On Entering the World of Ballet Conducting: An
Interview with Geneviève Leclair
Critical Dance, August 28, 2013
Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and excerpts from Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet, goes to Leclair, who conducted the orchestra with such verve and precision that its members sounded not like the students they are, but like seasoned professionals.
In addition to being essential to the audience’s enjoyment of the program, the music was an absolute gift to the dancers because it gave them the structure and direction they needed. Leclair’s confident dynamics and tempos, crisp rhythms, and cristalline phrasing created powerful momentum. Moreover, each style in the Tchaikovsky score was vividly realized - from the meowing of Puss in Boots and the White Cat, to the chirping of the Bluebird, to the stirring rhythms of the polonaise and mazurka. How wonderful for the dancers to be supported by music of such high caliber. »
« One of the chief joys of the Boston Ballet production of The Nutcracker is the live music played by its orchestra of over 50 members. For this performance, Assistant-Conductor Geneviève Leclair was at the podium, and the orchestra was in top form. Everything on stage, from Fresi’s spectacular jumps to Ellis’ ecstatic stretches in the air high above her partner’s head, was accomplished in collaboration with Leclair and the superb musicians of the Boston Ballet Orchestra.
« Prokofiev’s score is an immense and complicated one, and the Boston Ballet, under the baton of principal conductor Jonathan McPhee, on March 14, and assistant conductor Geneviève Leclair, on March 21, gave it great vitality. The fulfillment of the spell at midnight, with its clanging percussion and enormous blasts from the low brass, was especially dramatic. The orchestra has only two rehearsals per production, but consistently produces performances of the highest caliber. Dancers of the company, one and all, are privileged to work with such a distinguished group of musicians. »
« The 58-piece amateur orchestra [Parkway Concert Orchestra] is now in its 71st season. Since 2013, it has been under the baton of Genevieve Leclair, who has raised the level of the orchestra to new heights. »
« Unter-Konductor Geneviève Leclair took the podium for the sprightly & bright Rossini overture to his Italian Girl in Algiers ». […] Leclair brought out every nuance of the piece and bestowed such an impacting aspect to her reading that I could smell the salt air. »
« Throughout, the corps and the orchestra were of a piece: not openly virtuosic, not hard-edged, not drill-sergeant precise, but ample, accomplished, gracious and suggestive - Balanchine (and Hindemith, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky) with a human face. (And, on Sunday, a woman’s face in front of the orchestra: assistant conductor Geneviève Leclair leading an impeccable performance of Theme and Variations.) »
« […] Geneviève Leclair took the podium to present Respighi’s Trittico which interprets Spring; the Magi at the manger and the famous ‘birth of Venus’; she of the flowing locks and clamshell arrival. Leclair has already established her own style and control, but the restraint she maintains over the NAO musicians is pure Brott. She’ll be a magnificent director of whatever professional orchestra’s podium she’ll inherit. »
« […] Geneviève Leclair to take the orchestra through Richard Strauss’ tone poem, Don Juan. Leclair’s pacing and reading were exemplary. No matter how lusciously the woodwinds sang their love songs, cushioned on a silken mattress of soft horn tones, the voluptuaries did nothing but annoy and frustrate our would-be lover. »
« The matchmaker or introducer was Sergei Prokofiev’s deceptively uncomplicated classical symphony. This short four-movement work was directed by apprentice conductor Geneviève Leclair. The lady shows no musical temerity; rather she demonstrates a light touch that cloaks a firm hand over the orchestra. The reprised theme of the opening movement led to a most precise and detailed string handling of the larghetto that was exquisite. Leclair’s gavotte and exhilarating finale were a captivating contrast of tempi and musical message. »
« The National Academy Orchestra under the energetic baton of Geneviève Leclair, apprentice conductor, unleashed the romance in Pushkin’s folkloric tale ‘Ruslan and Ludmilla’. […] This was portrayed through an orchestral performance that was stirring and arousing from beginning to end. Energetic rhythmic precision married with expressed relaxed and flexible lyrical moments on both the conductor and orchestra’s parts drew the curtain to a close with a happy ending. »
Photographe Montréal ::: www.jeansebstudio.com