Cupcakes & Conversation with Andreas Kaas, Corps de Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
First of all, my morning coffee. I’m married to my Nespresso Machine.
Right after that, what motivates is how excited I am to do class. I love to take class in the morning because its the best way for me and my body to get ready for a long day full of rehearsals.
Why ballet ?
Because when I dance I feel complete. It sounds like a total cliche, but the whole combination of using my body, listening to beautiful music, expressing myself and telling a story is why I chose to become a dancer.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
My absolute dream role is to dance Romeo in John Neumeier’s Romeo & Juliet. That ballet is just perfect in every way. I don’t have one dream partner; the most important thing for me is that we have “that” special chemistry when we’re on stage. That we can feed on each others energy and that we can feel safe partnering together.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
I would love to go back to Palais Garnier in Paris to dance on that huge and extraordinarily beautiful stage. That’s one of the most amazing theatres in the whole world and that would be a dream for me to perform something big on that stage.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
My alarm goes off at 7:15am, but I get out of bed at 7:45am. Then I have an hour to get ready at home and then I take the bus to the theatre. Normally I would bike to work, but at the moment there’s too much snow and it’s too cold. Then I’ll be at the theatre around 9am, and I have an hour to change and warm up for class. Class is from 10-11:30am. After that I have rehearsals to 1:30pm and then I have lunch break for 35 minutes, and then I continue with the rehearsals to 3pm. I usually go home for an hour or two and then I meet at the theatre again around 7pm-ish and I’ll get ready for the show at 8pm. After the show I’ll take the bus home, I’ll make some food and I’ll go to bed at 12pm.
What do you eat during the course of a typical working day ?
I have to force myself to eat in the morning. I usually eat yoghurt and cereal after I wake up, then I’ll have a lot of snacks during the day such as bananas, apples, chocolate, milk and nuts. For lunch it depends of what they have in the cafeteria but usually a hot meal. I eat a lot of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice and bread because I need the energy and the calories. For dinner I like to make a lot of different kinds of food; the important thing for me though is that it’s quick and easy to make.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
I usually take a nap at home. Then I’ll go to the theatre, put make-up on and then I warm up in our gym. I love to get warm before a show using the Pilates reformer. After that I’ll do a quick barre and jump a little in centre so I’m warm and ready to go on stage.
What are you looking forward to dancing in 2013 ?
What I’m really excited about performing is the part of Carelis in The Kermesse in Bruges. It’s the lead in a two act Bournonville ballet that we’re doing in April. Just before that we’re doing John Neumeier’s Romeo & Juliet where I’ll be dancing the part of Prince Paris and understudying the part of Romeo. I really can’t wait for the rehearsals to start. Chroma rehearsals have already started and it’s so much fun. I’m also really excited for that.
How do you deal with the stresses of performing ?
For me it’s really important to meet up with friends and family outside of the ballet world. It helps me to get rid of some of the stressful thoughts and it’s nice to have some different input in my life which doesn’t include ballet.
What would surprise people about you ?
What would surprise people about me is that I have a twin brother who looks nothing like me. I also have a guilty pleasure. And it’s popcorn. I have it almost everyday – it’s the best!
Who inspired you to dance ?
I saw a ballet performed by The Royal Danish Ballet School with my grandmother and my twin brother when I was 7. My brother fell asleep after 10 minutes but I was hooked. From that moment on I just knew that ballet was for me.
What is your best piece of advice ?
My old amazing teacher Truman Finney ones said: “Are you waiting for the ballet fairy to come and hit you with her magic wand? Because – that’s not going to happen.”
That became my favorite quote and my best piece of advice because with dedication, hard work and big ambitions you can make your dreams come true.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
The whole experience of being a part of The Erik Bruhn Competition has been the biggest test for me. It was my first time being alone with only one other person on stage. Of course the classical pas we did was challenging, but the modern piece we did was no doubt the biggest challenge for me. It was so out of my comfort zone because classical ballet is what comes naturally to me. But after the intense rehearsal period for the modern piece I felt really secure and I ended up having a great time on stage.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I would create something really simple and clean. Tights with a jacket on top. Very classical. No fancy colors. Something that would show the body and lines in a great way.
A phrase I use far too often is …
I use the Danish word: Ej far too often. It’s not really a word but it’s a reaction to something exciting, surprising, sad etc.
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
I asked my family and their answer was immediately Johnny Depp. I have no idea where that came from. To be honest I have no clue.
What’s on your iPod ?
At the moment Ed Sheeran is constantly playing on my iPod. I have a lot of Danish pop and international mainstream music too.
Who would you most like to dance for, and why?
I love when my family is in the audience. It makes me feel secure and supported, even though my mom won’t see half of it because she’s crying. You know moms.
What makes you a good dance partner ?
I asked my good friend/dance partner and her answer was: That I’m dancing with my heart and in the moment. I take a lot of chances but without making her feel insecure. It makes it exciting and interesting because its never just a routine.
Do you have a secret skill which no one knows about ?
I’m really good at reading people.
Describe yourself in just three words.
Dedicated, hard working and perfectionist.
What is your exit strategy, for the time when you stop dancing, and how did you plan it ?
I dream about dancing a lot of challenging parts and staying healthy and strong without any injuries. Right now I live one day at the time. I haven’t thought about what my exit strategy would be. For now I just enjoy everyday in my career and live in the moment.