Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division student Philippe-Alexandre Jacques is pursuing a career in choreography after graduating from the Ballet Academic Program and his experiences participating in First Steps – the RWB School’s annual student choreographic competition.
Jacques is currently a student in the School’s Professional Division Aspirant Program and says the competition sparked his interest in choreography.
Jacques choreographed pieces for First Steps three years in a row from 2009-2011 and says the competition gave him an opportunity to experience dance from the “other side”.
“Not only did I choreograph the piece, but I had to find costumes and lighting. The competition is a great creative outlet that I encourage all RWB School students to take part in at least once” says Jacques.
For each year of First Steps, Jacques choreographed a piece in a different style – from jazz to contemporary. For someone who mostly works in ballet, the competition gave him an opportunity to explore different types of dance.
“I love dance and I love dancing, but I believe I love the creation aspect of it just as much and choreography is a way for me to delve into a number of different styles,” says Jacques. “First Steps is a great opportunity to see students’ work and something I’d recommend to anyone with an interest in choreography.”
Now, Jacques is taking his choreography to the next level. He’s choreographed several solos for fellow Aspirant Program students’ audition videos and the RWB School is also supporting his participation in the National Ballet School’s Creative Challenge project. This project has Jacques preparing site specific choreography at the Millennium Library with dancers from the RWB School’s Aspirant Program and will be the longest piece Jacques has ever created.
“I want to create something that will speak to the community here in Winnipeg,” says Jacques. “I’m really excited. It’s definitely something I’ve never done before and it’s pushing the boundaries.”
Jacques also spent time shadowing the stage manager during the RWB Company’s production of Nutcracker last month.
“It was a different view of the show,” he says. “The more I can know about dance, the more proficient I will be as a choreographer. I’m just beginning to explore my career options and I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Jacques concludes.
To experience the fresh and dynamic student choreography of First Steps click here for tickets.