Canadian dancer and choreographer Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg has performed internationally in classical ballet, modern dance and national/historical dance. Her training took place at The Royal Academy of Dancing in London, England and in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, with Marshall Pynkoski, are the founding directors of Opera Atelier, now a respected opera and dance company on the world stage. In her role as choreographer and dancer, Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg has created a body of work unique in its historical authenticity and detail, and has introduced modern audiences to the beauty of 17th and 18th century dance forms.
Zingg choreographed and danced in all of Opera Atelier’s productions in Toronto, New York, Cleveland, the BBC Proms in London, England, the Royal Opera House at Versailles, France, the Houston Grand Opera, and on tour in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Japan and Korea, reviving important historical dance works by Handel, Mozart, Lully and Rameau, in collaboration with such conductors as Andrew Parrott, Marc Minkowski and Hervé Niquet.
April 14-22 Opera Atelier will premiere their production of Lully’s Armide at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, before taking the production on tour, first to France (Versailles Theatre) and then to the USA (Glimmerglass Festival near Cooperstown New York).
I ask Zingg ten questions: five about herself and five about Armide.
1) Which of your parents do you resemble (what’s your nationality / ethnic background)?
I am definitely a mix of both: mother’s bone structure, father’s colouring.
My ethnic background is Swiss.
2) what is the BEST thing / worst thing about being a choreographer?
The best thing is endless creative possibilities which arise when working in
a classical form with excellent music and excellent dancers. The worst
thing? There is never enough time to realize my ideas.
3) who do you listen to or watch?
I love to watch the choreography of George Balanchine. I enjoy listening to Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
4) what ability or skill do you wish you had, that you don’t have?
I wish I had a better accent when speaking foreign languages.
5) When you’re just relaxing (and not working) what is your favorite thing to do?
I enjoy reading pre-twentieth century literature; from Greek myths to
Dickens and Thackeray.
Five more about choreographing Armide
1) How does choreographing Armide challenge you?
As in all my creative work, choreographing “Armide” challenges me to make interesting, dynamic, varied dances which reflect Lully’s music.
2) what do you love about Armide and this type of opera?
I love that there is so much beautiful music to dance to, and that the dancing is so well integrated into the narrative.
3) Do you have a favorite number or moment in the opera?
I love all of the dances – but musically, I think perhaps the final Passacaille is my favourite.
4) How do you relate to Armide as a modern woman?
Armide shares with all of us the incredible poignancy of being human – that
we love and cannot keep the beloved with us forever.
5) Is there anyone out there who you particularly admire, and who has influenced you?
I admire my husband and founding co-director for his complete and unflagging dedication to excellence.
Saturday, April 14, 2012, 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, April 15, 2012, 3:00 P.M.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 7:30 P.M.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 7:30 P.M.
Friday, April 20, 2012, 7:30 P.M.
Saturday, April 21, 2012, 7:30 P.M.