Cupcakes & Conversation with David Makhateli, Principal, The Royal Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
At 8am I am still asleep!
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance?
I have to say that I’ve been fortunate enough to dance with most incredible dancers such as Nina Ananiashvili, Darcey Bussell, Polina Semionova, Tamara Rojo, Marianela Nunez, Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Somova, Mizuka Ueno and my list can go on; so my answer would be that I have danced with those whom I most liked to dance with. It is always very exciting to dance with my little sister Maia and my beautiful wife Natalia Kremen, because we are working in a different companies and it’s quite hard to find time to dance together.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
At home, doing renovation in my new flat. During the day, when not rehearsing, I am on my iphone dealing with my business partners about my new ballet projects and ballet Galas.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show?
I take class in the morning at 10:30 and then go back home to sleep. At 4pm I get up, have a bite to eat and go to the Opera House to warm-up and get ready for the show.
What are you looking forward to dancing in 2010?
Onegin at the beginning of the season as well as Sylvia, Swan Lake, Manon and Cinderella which is later on in the season.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Princess Caroline of Monaco, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Kevin Spacey, Eddie Murphy, Princess Diana.
What would surprise people about you ?
My good cooking skills.
Who inspired you to dance ?
My family. I grew up in a family of artists, my grandfather, father and my mother were dancers and my grandmother was an opera singer so I was exposed to the dance at the early age.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Dance your heart out, be always open to learn something new and get the most out of it, because a dancers career is too short and there is no time to waste. And don’t forget that “beauty of your soul mysteriously reflects in the beauty of your body and dance.“ This is what Marika Bezobrazova, one of my teachers, used to say, may she rest in peace. I will always remember that and pass it on.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Basilio in Don Quixote. I always thought that this ballet and role wasn’t for me. I am more of a lyrical dancer. However I have done it and found my way of interpreting the role.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
It is not something I would do! I believe everyone has to stick to their profession.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
What is your favorite quote?
“If you do not change the direction in which you are going, you will end up where you are headed.”
“Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Confucius quotes
What’s on your iPod ?
Classical music – mostly Chopin, Mozart, ballet class for my warm-up barre before the show and other stuff…..
What makes you a good dance partner?
Partnering comes first; it is one of the most important things to me. You’ve got to be able to put in a good performance and give yourself out, not only technically but also dramatically, this would be impossible if there is no trust between each other. We have to feel one another and this is what I am trying to achieve every time I prepare for the role.
Do you have a secret skill which no one knows about ?
Yes, but if I tell you it wouldn’t be a secret anymore!
Describe yourself in just three words.
Determined, responsible, straight forward.