Cupcakes & Conversation with Christopher Harrison, Principal, Scottish Ballet

July 24, 2013

Cupcakes & Conversation

ballet cupcakes

Cupcakes & Conversation with Christopher Harrison, Principal, Scottish Ballet

Christopher Harrison in Scottish Ballet’s Dance GB promotional photo shoot. Photo by Laurent Liotardo

Christopher Harrison in Scottish Ballet’s Dance GB promotional photo shoot. Photo by Laurent Liotardo

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?

A shower and a coffee. Along with some music to help me get in the right frame of mind.

If ballet chose you, as many dancers say it did, what is it that has made you stick with it ?

It has to be the support I receive from my family along with my teachers and colleagues who give me all the motivation and encouragement I need.

Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?

I would like to dance with my girlfriend, who I met when we were both dancing in Dresden. But there is no chance she will come out of retirement.  It would be Romeo and Juliet because I love the music.

If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?

In Perth, West Australia, so I could perform in front of my sister and my nephews.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?

I get up at about 8am, have a quick shower, some breakfast and go to the Ballet Studio. I do some warm up, class at 10am and then rehearsals for the Edinburgh Festival until 6pm with an hour lunch break. At times I finish later if I have a massage or sauna. Then I get home and eat like a king.

Christopher Harrison and Sophie Martin in Scottish Ballet’s EIF promotional pictures. Photo by Graham Wylie

Christopher Harrison and Sophie Martin in Scottish Ballet’s EIF promotional pictures. Photo by Graham Wylie

What do you eat during the course of a typical working day ?

I don’t particularly eat much during the day because I don’t like to rehearse with a full stomach.  I have a soup for lunch followed by fruits or any snack during the day to keep me going.

I eat very well in the morning and at night.

How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?

The first thing I do is eat something to keep me going during performance, and a coffee.  Walk to the theatre, shower, go over things I can improve from the last performance, put my music on and do my hair and make up for the show.

What are you looking forward to dancing in 2013 ?

Can’t wait to perform at Edinburgh Festival. We are working with various choreographers so it’s an exciting challenge to work on so many different styles in a short period of time.

How do you deal with the stresses of performing ?

I don’t really get stressed, I get nervous and excited. But if I do, I take a couple of deep breaths and move on.

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?

If I can choose anyone past and present: Andy Murray, Billy Connolly, David Attenborough, Albert Barnett Facey, Hendrick Larsson and Mohamed Ali.

What would surprise people about you ?

I’m clumsy.

Who inspired you to dance ?

A lady called Kay Morrison. She came to my primary school and gave a dance workshop. Her passion and enthusiasm rubbed off on me, so I have her to thank.

How would someone else describe you ?

Courteous, honourable, likes a laugh, hard working.

What is your best piece of advice ?

Go for it and enjoy whatever you do.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?

It would have to be Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling because it was a great challenge to work on the theatrical part of it and give 100% of myself to the role.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?

At the end of the Prince’s solo in Cinderella I almost ended up in the Orchestra pit.  It wasn’t that funny at the time, I was more scared than anything. Well, everyone else found it funny.

A phrase I use far too often is …

“We’ll see…”

What’s on your iPod ?

At the moment The Lumineers, ACDC and Macaco.

What makes you a good dance partner ?

Being open and considerate I hope; I try to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible and that they can trust me.

Describe yourself in just three words.

A Kippen lad*

*Kippen is the town in Scotland where Chris is from!

Christopher Harrison in Scottish Ballet’s EIF promotional pictures. Photo by Graham Wylie

Christopher Harrison in Scottish Ballet’s EIF promotional pictures. Photo by Graham Wylie

In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be this time next year ?

I would like to be enjoying life as much as I’m doing now, staying fit and healthy.

Who would you like to have a conversation with ? (this question refers to well-known people that you may not have met, but admire, in any field)

Andy Murray, to ask him what he drinks when he plays!

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