive character – this is very obvious in the dance studio where he creates with a serene but firm hand. 
Because he follows an inborn instinct, he awoke one morning with the decision to stop performing. He knew that he wanted to change course and start choreographing. Luckily the director of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo – Jean Christophe Maillot – is one who understands the talents he works with and gave Le the chance to start creating. From then on it was an upward path: Le returned to Beijing and his work there soon gained recognition with commissions rapidly arriving from Europe and the USA. 
The covid lockdown, which hit China badly, put the breaks on Le’s choreographic career so it wasn’t until 2022 that he was able to resume work, with JBA as one of the first companies in the West to schedule a ballet.

‘The Wind’s Gift’ is being choreographed on Chen Qigang’s La joie de la souffrance. Qigang who was one of the first musicians allowed to study in the West after the end of the Chinese cultural revolution, lives in Paris and as will be obvious, his compositions are similar in form to Le Wang’s dance language: a fusion of Eastern and Western classical traditions.

And there we have it – another memorable evening of diverse dance; many styles, many different dance nationalities coming together to mark 5 years of JUNIOR BALLET ANTWERP. 

We look forward to meeting you on June 7, 8 & 9 to celebrate with us!

Tickets: www.juniorballetantwerp.be

© Nicha Rodboon, Alain Honorez