Cupcakes & Conversation with Guillaume Côté, Principal, National Ballet of Canada
Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova dance the Opening Night of the World Premiere of Romeo & Juliet on November 16th 2011.
Why ballet ?
There’s something about ballet for me that is more pure than any other art form. Its organic and spontaneous quality is what separates it from other art forms for me.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
I’ve been very blessed in my career to have had some truly incredible partners from all over the world, including Tamara Rojo, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent and Svetlana Zakharova. I have also had the pleasure of dancing with my wife and fellow National Ballet Principal Dancer Heather Ogden for many years.
The one ballet I have yet to dance in is Manon and I would love to get to do it one day.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
I would love to dance at the Opera Garnier in Paris.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
I was recently on tour with Kings of the Dance. When on tour, I try to wake up early and go swimming. Then I have breakfast, do early morning class, rehearse, take a nap in the afternoon, warm up for the show, listen to some music on my iPod to get my blood flowing while doing my makeup and head to stage.
I am now back in Toronto rehearsing for the world premiere of Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky.
What do you eat during the course of a typical working day ?
A good breakfast, a protein shake in the afternoon, a light lunch followed by a big dinner in the evening.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
It depends. If there are rehearsals in the afternoon, I prepare differently but mostly I try to keep myself busy so I don’t get stressed out.
What are you looking forward to dancing in 2011/12 ?
The new Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky which opens The National Ballet of Canada’s 60th anniversary season. I dance Romeo and am really looking forward to it.
How do you deal with the stresses of performing ?
I try to keep things in perspective. Ballet is a beautiful art form that can bring joy and happiness to people but no one’s life depends on it, for instance, as if I was in a medical profession.
What would surprise people about you ?
I’m also a composer. I’ve written many scores for film and dance.
Who inspired you to dance ?
Baryshnikov… like so many others dancers.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Work hard, enjoy the ride and make sure you always drink a lot of water.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Rudolf Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty. It’s such a wonderful ballet to dance for men but extremely challenging.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
Probably something very simple. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a body move in its purest form.
A phrase I use far too often is …
“I’ll do it tomorrow.”
What’s on your iPod ?
Many different types of music: Kings of Leon, Amon Tobin, Metallica, Bach, Prokofiev and a lot of Chopin.
What makes you a good dance partner ?
I think it’s all about communicating and I’m pretty easy to talk to.