Cupcakes & Conversation with James Whiteside, Principal, Boston Ballet

December 3, 2010

Cupcakes & Conversation

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Cupcakes & Conversation with James Whiteside, Principal, Boston Ballet

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James Whiteside

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?

Coffee and a competitive edge.

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

In Boston Ballet, I love dancing with Lia Cirio and Misa Kuranaga but I would love to do Balanchine’s Ballo Della Regina with Merrill Ashley (back in the day).

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

Underwater. Esther Williams style. YouTube her. She’s magical.

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What is your daily routine at the moment ?

I wake up to the most obnoxious tone on my iPhone (the sci-fi one). Coffee and eggs, warm up to my latest downloads (music is my life-force… along with chilli-cheese fries), class, rehearsal, dinner with friends and bedtime. I love to watch the 1960s sci-fi soap opera “Dark Shadows”. It begs me to turn it into a ballet. Some day.

How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?

I love to take a shower before getting ready for a show. It’s relaxing and it gets me warm. Then, I listen to music while I put on my stage makeup. I love to make playlists on my iPod for each program we do (my latest mix was for La Bayadere and I named it “Solor Eclipse”. I warm up, do a barre, and go over steps and choreography while listening to music that really pumps me up to perform. 

What are you looking forward to dancing in 2010 ?

I’d love to dance Oberon and Divertissement Pas de Deux in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Forsythe’s The Second Detail. (I hope Mikko reads this. 😉

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

Vera-Ellen (film and dance star), Harvey Milk (activist), Genndy Tartakovsky (animation genius), Timbaland (pioneering music producer), Nureyev (duh), and Stephen Hawking (physicist).

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What would surprise people about you ?

I am a science nerd and I make pop/dance music.

Who inspired you to dance ?

A photo in the phone book. It was an advertisement for the dance school. It was an awesome photo of a press lift and it inspired me to go to take a trial jazz class.

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James & Misa

 

How would someone else describe you ?

Fun, ambitious, and weird. Misa says I’m crazy but I’m good with paperwork.

What is your best piece of advice ?

Use your brain and think for yourself. Charles Kelley (my acrobatics and tap teacher) once told me “I don’t teach dummies” and it was a truly revelatory moment… even though I was 10.

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Which role has tested you the most & how ?

Albrecht in Giselle. It was my first classical principal role other than the Nutcracker Prince. It is a full character in terms of acting and technique. 

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

I was a dancer in the Disney film The Game Plan with The Rock. It’s hilarious for all the wrong reasons. 

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

I would love to create a costume made completely of lights. It would be amazing if the only light on stage came from my costume. The movement would appear to trail behind my body. When I’m a millionaire, I’ll commission a luminositard. See, I’ve already named it.

A phrase I use far too often is …

I tend to make up my own words so a lot of the things I say frequently aren’t even English. I could write a list, but nobody would understand (except my closest friends). A Whiteside Dictionary is in the works. Don’t worry.

Who would play you in the film of your life ?

Meryl Streep.

What is your favourite quote?

“See the music. Hear the dance.” – George Balanchine

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What’s on your iPod ?

Lady Gaga, JbDubs, and every other artist that isn’t country or heavy metal. 

What makes you a good dance partner ?

I care about more than just myself.

Do you have a secret skill which no one knows about ?

I make amazing chilli.

Describe yourself in just three words.

Outta my way.

 james whiteside, ballet, news, cupcakes, Boston Ballet

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

Exactly where I want to be. 

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4 Responses to “Cupcakes & Conversation with James Whiteside, Principal, Boston Ballet”

  1. Cafe Fashionista Says:

    Haha! What a fun interview – I love the idea of a Whiteside Dictionary. I’m guilty of making up my own words at random times, as well!! 😛

  2. Couture Carrie Says:

    Fabulous interview, darling!

    xoxox,
    CC

  3. cloudia Says:

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

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