Friday, 14 August 2009
I am delighted to show another specially commissioned drawing by Sarah, a naturally talented artist, to introduce this latest interview series. Sarah’s brief was to depict the dancers’ progression from student to professional, and the resulting sketch perfectly represents that transition.
From Student to Star is a series of interviews featuring Graduates as they begin their professional careers, and will be following them regularly.
Last month I reviewed the Royal Ballet School’s Summer Matinee performance, which included Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, where Elisa Badenes, a Graduate of the School this year, danced the lead role of Titania. Her astounding technique drew roars from the spell-bound audience & her dancing is exquisite - Ashton's very English style does not suit every dancer. You can read the review and see more photographs here. Badenes joins Stuttgart Ballet later this year.
What are you most looking forward to about joining the Company ?
I think the Company can give me more self-confidence, which I think is really important when you dance. I would also like to learn different repertoire which I’ve never done before, and of course have an amazing experience.
How do you think Company life will differ from your student days ?
The work is going to be very different. In the school you have classes and some rehearsals but in the Company you just have rehearsals. You work every day towards the performance, not for yourself. You have more responsibility, you have to work on your own.
What are your best achievements as a student ?
I think this year was incredible for me! I was new in the graduate year and at the beginning of the year I was scared to join in the last year and I didn’t know anyone. But they gave me the opportunities to dance and I went with a school friend to the YAGP 2009 in New York which was an amazing experience. After all the competitors I won the Gold medal in the Senior Women’s category, and the Special Award of Outstanding European Dancer. That was really rewarding after all our hard work. But I think the most amazing experience was dancing the role of Titania at the Royal Opera House in the end of year performance. Apart from the great feeling you have when you are up on the stage with the lights, costumes and this incredible stage, it was really hard but incredible too. All the rehearsals with my school friends and the good teachers and staff really helped me when I finally danced the performance.
What do you think you will bring to the Company ?
I don’t know apart from one new face. I think I’m one of the younger people in the Company so I think what’s good is that I have time to improve and get a stronger technique.
How do you imagine your first day going ?
I will be really lost and scared but so excited too.
Which role would you most like to dance ?
I think the best thing is to have the opportunity to dance different roles, with different techniques and different characters. This year I had the opportunity to dance the Don Quixote pas de deux and it was a fantastic role which I enjoyed so much because I was really comfortable with it, but it was really good too dancing the role of Titania, which was another different style. Apart from these roles our class danced one neoclassical piece "Piano Concerto" where we could try different movement.
What would you say to those students entering their Graduate year now ?
Enjoy every moment because the year is really short and will pass ever so quickly.
Where would you like to be this time next year ?
I don’t know how my life will be in Stuttgart Ballet. I hope it is really good but I also wish to meet all my school friends again and have more experience together.