Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Rym Kechacha interviewed for "Cupcakes & conversation ..."

Cupcakes & conversation with Rym Kechacha, Apprentice, Northern Ballet Theatre

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
On Mondays I always feel nice and rested from the weekend; so the thought of a whole new week where there’s loads of new stuff to learn and literally anything can happen, is exciting!

What are you looking forward to dancing next season ?
I’m looking forward to performing A Christmas Carol, because it’s so much fun and so festive! The music’s great and the movement of all the group dances are really involved and challenging.

Who would you most like to dance with ?
Fred Astaire. He was magic and in all his films he looks so elegant and glamorous.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I don’t think I really do that much. First, I cut the satin off the toe, to give a better grip on the floor, then I sew ribbons and one elastic on each shoe. Then I’ll take the top nail out of the shank so that the shoe bends with my foot, and work the sole with my hands to make it a bit more flexible. It takes about 45 minutes for a pair, I think. Then, I use shellac on the inside of the soles - it makes them keep their shape longer.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?
I get up at about 7.30, get ready and walk to NBT’s studios for class. I warm up for about an hour, then do class. Then there are various rehearsals until about 6.30. Then I walk home, make some dinner and either write emails to my far away friends and browse my favourite websites for a bit, or watch an episode of TV shows I’m addicted to!

You can ask six famous people to dinner - who would you invite ?
It’s going to be hard to only invite six - but I think it would be: Isadora Duncan, Jim Morrison, Coco Chanel, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Rudolf Nureyev. And I’d have Frank Sinatra and Edith Piaf there too, serenading us!

What would surprise people about you ?
I have a huge fear of being late. I keep my watch five minutes early, and I am never ever late for anything. Usually I turn up a good half an hour early, just to be on the safe side!

The NBT girls as fairies in David Nixon’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Who inspired you to dance ?
When I first started seeing ballets when I was younger, every single show I saw inspired me. I’ve been really lucky to have incredibly inspiring teachers all throughout my training, and someone that always inspires me every time I see or speak to her is my friend, the American ballerina Naomi Sorkin.

How would someone else describe you ?
I think people would mostly say that I’m funny and bubbly, I always seem to be making people laugh in one way or another! I think they’d also say that I’m quite curious, always asking questions about all sorts of random things - sometimes it can exasperate my friends!

What is your best piece of advice ?
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Though I’m still working on taking that advice myself!

Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Being a swan in David Nixon’s Swan Lake was tough, because the choreography is hard, it goes on forever, and you get cramp. You’re also trying desperately to stay in line and be in the correct spacing. Plus, there’s the voice of the little girl inside you saying ‘we’ve always wanted to be a swan and dance to this fabulous music, don’t mess this up!’ so I felt a bit pressured! In third year at Central School of Ballet I performed Christopher Gable’s Fireside pas de deux from his Cinderella. I loved it, but it tested my maturity and dramatic powers. I learnt a lot from that role.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
I am a notoriously clumsy person, so every day I have an amusing mishap. A silly thing that happened once was that I woke up and found that the fridge in my flat wasn’t working, it was completely warm. I rang up a repair man, and kicked up such a fuss. When he came, he found the switch and switched it on - I’d turned the switch for the fridge and freezer off by mistake. I felt very, very small.

If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I love costumes with tons of drama, so I think I’d have a dancer in a dark flowing cape, with a hood covering her head, which trails behind her as she runs across the stage- I’m seeing Juliet running to Friar Laurence...!

What are you most proud of ?
It’s nice to feel proud of everything you’ve achieved, professionally and personally, even though I hope I’ve got more to go! I’m proud of overcoming obstacles in my life and still having a sense of humour. I’m also proud of being financially solvent and independent from my parents, even at the relatively young age of 19. That’s a big thing for me!

Who would play you in the film of your life ?
I’d love to say Penelope Cruz, I think she’s just beautiful! But I’ll go for Ava Gardner, if she’s being funny and not too tragic. Possibly Juliette Binoche, she’s quite cool.

What is your favourite quote ?
‘Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.’ And Oscar Wilde said some lovely things, but my favourite is ‘We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.’

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
It’s not much of a skill, and everyone knows about it, but I write a blog about life at Northern Ballet Theatre. I enjoy doing it and people tell me that they actually read it, so that’s nice!


  1. Hello Elise,

    Thank you so much for your kind words today in my blog :) I will came here, to your house, :) soon to read more carefully, your interesting blog as we can see at the first sight :)


  2. great blog again dear have a great day .

