What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
A strong coffee.
Who would you most like to dance with ?
Sylvie Guillem if she was 6 inches shorter or Gelsey Kirkland if she was 30 years younger.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
The main focus now is getting back in shape after the summer holidays. We are just starting the season so not the normal schedule but I am up at 8 and in the Opera house at 9 to warm up for class at 10:30. We are to beginning rehearsals for Mayerling so I’ll have around three or four hours of that, which will mostly be recapping and learning some new roles. Following that will be some calorie burning running on the Precor machine and a few hours of Pilates and stretching. The fight back to full fitness seems to be a huge struggle!
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Barack Obama, Fidel Castro, Mats Ek, Gabriel Yared, Nelson Mandela and Meryl Streep.
What would surprise people about you ?
That I love the ridiculous and love to be reduced to hysterical fits of laughter.
Who inspired you to dance ?
My sister and (Mikhail) Baryshnikov.
How would someone else describe you ?
Steadfast and stubborn.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Find deep belief in yourself and what you are doing.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Probably Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet as the steps themselves are very tricky but more importantly it is difficult to achieve the right balance of pathos and comedy.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
Quite often on stage things take on an inordinate hilarity precisely because you are not allowed to laugh. When playing “Eros” in “Sylvia” I had to stand as a statue on a raised platform above a fountain for nearly 50 minutes. Trying to stay still is quite a challenge and one performance some of the huntresses came by, stood at the fountain, and commented loudly enough for me to hear on the size and attributes of the fig leaf covering my anatomy. I was powerless to suppress my laughter.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
A perfect fitting tunic that allowed complete freedom for the arms.
What are you most proud of ?
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
What is your favourite quote ?
‘Never, never, never, never give up’ – Churchill, and ‘All the world steps aside for the man who knows where he’s going’ – my Father.
What’s on your iPod ?
A huge variety from Chopin to Eminem.
Do you have a secret skill which no one knows about ?
I speak French and Russian and play the piano.