Two days before the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet performs, I am opposite Artistic Director Benoit-Swan Pouffer at l’Agora, cité internationale de la danse in the charming French city of Montpellier. We are sitting in a corner of the courtyard on a warm July afternoon, and Pouffer is visibly amped that his company is touring in Europe. The renovated 14th-century monastery is the headquarters for the 2012 Montpellier Danse festival, and its five studios and outdoor amphitheatre serve as venues for many of its performances.
Pouffer, who’s been dancing since age 6, is Parisian, but he has spent equal time (18 years) in New York. After studying at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse, he moved to the Big Apple to follow his dream of joining Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where he remained for seven years.
“It went so fast,” Pouffer says. “From Ailey, I took one day off and went to Cedar Lake as a resident choreographer. I stayed there for nine months. …
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