Los Angeles Ballet’s Melissa Barak Talks Transition From Dancer to Director and Annual ‘Nutcracker’ Performance
This feature on Melissa Barak details her career as a dancer, choreographer, and director, especially highlighting her appointment as artistic director of Los Angeles Ballet earlier this year. The piece begins by discussing her early ballet training, her time spent dancing with New York City Ballet, and her decision to return to Los Angeles to dance with LAB for several years. The article also describes her transition from dancer and choreographer to director in 2013 with the creation of her own company, Barak Ballet.
In the feature, Barak discusses some of her goals for LAB, especially which choreographers and other artists she is planning to commission. DDP’s research is placed in contrast to Barak’s decision not to engage in discussion about gender equity. The article points to both our 2021-2022 Season Overview Report and 2021 Global Ballet Leadership Report to indicate that there is an ongoing discrepancy between opportunities for male and female choreographers. The author points out that despite Barak’s insistence on not considering gender when selecting choreographers, her role as artistic director makes her an anomaly in an industry where far fewer directors are women.
To read the full interview from Shondaland, click here.