Once Upon… A Dance Story that should not be missed!

There is a man in Cyprus who has many things to say. He is an artist, a legend already in the famous world of dance, he is the one you need to know what he has to say. We had the great pleasure to meet him and ask him a few questions about his new ballet production “Once Upon” but also about his last years spend at The Limassol Municipal Dance Centre as a dedicated Artistic Director. Mr. Lambros Lambrou devoted his life to dance. He traveled around the world to share his expertise to other young dancers. His ballets were being performed all over the world like Canada, Cuba, Australia and the United States, where he was able to win his reputation for excellence and professionalism. He directed for a decade as Artistic Director of Ballet Austin in Texas, U.S.A and continued his passion in Limassol as the Artistic Director of Limassol Municipal Dancing Centre.



We had a great pleasure to ask him a few questions.

Mr. Lambros first of all thank you very much for this amazing opportunity that you offer to our readers.

KidsFuninCyprus: After almost 13 years spent at The Limassol Municipal Dance Centre what you can you tell us about your accomplishments and frustrations that you encounter?
Mr. Lambros Lambrou:
Today people can see why the Centre is still here. Students I have known are now dancing professionally in Europe and beyond, those who have not sought a professional career are some of the best-informed people I know. I would have been happier if the Republic of Cyprus along with the the business sector took a leap of faith and give me the tools to establish a professional school rather than a school run professionally.


KidsFuninCyprus:  What ages do you accept at the Centre?
Mr. Lambros Lambrou: The ideal age for a boy or girl to start lessons is between 8 and 9. There are other factors too such as a flexible body, natural rhythm and coordination. We inherit these things to a large extent.



KidsFuninCyprus: Is it time to re think training for professional dancing as opposed to dance for recreation? What do you think about continuous repetition that it is used as the main teaching technique in ballet classes today? Can dance lessons offer to children the chance to be creative? Can  we see ballet as educational? Such as understanding music better.....allowing creativity?
Mr. Lambros Lambrou:
This is a wonderful question and should be considered carefully by everyone. Children are naturally inquisitive. Under a good teacher’s eye, they gain trust and will try anything. Ballet is more like a musical instrument. It is extremely difficult to play Bach on a toy piano. So, the physicality of the student when it comes to ballet training differs from the normal or average body type as does the desire to move a certain way. I am very aware of this when I see students and try to be careful without neglecting the very talented child. This is the good thing about living in Limassol.




KidsFuninCyprus: Parents are often the ones who are encouraging children to enjoy a passion. Can they be also become an impediment? 
Mr. Lambros Lambrou:
More often than not I am faced with a difficult situation which requires delicate handling.
Its called “ Overly concerned mothers.. ”!!
At first I am greeted by genuine smiles ! I always try to asses the situation carefully as often, the parent may not be a great communicator or posses language skills.
After explaining the programme I follow to all I am immediately told that the child cannot follow the programme and could I please make exceptions. Again, I explain that there is a specific programme and cannot change but if it is possible the child can take extra classes. Again. I am told that this wont do because of other obligations ( another ballet school)
The best person to evaluate talent is a professional teacher or a former dancer who has spent a lifetime in the theatre.
There are no short cuts.
If the parent interferes then  a rift is caused…a lack of trust between the student and the teacher. The teacher becomes the bad guy in this triangle.  It is easy to toss a..she is very talented….to a young dancer, with the ease of saying  Have a nice day!  Openness and directness is best done at the very first meeting and while we love what we do, students are not clients as such nor guest artists …They are passionate young boys and girls who should be respected and not pushed by teacher or parent to do things that could be dangerous to the body mind and soul. Ballet training is not like tap, jazz, improvisation, piano or violin. It is more akin to track and field with a huge amount of effort not shown. It requires patience, mental and physical ability, consistency, focus. Dancing around the house all the time does not qualify for ballet excellence or talent…….Swimming, music. playing with others as children, mild gymnastics for beginners are good and healthy activities,as well as attending live, good shows to start forming opinions.
The idea of hard work comes almost naturally to the talented pupil as do other qualities. If you see your children swinging from a chandelier or re writing a dictionary they should be allowed to do so as they are most likely uninterested in ballet training.

 

KidsFuninCyprus: Can you compare opportunities for professional work between US and UK and here?
Mr. Lambros Lambrou:
I lived in N America most of my life. I danced, taught and directed a ballet company for many years. Here in Europe and particular in Cyprus it is impossible to do so. Every city in the US has its own dance group or company and is funded by the private sector. European schools and companies receive huge subsidies from the authorities and often reflect the national, cultural and specific tastes of that society. I’m not sure which is better. Money can by Art!



KidsFuninCyprus: What can be done to improve the dancer's life and the arts in Cyprus?
Mr. Lambros Lambrou:
I have been committed to teaching young students what ballet can be. It is up to parents to understand this too. I am not here to make dancers. That is impossible!
The arts flourish when the state decides to look beyond commerce. When this happens the quality of all its’ citizens improves significantly!!
Up until the age of 16 students can prepare for an audition abroad but this means that other activities have to be chosen carefully.



KidsFuninCyprus:  There is no way that you could not notice the new poster about the new ballet spectacle created by you. What you can tell us about the new production that will be in Limassol “Once Upon”?
Mr. Lambros Lambrou: 
The poster is eye catching and fun and causes us to smile. It is also less classical and perhaps closer to what younger students feel today. Personally “the little girl in pink dancing in a tutu” is not valid or a fare image of the art form! That type of an image and perception has caused many young men to stay away from this great art form. We don’t allow bullying of any kind at the Centre.



KidsFuninCyprus:Is Once Upon a story?
Mr. Lambros Lambrou:
Once Upon is a simply simple story about a young man who is different from everyone else. He has green hair and is not accepted by others. It’s about bullying, about not fitting in, whether it’s how we look, dress, move, behave. Every single student has contributed in ideas, moves, stories and insight, into the choreography! Ultimately, it’s about all those who pursue a dream.

It was a pleasure discussing dance with you....



“Once Upon” …. A story that has to be told has to be listened, felt and seen.

Once Upon
Artistic Director: Lambros Lambrou
Artists: Abby Mattox, Iago Bresciani
and all students of the LMDC plus our special guest dancers from the Estonian National Ballet.
Date: 11th May 2019
Buy Tickets online from: www.soldoutticketbox.com/

Limassol Municipal Dance Centre
Address: Limassol Public Gardens
Phone no:  +357 99 559322
Webpage: www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy/en/kentro-xorou
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Limassol-Municipal-Dance-Centre
Contact Person: Lambros Lambrou