By José Luis Estrada Betancourt
">By José Luis Estrada Betancourt

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  • 09 / 26 / 2006

By José Luis Estrada Betancourt

I didnt know him. That explains why, when I was told that Grand-Maitre was in Cuba creating a choreography for the Cuban National Ballet, I got ready to interview a man of unusual talent and, surely, aged, of vigorous body, but with a developing belly, a few wrinkle in his face and gray hair. However, I only guessed one thing right: this Canadian has the scarce gift of turning into art everything that surrounds him, as for the rest, Grand-Maitre is his famous last name, and Jean, lively and smiling, it has hardly lived four decades in this world.

Of course, he began to make choreography since he was in the ballet school, when he was almost 16 years old, and his mentor was, nobody but the brilliant George Balanchine whose style decided to pursue. «When I was a student I made a pas de deux which was a ground breaking success, which helped me not to stray from the path.

«In year 1993 I created the Canadian National Ballet Frames of Mind, which besides being nominated for the prize Dora Mavor Moore, it opened the doors for me in the United States and Europe. Thats how I was hired by famous ballet companies: Teatro alla Scala of Milan, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Opera Ballet of Paris, the Hartford Ballet, the Bavarian State Ballet, the Norwegian National Ballet... "the two latter as a resident artist.

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