Cupcakes & Conversation with Miles Gilliver, Artist, Birmingham Royal Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning?
The excitement of what opportunities the new week will bring, and knowing that I get to do what I love for a living in such an inspiring environment. And fair bit of coffee!
If ballet chose you, as many dancers say it did, what is it that has made you stick with it ?
It’s addictive. I have always enjoyed the athleticism of dancing and I enjoy the challenges it presents; there is always room for improvement. Also watching other great dancers really inspires me to strive for more.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance?
If I was lucky enough to pick anybody in the world to dance with it would be Natalia Osipova. I love her artistry, style, passion and power. She is truly inspirational.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
It has always been a dream of mine to dance on a Russian stage for the tradition, history and fantastic audiences!
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Wake up, music in the shower, then breakfast, walk to work, warm up for company class. Then straight into rehearsals or shows for the day, and fitting in exercises between rehearsals. Once my day is over, I chill out, have dinner and reflect on rehearsals, maybe a little PlayStation, and then off to bed.
What do you eat during the course of a typical working day ?
I love cooking and I eat of a variety of things throughout the day. I try to eat a lot of protein.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
A small bite to eat followed by a warm up and time to focus on the job, then make up, costume and off to the stage to allow myself to get comfortable in my surroundings.
What are you looking forward to dancing in 2014 ?
We are currently learning Elite Syncopations and I am really looking forward to dancing that soon. I also can’t wait for Card Game which is in the same triple bill.
How do you deal with the stresses of performing?
I find that listening to music is a great way for me to focus and get in my zone.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite?
What would surprise people about you ?
I am a massive motorsport fan, and I have been around bikes and cars since I can remember. It’s a huge passion of mine and very important to me.
Who inspired you to dance?
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Vladimir Vasiliev have always been huge inspirations of mine, but I have a huge list of dancers who continue to inspire me.
How would someone else describe you ?
I guess it would depend on who you asked!
What is your best piece of advice ?
Never give up the fight.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Probably Energy in E=MC2 by David Bintley. It’s a great piece and really challenging as it is physically tiring just at the point when you need to keep really sharp and never loose count.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create?
A phrase I use far too often is …
What is your favourite quote?
Dancers are the athletes of God – Albert Einstein
What’s on your iPod ?
I like all sort of music, from classical to rock. I am also massive a blues fan. I have everything on there from ACDC to ZZ Top!
Who would you most like to dance for, and why?
I am currently dancing with a dream company of mine and could not be happier! Birmingham Royal Ballet has always been close to my heart and I grew up admiring the Company and their dancers. I have also always loved the idea of working for a top Russian ballet company; this really appeals to me.
What makes you a good dance partner ?
I love what I do and I always give 100%. I constantly want to improve my skills and make the girl feel and look as confident as possible.
Do you have a secret skill which no one knows about ?
When I was younger I used to do a lot of Power Kiting and Kite Buggying so I’m pretty good at that. It’s a really exhilarating sport and is the closest you will come to flying! It’s also great for your strength and coordination.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be this time next year ?
This time next year I would love to perform a soloist role.
Who would you like to have a conversation with?
Mikhail Baryshnikov or Michael Schumacher.
What is your exit strategy, for the time when you stop dancing, and how did you plan it ?
To be honest I haven’t really put too much thought into it, but I would like to remain involved in the profession. I also love photography and have a website. I guess if I could incorporate the two that would be great!