Cupcakes & conversation with Caroline Duprot, Corps de Ballet at American Ballet Theater
Caroline danced with The Royal Ballet until the end of last year, and as she is much missed in the UK, I am delighted that she agreed to be interviewed for my “Cupcakes & Conversation” series. If you are in the US over the next four weeks you can see Caroline dancing in Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo & Juliet and Sylvia at the Metropolitan Opera.
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
Knowing that I’ll be performing on some amazing stages, and giving my best to the public!
Who would you most like to dance with ?
It would probably be Roberto Bolle and David Hallberg. I see them every day but never got the chance to dance with them. The reason is not only that they are fantastic dancers, but also really wonderful people.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
Preparing my shoes takes a very long time, and is definitely something I could do without. I start by cutting the satin at the end of the shoe, then I darn them, I sew ribbons and elastics, then I squeeze them and cut the sole of the shoe with a Stanley knife and then cut some part of the insole! It takes a good hour, when work gets really busy I have to sew a pair every two days, it is part of our job!
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
I wake up around 7am everyday (Sunday included), I have breakfast, check my emails, reply to emails from my friends in the UK, have a brief chat with my parents, spend a little time with my boyfriend, then start with 30 min of Pilates and stretching , then go for 1.30 hours of class, followed by rehearsals from 12 to 5.30pm, show at 7.30pm or 12 to 7pm on non evening show, we also can have a matinee and evening show at 2pm and 8pm, usually I have my dinner around 6pm and start getting ready for the show!
What would surprise people about you ?
I really don’t think much about me would surprise anyone, as my friends know me to be simple and straight forward, no real secrets or surprises!
Who inspired you to dance ?
My parents, and they still do…
How would someone else describe you ?
I don’t feel very comfortable talking about myself, but according to my friends, they would say sincere, caring, coquette, stubborn! and terribly tidy!
What is your best piece of advice ?
Always be there for your friends, it is a very difficult job and you can’t achieve many things without the support of friends and family.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
There have been a few, but I would probably say Sugar Plum in Nutcracker. It was one of my 1st Principal roles I was given after playing many roles like Clara, Alice in wonderland, Olga in Onegin. I had to work a lot on my technique, stamina, and try to act as a very calm and mature dancer. It was a wonderful experience that I would never have achieved with my wonderful Ballet Master David Wall. He taught me so much.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
Since I work in a professional Company, my Dad use to call me every day for years, as a joke, he would ask…”are you playing Sugar Plum today??”
And one day, I called him and said straight away..”guess what Dad? I am playing Sugar Plum today!!!”
My Dad was very surprised…but so happy.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I would say Swans tutu as I’ve never really had one which I felt comfortable, and happy with. It may sound strange but costumes can make such a difference on your performance! The way you have to move with it, the way it makes you look…
What are you most proud of ?
Without hesitation, my boyfriend!
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
I think it‘s a very difficult question, but for physical and language reasons, I would say Audrey Tatou.
What is your favourite quote ?
No pain, No gain.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
I’d like to think I have the voice of an angel, but my friends encourage me to focus on dancing and not singing, so I guess, it’s not such a secret talent!