Friday, 18 September 2009
Cupcakes & conversation with Crystal Costa, First Soloist, English National Ballet
Costa is currently rehearsing her favourite role, Giselle which she will perform for the first time with English National Ballet during the Autumn tour. Costa dances Giselle in Southampton on 12th November & 14th November (eve) and in Oxford on 20th November (eve). Costa dances the Peasant pas de deux from Giselle in Manchester on 24th September (mat) and 26th September (eve) and in Bristol on 4th November and in Oxford on 17th November.
Crystal Costa has been nominated for The Emerging Dancer Award, an annual competition for English National Ballet to recognise and nurture the phenomenal talent of their up-and-coming dancers. The Award encourages excellence and potential within the Company, with the winner being awarded a £5,000 cash prize.
During the Summer English National Ballet’s artistic, musical, administrative staff and Principal dancers have been voting for their Emerging Dancer and there are 6 nominated dancers.
Throughout the Autumn Tour of Giselle and the Christmas Season you are invited to vote for your favourite of the six nominees, giving you the chance to win some fabulous prizes (including; four tickets to an English National Ballet performance of your choice* and two tickets to the Awards Evening on 25th February 2010, where the six nominees will perform a solo to a panel of judges from the dance world. *Tickets can be redeemed for any performance in any venue that English National Ballet will perform at in the UK during 2010).
The dancer with the most public votes will win The People’s Choice Award. Voting opens on Wednesday 23 September. You can vote as many times as you like via the website or in any of the venues throughout the Autumn and Christmas seasons.
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
To be honest, it’s the prospect of my first morning coffee…
Who would you most like to dance with ?
Fred Astaire by far.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I used to do crazy things to my shoes like take in material from the sides to try to make them look as nice as possible, but now after going through so many, I just do the bare essentials: sew on ribbons, elastics and then darn them.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Right now we are in the rehearsal stages before all the touring begins, so it’s that nice feeling of a working process and getting into the roles. So it’s class and rehearsals all day and I’m able to spend time with my friends in London after that.
You can ask six famous people to dinner - who would you invite ?
Baryshnikov, Evelyn Hart, Jamie Oliver (or actually hopefully he’d be the chef), Kurt Browning, David Letterman, and my sister.
What would surprise people about you ?
My mom is Chinese and my dad is Portuguese.
Who inspired you to dance ?
I guess I got inspiration from dancers around me all the time, but especially my first ballet teachers and I’ve always admired Evelyn Hart.
How would someone else describe you ?
Depends who you ask, I’ve heard everything from “you’re actually blonde” to “neurotic”, to “loveable”.
What is your best piece of advice ?
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
I can’t pinpoint any certain role that has tested me more than others. When I think of challenging roles I’ve had such as Aurora, Odette/Odile, Giselle, I realize how they are all incredibly challenging in their own right and have all given me something different. With every role I’ve done, I always find a challenge to experience something special on stage in the most honest way by being as true and real to the character as I can yet still keeping true to myself.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
Well I don’t know if this is the funniest, but it’s something I’ll never forget… When I used to live in Hong Kong, I locked myself out of my flat three times in probably about two months. I got to know the locksmith fairly well and he basically confessed to me that he can just about break in to any flat and kind of suggested that prior to his job of helping people with their locks, he was a very good thief. Oh and I guess if you ask my friends they’d probably tell you the story of my first experience on eBay, where I ended up winning a bid for a used bike for more than I could buy a brand new one for…and on top of that I had to go all the way to Reading to pick it up.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
Something very very comfortable that would make me feel free to dance just like I feel in the studio.
What are you most proud of ?
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
A film of my life eh…hehe, well I guess my sister since everywhere we go people ask us if we’re twins even though I’m four and half years older, and I think she gets my sense of humour more than anyone.
What is your favourite quote ?
I have a lot of quotes I like, but a recent one I’ve added to the list is, “The origin of suffering is attachment.” Guatama Buddha.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with just my tongue…although come to think of it, a few people might know about that one.