Ballet Manila’s Second Company Artist: Dominic Lor An-Zhen

Dominic Lor is no stranger to the local Malaysian dance scene. Locally trained and later ventured overseas to pursue his career in dance, the rising male ballet dancer has accomplished many milestones thus far and has set the bar for upcoming male ballet dancers.

Here’s an exclusive interview with Ballet Manila’s Second Company artist, Dominic Lor An-Zhen, sharing on his dance journey and his advice for young dancers.

Dominic Lor’s Personal Accomplishments

  • Kirov Academy Junior Company 20l7-2018
  • 2014: Guest Artist for Dance Space’s Romeo And Junliet
  • 2015: 3rd Place TDS Junior Category
  • 2016: 1st Place MIBGP
  • 2017: Gala Artist for TDS
  • 2018: 4th place AGP Finals, 4th place TGP Finals, Guest Artist for IDCO
  • 2019: 1st Place TDS Senior Category, Dance Star Competitions 2019

Fun Facts

  • Favourite ballet: La Bayadere
  • Favourite role: jester in Swan lake
  • Favourite ballet move: that one revoltade that I don’t know the name of
  • Most challenging ballet move: Plies
  • Favourite dance besides ballet: Latin
  • Favourite food: nasi lemak ayam rendang
  • Other hobbies: Netflix and going out with friends

Get To Know Dominic!

Q: What age did you start dancing?

A: I started dancing at the of 7.

 

Q: Who have you trained with/where have you trained before?

A: Since day one, I’ve been learning my foundations from my parent’s dance school, and from there I’ve gained a scholarship to Kirov Academy of ballet in Washington DC for one year.

 

Q: Besides ballet, do you dance any other dances? If yes, which dances?

A: Yes!! I actually started with ballroom dancing and trained by my parents too.

 

Q: What is your current dance status?

I’m currently an Artist for Ballet Manila’s Second Company.

Dominic’s Dance Journey

Q: What got you started in dance?

A: I never actually wanted to dance, my mother just puts me in her classes to learn when I was very little so I just went along the flow. .

 

Q: Why did you persevere, and what makes you passionate about ballet?

A: It was 2014 and I just met a French teacher. He was the one who taught me how men dance ballet, and so I really liked the style and masculinity and got me very inspired and motivated.

 

Q: What was the most difficult thing in ballet you had to learn/overcome?

A: Flexibility definitely, and also to adapt with different styles and corrections from different teachers.

 

Q: Any specific memorable moment(s) throughout your dance journey you’d like to share with us?

A: Yes, the one time when I was in the states, our school was invited to dance along with Mariinsky’s La Bayadere with the actual company. That moment was a dream come true dancing with one of the finest dance companies in the world.

 

Q: Any specific advice someone has given you that stuck with you and shaped you into the dancer you are today?

A: Yes, “It’s not how you dance onstage, but it’s how you make the audience feel”.

Q: How do you feel about winning the first prize at the most recent TDS competition?

A: I feel very happy and thankful to all my teachers especially my mother.

 

Q: Could you share with us how you trained for the competition?

A: First, I will always dance full out so that my teachers can give plenty of corrections. Secondly, is to do to plenty of self practise.

 

Q: What about the past competitions; could you give us some insight on what it was like behind the scenes?

A: For example, last year’s AGP really shocked me how good people from neighbouring countries are. But that didn’t stop me from shying away, I did the best I could and Dance confidently.

 

Q: Any tips for those who are entering competitions?

A: Smile and enjoy the stage.

Q: As a male ballet dancer in Malaysia, this is still fairly uncommon. What do you have to say about this? Have you faced any stigma, was it difficult or easy for you; just your thoughts on the gender issue.

A: To be honest, it’s not very difficult to be a male dancer in ballet because every teacher has a soft spot towards boys. However, because of that we tend to become lazy and too playful it makes us more difficult to catch up with the high standards of the girl dancers.

 

Q: What do you think of the Malaysian dance scene, ballet in particular, and also the possibility of having more local male ballet dancers?

A: I think even though the Malaysian ballet dance scene has been improving tremendously for the past few years, and yet the possibility of having more local male dancers is still so little.

With that being said, go invite all your younger brothers, cousins, friends to just try it out, who knows you might be the next protégé for Malaysia.

 

Q: Do you have any tips for upcoming male ballet dancers, especially in Malaysia?

A: Don’t be scared because people are laughing at you being a dancer. Be happy because they can’t be like you.

Q: We understand that you’re currently in Ballet Manila as a second company dancer; would you be returning to Malaysia one day to expand the local dance scene?

A: Definitely

 

Q: What is your goal in the dance world?/What do you hope to achieve in the future in terms of dance?

A: My goal is to spread the awareness of being a male dancer and encourage more boys to dance instead of thinking of stereotypes of being a men dancer.

 

Q: Based on your “glance at dance”, how has dance impacted you as a person?

A: Dancing has been running through me and my siblings’ bloods since my parents met. And now going this far in dance, it really did shape me into the person I am today.

Get In Touch With Dominic!

If you’d like to connect, collab, or get the newest updates about Dominic, follow him on his Instagram : @dominicloran_zhen!

Author

Grace Constance Rundi

Continuously searching for an artistic voice, spotting muses, and drawing inspirations.

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