Ballettdirektor der Oper Graz
1, How much does the origin of the dancer influence their work ethics?
i think the further a dancer has had to travel from the safety of home, to recieve first of all the dance education (then the work) then more determination plays a role in keeping this dancer on a road of survival, where the desire to dance wins out against all odds. dancers form further away, who have to cope with adjustment (culture shock), maybe financial difficulties, are chosing to remain in search of dance as personal expression, learning at every step of the way the price of sacrifice, dedication and the need to dance becomes much more existential. hence a deeper work ethic than could have been carved in a comfortable circumstance.
2, What the most important attributes a professional dancer should have in your opinion?
understanding that the dancer is a vehicle through which the choreographer will communicate with the audience. the dancer should always try to transfer some of the spirituality of the choreographer along with the physical aspects of the work. understanding that the body houses not only the phsyical (muscles and bones), but also the mind!
so discipline and training for only one part of this body is not going to be enough. Maybe dancers should become a lot more spiritual about themselves, their place in relation to others, and their journey alongside a choreographer, in quest to experience something higher. actually not as out-of-this-world as it sounds at first, as anyone who has witnessed a “moment of magic” in the studio or onstage will recall.
it is these “moments of magic” that we constantly try to recapture…as elusive as they may be, but a beauty to behold.
i like to think that “dance is the liberation of the soul through the body”…meaning that any given movement should be imbue wth a touch of the soul (the spirit, the thought, the mind)…and to be the perfect interpreter of choreography, the dancer must also connect to this aspect of the choreographer. i think a lot of emphasis is still placed on the phsyical aspect of dance. as dance technique and training borrow from the innovations of sport-medicine/research, the human body is better equipped to perform phsyically. understanding how things work help us to increase performance levels. however one should not lose track of the inner movements of the mind that need to be added, to avoid the choreography becoming “empty”.
bring to mind a conversation with someone who “isn’t there”…a vacant stare that gives nothing back, a soul unattached from the body, thus a very unfulfilling encounter.
compare that with a lively personality, just sparkling in the eyes, and radiant beyond verbal conversation…this will be a memorable dialogue for all the nuances, innuendos, the speech patterns and inflection of voice.