What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
Coffee and a croissant.
What are you looking forward to dancing in 2010 ?
We just had a premier of Wheeldon’s new ballet Ghosts where I was dancing the central pas de deux, it’s a beautiful ballet to dance and to watch and the creative process was very interesting too. Also I just had my debuts in Balanchine’s Serenade and Theme and Variations and Jerome Robbin’s Opus 19/The Dreamer. Now I’m looking forward to the New Yuri Possokhov’s ballet and artistic director Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
I would like to dance with Michail Baryshnikov… anything.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
The Mariinsky theater. I would like to experience what it feels like to dance on that stage where so many of the greatest dancers performed.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I don’t really do much to my pointe shoes… I just break the box of the shoe so I can do demi pointe.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Wake up, breakfast, warm up, class, rehearsals, lunch (if I’m lucky), more rehearsals, make up, warm up, performance, bow, dinner, shower, bed.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Sergei Diagilev, Alexander Pushkin, David Lynch, Audrey Hepburn, Petr Tchaikovsky, Yuri Gagarin.
What would surprise people about you ?
People always tell me I look much taller on stage.
Who inspired you to dance ?
While I was studying at the Bolshoi I admired Ekaterina Maximova, Sylvie Guillem and ballerinas from the Mariinsky theater. I remember watching videos over and over again, I really wanted to be like them.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Trust yourself, you can do so much more than you think you can.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
I start getting ready very early and take a long time (a few hours) to warm up, I also avoid talking to anyone so I can concentrate for the performance later.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Odette and Odile in Swan Lake. I never felt like I was right for this ballet and never felt like I wanted to do it which is not normally like me. As I started working on it I fell in love with it, but the working process wasn’t easy for me. It was also the first time I had to do some sort of evil character as Odile in ballet.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create ?
It would definitely be something plain and comfortable to dance in. I would love it if Vivienne Westwood could design a costume for me.
What do you look for in a dance partner ?
I like dancing with partners who want to keep working until everything feels right and I can trust them.
What is your favourite quote ?
Everything happens for a reason.
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
At the curtain call of the opening night of Giselle at the Kennedy Center. I was still new as a Principal dancer to the company and I was given this opportunity. I felt very nervous as I was representing the whole company. When I saw audience standing during the bows I was so relieved and happy.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
Yes, but I can’t tell you.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?
I’m very happy with where I am at the moment. There is so much I could wish for but it’s always nice to have more work created on you, more ballets to learn, to travel around the world and meet more interesting dancers and choreographers.