Cupcakes & Conversation with Amber Scott, Senior Artist with The Australian Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning?
The anticipation of performing, be it that night, or for a production in the near future. I guess the inherent discipline that comes with being a dancer and the decades of a morning routine also really motivate me. In a literal sense a cold swim and a cup of tea usually do the trick!
I believe that ballet chooses you; there was never a conscious choice to become part of the art form. Watching ballet and absorbing the theatrical magic as a child gradually enfolded me and now dancing is my language and way of life.
What are you looking forward to dancing this year?
I’ve got my fingers crossed for Hannah in The Merry Widow.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance?
David Hallberg in Giselle and Adam Bull in La Dame aux Camellias (by John Neumeier)
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?
I have read about the Léonide Massine Ballet Gala held in an ampitheatre in Positano and thought the idea or performing on the Amalfi Coast is extremely appealing!
How do you prepare your pointe shoes?
I darn the toes, sew on elastics and ribbons, paint them if required and pray for multiple pirouettes for my efforts.
What is your daily routine at the moment?
I swim and walk in the ocean then have breakfast on the way back to work. At the ballet centre I do about 45 minutes of Pilates then have ½ hour of physiotherapy. Class and rehearsals follow for a few hours. During lunch I ice my feet and then head back to Pilates for some follow up strength work. In the afternoons there are usually more rehearsals before finishing at 6.30pm. If there is a performance I go home for a sleep and then return to the theatre at 5pm to do hair, makeup and warm up.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite?
Mirka Mora (Melbourne artist and icon), Ernest Hemmingway, Romaine Duris, Rosalind Russell, Ewan McGregor and Oscar Wilde.
What would surprise people about you?
My love of swimming in the ocean in winter.
Who inspired you to dance?
Sylvie Guillem. An early ballet teacher gave me a documentary on her and I love her attitude and of course, her incredible dancing.
What is your best piece of advice?
It’s basically the whole of Desiderata. My mother gave me these wise words a long time ago and I still read them regularly.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show?
I sleep and eat and try to stay fairly quiet so I can save all my physical and emotional energy for the show.
Which role has tested you the most & how?
Odette in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake. It is a physical marathon and emotional detonation.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create?
It would be more couture than tutu, very feminine and highly impractical! I would say a corseted bodice continuing to a voluminous floor length tulle skirt that creates its own choreography as you move.
What do you look for in a dance partner?
Focus and commitment to synthesise on a physical and interpretive level. Strong hands and eye contact. All this balanced with good humour!
What is your favourite quote?
“This wallpaper is dreadful, one of us will have to go.”
— Oscar Wilde
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you?
A phrase I use far too often is … ?
“Boom!” I think it’s a bit of an Australian Ballet saying that applies to everything from doing a good pirouette to being in a good mood.
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far?
Dancing Odette in Tokyo last year on our international tour.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about?
Well it’s not so secret but I am quite nifty with physio tape and have been known to come up with new methods to support injuries.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now?
As next year is The Australian Ballet’s 50th anniversary, I hope to be celebrating through my dancing in the many exciting and challenging seasons the company will present.
If you could dance in front of anyone, who would it be and what makes them special to you?
I would like to dance in front of my late grandmother Pearl. She saw me perform just once as a professional and it would be so nice to dance for her again and see her smile.
You can purchase Desiderata, the book mentioned by Amber in her interivew & here are the details :