Annabelle Lopez Ochoa created a work, Vendetta – Storie di Mafia, on Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, which was featured on the company’s international tour. The Canadian Jewish News interviewed Ochoa, who said to the publication, “Ballet is evolving and not just by stretching the body out and kicking one’s legs higher and higher. That’s already been done. I want to cast the woman in a stronger role – one that isn’t so frail and fragile. A badass boss.”
The publication continued to touch on the theme of a woman creating a story ballet and the risk that comes with that:
When asked if she thinks whether Vendetta could eventually earn a spot alongside the great classics, Ochoa responds: “It’s a big risk to present a new story to an audience, but the audience is hungry for new stories. They want them, it’s up to us to find the courage to present them. I’m sure this hunger will only grow. The second time that Vendetta comes to town, people will know its story – hopefully one day as well as The Nutcracker. It would be a huge honour to be able to introduce something new into the canon of ballet repertoire that empowers women. All I can do now is keep writing.”
Ochoa is one of the few women taking this risk and garnering appropriate attention today. She is breaking companies out of the “12 rotating story ballets” they are known to perform. The DDP team is happy to see her Vendetta on tour to cities as far as Isreal. The respect the community has for Ochoa’s work should lead to an open-minded approach to commissioning full-length, dramatic work from women choreographers for companies. Vendetta is just the beginning of a long list of works that could be incorporated into big-company repertoires.
Read The Canadian Jewish News’ article about Vendetta here.