Cupcakes & Conversation with Wu Fei-fei, Principal, The Hong Kong Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
Lots and lots of ballet rehearsals!
Why ballet ?
Ballet is the most beautiful dance genre in the world.
What are you looking forward to dancing during 2013 & what are the big challenges likely to be for you ?
Definitely Swan Lake, I danced the White swan before but not the Black Swan. If I have a chance to dance both this time, it will be a big challenge for me.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
Friedemann Vogel from Stuttgart Ballet. He was appreciated and recognized on his talents and techniques when he was very young. I think he is a very talented dancer and it will be a memorable experience to dance with him in the future.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?
I would love to dance outdoors surrounded by nature!
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I wear Freed Studio (hard). I usually use water to soften the shoe first so that they fit better and are more comfortable to wear. I will also break my pointe shoes before I use them.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
I usually wake up at 8am, warm up my body before the company class at 10am which lasts for one and a half hours. Rehearsals then last until 6pm with a one hour lunch break in the middle.
What do you eat during the course of a typical working day ?
Most days I have some salad, sandwiches and/or yogurt.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Leung Chun Ying (Chief Executive of HKSAR), Svetlana Zakharova (Prima ballerina from the Bolshoi Theatre), Sofiane Sylve (Principal Dancer of the San Francisco Ballet), Wang Leehom (Asian Pop star), Jackie Chan (Movie Star), Pan Shiyi (Chairman of SOHO China)
What would surprise people about you ?
The hard work that goes into the development of my artistry and technique. I work very hard and people can notice the changes and differences as time goes by.
Who inspired you to dance ?
My father. When I was young, I was a skinny, weak and humpbacked girl. So my father encouraged me to learn ballet to alter my body shape and to have a healthier life.
What is your best piece of advice ?
How do you prepare in the hours before a show?
I put on my make-up and then warm up for 15-30 minutes before the show begins.
How do you deal with the stress of performing?
I have a good rest after the performance, meet up with my friends, and have a nice meal or watch a movie when I’m free or at the weekends!
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Definitely the main role in A Room of Her Own. This role requires me to act more than to dance. Acting is quite challenging for me. After performing that role, I felt that I had gained so much, and I also enjoyed dancing and acting it.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create?
I would design a tutu!
What do you look for in a dance partner?
I think to be a good partner, he/she must have good technique, be professional and concentrate in rehearsals.
What is your favourite quote ?
In English, it means “Making an effort may not mean you will succeed, but if you don’t, you will never succeed”.
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ？
No. Hope I will have one in the future.
A phrase I use far too often is … ?
OK! That’s good!
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
When I was playing the leading role as Juliet in 2009. It was my second time playing the lead role and I think it was my best on-stage moment because I felt I was more matured and smooth comparing to the first time.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now?
I hope I can have more chances to dance in different roles.
What is your exit strategy, for the time when you stop dancing, and how did you plan it ?
I think I will continue to work in the field of ballet. It may be studying or becoming a ballet teacher.