Norton Ramos Fantinel does not give up. When the ballet company he had been appointed to as artistic director was dissolved earlier this year, he decided to form the Arles Youth Ballet Company and teach young dancers from around the world to go after their dreams.
Despite lucrative offers from renowned companies, Norton and his wife Karina Moreira both preferred to teach, as they feel that now is the time to be kind and to help others. They settled in Arles in the South of France and within three weeks they had set up Arles Youth Ballet Company (AYBC) and were ready to start dance classes. Currently, they are working towards scheduled performances where they will share the stage with their students.
It was a very brave decision but Norton would not be held back by anything, not even the coronavirus pandemic. “My motto is: Dream big, you can achieve anything as long as you work hard for it.”, he says and so he assembled dancers from his previous company as well as from around the world. It is Norton’s belief that artistic expression can bring people together and so he welcomes everyone at AYBC.
Norton’s aim was to create a humane dance company which supports growth and personal development, rather than promoting an authoritarian teaching structure. In his and Karina’s teaching, respect for the individual is paramount. This strong focus on dancers’ well-being is also shown in the choice of dance floor.
AYBC’s 200m² dance studio has been equipped with a professional Harlequin Flexity sprung floor to ensure the best conditions during training and enable dancers to perform jumps with confidence. The Harlequin Reversible vinyl floor was installed as a performance surface which provides the right level of grip to allow pirouettes while minimising the risk of slipping.
Just like his students, Norton is delighted with the dance studio’s floor: “Harlequin was the only possible choice we feel AYBC could make.”
The first AYBC performances are planned for December. Find out more and keep up to date on the AYBC website.