  3. Just wanted to thank you for popping by. It's lovely to meet you.

  4. Thanks you so much for posting a comment on my blog! I am a writer for A Women's World but I have 2 other blogs. Please feel free to stop by and coment. I am a dancer (now I am 43 ) in partial retirement but I am also a personal trainer and a Mom. I blog about my family( my duaghter is an aspiring ballerina) and I blog about fitness and nutrition. and

  5. What a lovely blog you have! Thanks for stopping by mine :)

  6. Thank-you for your visit today. And your kind comment!!! I love balllet. Your blog is refreshing, I've enjoyed my visit!!
    Blessings, Deborah

  7. I tried to follow you but google is being weird today. xoxo

  8. I was delighted to have you visit my little blog. And hope you'll be by often. Although I never aspired to be a ballerina I did love to dance and still do. LOL..I am pushing the pink on my grand-daughter though. Wonderful blog you have. ~ Lynn

  9. What a lovely interview! Thanks so much for posting. I've always had a soft spot for ballet, mainly because I was a ballerina as a little girl (but unfortunately outgrew it... mainly physically... I got a bit too tall). Anyhow, it was a fascinating read. I love her favorite quote and reading about her inspiration and life.

  10. Wow! Your are beautiful. I don't know how you ended up in my blog, but thank you. I am a little intimated by a real writer. Please remember a I just learning to do the blog thing. Yours is as pretty as you are dear. Blessings to you and thank you for visiting. Martha

  11. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Ballet is amazing, ballerinas are amazing, what they do is so hard and graceful.

    xoxo anna

  12. Elise - thank you so much for your comment on my blog. I didn't have your email address, but I wanted to respond. I love dance and will be stopping by your blog more often!

  13. Hi,
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for leaving a kind message.
    I enjoyed your blog as well and it inspired me to paint a ballerina doll. I will work on that soon and will show it to you.
    Thanks again,

  14. Hello!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have a very cool blog here!! I will look it over more this evening! I am glad you enjoyed my blog! I hope you were able to ready the post about Pug Surfin was one of my favorites. SMILES!!

  15. What a fabulous and interesting blog here. I love the ballet. It's so beautiful ♥ Unfortunately I have only been able to see a few. I would love to follow your blog and add you to my favorites. Thanks you for the kind comments on my blog.

  16. Hi Elise - thank you for visiting my blog. I shall follow your with interest.

  17. Just wanted to say, thanks for the comment on my blog. Am pleased to discover yours too!

  18. it's really hard for me to imagine someone who is never late. sigh.

    knowing very little about ballet as i do, tho' i saw tons of it at nuryev's own "home" theatre in kazan when i studied there (he was long gone, of course), i really loved reading about how she prepares her toe shoes. it's like a little snapshot into a whole other world.

    i love the blogosphere.


    p.s. thank you for your sweet comment today on my tapestry pictures. :-)

  19. What an interesting blog!!! I´ll come back for more... :)
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leave a nice comment!

  20. How inspiring to read someone talk about how excited they are to get up on a Monday morning! I would aspire to be so driven and so positive!

  21. Thank you for your comments i love yours too especially the beautiful photos. So much I have decided to follow you. :)
    Tillie baker

  22. Thank you, you are a very kind lady- I am more belly, than ballet, but will drop by, again.
    Best wishes

  23. Just wanted to pop over and say thank you for the kind words on my blog today!

    I enjoyed reading this interview and browsing through the pictures of all of the beautifully graceful ballerinas. I've always been so jealous. I wish that I could dance, or at very least not be as clumsy as I am :)

  24. What lovely conversation and beautiful cupcakes to see! So glad to meet you!

  25. I love your blog...ballet always played such a huge part in my life. After ten years of dancing now I enjoy it from the audience seat without missing a single premier :)

  26. Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I have to tell you, our daughters grew up in the ballet world for many years while we we're living in Houston. I've enjoyed reading your lovely blog. It brought back many fond memories. Thank you!

  27. Elise, what a lovely blog you have! I am so glad you found mine so that I could find yours back. :) I know nothing about professional dance so this was really interesting to read. I loved learning about the toe shoes preparation.

    Thanks again for your sweet comment, and have a great night!

  28. Hello Elise,
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice message. Your blog is so interesting and might I add I adore the Cupcakes and Conversation photo. I used to go see the Nutcracker at the San Francisco ballet each December - it's so wonderful. While I haven't been in a while, I do play the music and see it in my head while I listen.
    Sharon :-)

  29. I LOVE your blog!! Your interviews are fantastic! A zillion years ago when I used to dance on pointe, I would slam my shoes against a door jam to soften them. I don't miss the aching toes but I miss that pretty ballerina figure that comes from dancing every day.

  30. Just popped across to say thanks for visiting mine. What a beautiful, elegant blog you have.

  31. Hello Elise!

    thank you for stopping by my blog and your nice comment :)
    I'm glad we 'met' :)
    This is a great post/interview, especially since I LOVE ballet!

    I will come back for more...

  32. Great to discover your blog Elise - will be back! Particularly as I am a great ballet fan...

  33. This is a great interview, Rym is very open
    about herself. My gosh what a long day, however
    if you are doing something you love I'm sure
    the time flies by.


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