Cupcakes & Conversation with Abi Boyle, Royal New Zealand Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning
The feeling I get after Monday class. My body always feels good, worked, and ready for the week.
I like the physical challenge as well as the opportunity to express myself artistically.
What are you looking forward to dancing this year?
Revisiting the pieces we are taking over to the UK (Plan to A, A Song in the Dark and Banderillero) and The Sleeping Beauty.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance?
I would like to dance with my three older brothers just for a boogie one night – it would be great!
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?
The shore of Lake Hawera.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes?
I wear Heritage. I don’t need to do anything to them, just sew on ribbons (with dental floss) and whack them on!
What is your daily routine at the moment?
Wake up at 7am; arrive at work at 8/8:15, class, rehearsal, lunch, rehearsal, rehearsal, home at 5:45, dinner, then to bed by 10.
What do you eat during the course of a typical working day?
Every day is different; variety is important. I try to have muesli, yoghurt, fruit in the morning, salad or sushi for lunch and veggies and tofu for dinner.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite?
Margot Fonteyn, Michael Jackson, Tina Fey, Hugh Laurie, Jack Nicholson and Javier de Frutos.
What would surprise people about you?
I can make a pop sound with my ear.
Who inspired you to dance?
What is your best piece of advice?
“The will to win is never as strong as the will to prepare to win.”
How do you prepare in the hours before a show?
Listen to my iPod, apply make-up, do my hair, get dressed, 10min barre warm-up.
Which role has tested you the most & how?
Carmen, because it was my first title role and I wanted it to be perfect.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create?
Something fitted on top but flowing on the bottom like a long full skirt that works with movement.
What do you look for in a dance partner?
Trust, respect, strength, height and it helps if they’re good looking.
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you?
Not really but I do enjoy turning and jumping as high as the boys.
A phrase I use far too often is …?
It’s too rude to write !
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far?
During Carmen, I chew gum, but one night in the fight scene it fell out of my mouth and onto the ground. The girl I was fighting rolled on it and it stuck to her back. I managed to get it off her back and into my mouth just before I needed to use it in the choreography – all while jumping, rolling and fighting!
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about?
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now?
Still improving and injury free.
If you could dance in front of anyone, who would it be and what makes them special to you?
Anyone who wants to watch, that’s special because that’s my job.