Cupcakes & Conversation with Christopher Harrison, Soloist, Scottish Ballet

November 21, 2011

Cupcakes & Conversation

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Cupcakes & Conversation with Christopher Harrison, Soloist, Scottish Ballet

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Christopher Harrison. Photograph by Laurent Liotardo

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning?

A shower! That’s the first thing I need to do so I can wake up.

Why ballet?

My mum told me when I was a child I used to mark all the competitors from my pram at my sister’s dance competitions, so I guess I always had a passion for it.

Who would you most like to dance with and 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 her family.

ballet dancer

Christopher Harrison. Photograph by Nisbet & Wylie

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 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.

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 fruits, muffins and any snack I can during the day to keep me going. But I eat very well in the morning and at night.

How do you prepare in the hours before the show?

The first thing I do is eat something to keep me going during performance and a coffee.  Walk to the theatre, put my music on and do my hair and make up for the show

What are you looking forward to dancing in 2011/12?

I’m looking forward to the Dance GB next summer. It’s going to be a special event; Scottish Ballet, National Dance Company Wales and English National Ballet are performing together in the same show.

Dance GB poster

Christopher Harrison, Annabeth Berkeley and Ruth Brill. Photograph : Laurent Liotardo

 

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 6 famous people to dinner – who would you invite?

If I can choose anyone past and present: Charlie Chaplin, Billy Connolly, David Attenborough, Al Pacino, Bob Marley 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 and how?

Each role tests me in a different way. From such a technical role like Lead Man in Scenes de Ballet to a more emotional role like Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet.

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

Recently 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.

ballet dancer

Christopher Harrison as the Prince and Quenby Hersh as Cinderella in Cinderella. Photograph : Graham Wylie

If you designed your own costume, what would you create?

It would be something light that I can move very easily in.

A phrase I use far too often is…

We will see…

Who would play you in the film of your live?

It would be an animation character.

What is your favourite quote?

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they make the best of everything.

What’s on your iPod?

A mix of various artists like Jimmy Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Gnarls Barkley…

Who would you most like to dance for, and why?

Dance in front of all my teachers who have helped me in the past.

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.

Do you have a secret skill which none knows about?

I can peel an orange in one go.

Describe yourself in just three words

A Kippen lad.

If you could dance in front of anyone, who would it be and what makes them special to you?

As I mentioned before, my sister who is living in Perth West Australia.

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

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

What is your exit strategy, for the time when you stop dancing, and how did you plan it?

I haven’t decided it yet.

 

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