Martha Graham Dance Company
Charlotte Landreau, Martha Graham Dance Company
Where did you grow up and how did you get interested in dance?
CL: I wasn't interested at dance at all, my vision of the future was the Olympic Games for Rhythmic Gymnastics. However, on day I broke my foot, I suddenly had to change my career path. Thanks to so many amazing opportunities, I am here dancing for the Martha Graham Dance Company in NYC. Unexpected opportunities have changed my life.
How did your background and your family's background; affect your passion for dance?
CL: No one in my family is an artist. Well, maybe in the soul. Gymnastics didn't help me at all to dance, even the opposite. I tend to control everything, my ribs are out, my arms too straights, I'm not grounded. Besides that, I've got a very strong mind. In gymnastics, from age 8, they train you to work by yourself. You go to competitions where everyone is against you, even the people you trained with. It is not that it's aggressive, it is that you just want to win so very badly. You can see on their young faces that they're here to win the gold, they're focused and precise, and nothing will get in their way. There is so much pressure in this world, that being a dancer on the stage is just a pure happiness for me.
What career would you have chosen if you could not have been a dancer?
CL: If I wasn't able to become a professional dancer, I would became doctor, maybe even a surgeon. I'd always admire people with abilities to save lives.
If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what advice would you give them?
CL: I would tell them, that in my opinion, it is one of the most harder jobs. It is like the life of an ephemeral, this specific butterfly. We're ugly at the beginning, but someone can see through our shell and help us grow... To finally die after few hours enjoying our gorgeous wings and technique to fly. But it is also a beautiful way to spend your life. But it is worth the very hard work. When you go on stage, you're giving your emotions to the world, you can express your inner world, become a goddess, die and then kill, transform yourself over and over again. I would say don't be afraid to throw your soul to your audience, if you want this sort of life.
Who would you like most to have a coffee with (could be dead or alive)?
CL: There are so many people I want to meet!! Gandhi, Van Gogh, Buddha, Princesse Grace of Monaco, Chopin, Maurice Béjart, Martha Graham, Nicolas Cage, Baryshnikov, Steve Jobs, Jude Law, Obama, Daniil Simkin, Sylvie Guillem, Roger Federer, Anna Bessonova, Jeanne d'Arc... Just a coffee? With Jane Austin.
Who were some of the people who influenced you the most in your career?
CL: Some of the people who influenced me in my career: My gymnastic trainers, my first Graham teacher, the director of the Béjart's School, his wife and my parents of course!!
What do you most value in your friends?
CL: Friends are so important in life. They bring joy, smiles and light in the dark places of your mind. I expect them to talk to me with truth and love. If you choose them well, they can save you from anything, even from yourself.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
CL: I am an epicurean. For me, happiness is very simple. Around a huge table with loved ones, great food, a bit of music, lots of laughs and dancing like tomorrow won't exist.
If you could be an animal, what would animal would you choose and why?
CL: I'd like to think that we all have our own animal in us. You can clearly see this during Graham rehearsals and on stage, the process of people's animals growing, developing, expressing themselves. It is truly beautiful, wild and so surprising! Mine... I'd like to consider myself as a lynx. They look like a cat from the outside, but if you get too close, they will rip your head and heart off. They're wild, nobody won't ever tame them.
Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with if you could?
CL: If I could, I would dance with Christine Dakin and Dawid Kupinski.
What is your greatest indulgence?
CL: I am too optimistic, I live in a dream world where reality is not on black and white, but gold. I think everyone has good inside, so I tend to trust and forgive them very fast.
What are your worst fears (professionally or personally)?
CL: I am afraid to disappear. To be invisible. To not recognize myself in the future, the choices I made, the people I choose to live with.
What is the one thing you wished more people knew about dancing?
CL: I wish people would dance for the world, for the audience, for the partners before themselves. Of course, you're training your body everyday, your technique, the length of your gaze, your energy throughout your toes and fingers, the flexibility of your entire body, but who are you really dancing for?
Dresses by Leanne Marshall