Cupcakes & Conversation with Madeleine Murray, The Royal New Zealand Ballet
I’ve been saving this interview with Maddy while I waited for some images from the press office. Unfortunately they haven’t had any to send from recent rehearsals and so I’m going to publish this with a headshot only, before it gets too out of date. It sometimes happens that photographers focus on the main leads in a production, but as you know, I like to feature everyone on Ballet NEWS, not only the established stars.
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
It’s always a little hard getting up in the morning but you just have to do it! And once I do class I feel much better.
What are you looking forward to dancing this year ?
This year I’m looking forward to dancing in Carmen which we start performing in June.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
I’d love to dance in Europe one day but my dream would be to end up dancing in Melbourne where home is.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
Once I’ve sewn the elastics and ribbons on I bend them and bash them till they are a little more comfortable!
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
At the moment we are rehearsing for Carmen so basically each day we do class in the morning then rehearsals all day. Depending on my hours I might go to the gym, or a shop or just go home and relax and watch a movie.
What would surprise people about you ?
I have no idea!
Who inspired you to dance ?
I was lucky enough to watch the Australian Ballet Company dancers all the time because they are based in the same building as the Australian Ballet School. I looked up to all of them!
What is your best piece of advice ?
Don’t worry about what others are thinking.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
Have a shower, listen to music, do my makeup and hair and then warm up barre. Then I usually go over steps in my head because I get paranoid!
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Last year I performed George Balanchine’s Divertimento. I was originally in the corps but the solo girl I was understudying got injured and I had to step in. It was a great opportunity but I found it very technically challenging.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create ?
I’m not sure! Just basically something that you can move comfortably in.
What do you look for in a dance partner ?
It’s great to have a partner who you feel comfortable communicating with so you can work together to improve.
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ?
I don’t know about a signature step but I think everyone likes some part of class more than other parts. I love to jump!
A phrase I use far too often is … ?
‘I can’t decide.’
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
My graduate performance at the end of last year was great. The final year students got to dance so much and were lucky enough to perform Jiri Kylian’s Polonaise which was so much fun. There were 32 couples doing the same thing on stage at once so rehearsals were agony but it was all worth it in the end.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?
I would love to be still dancing here with The Royal New Zealand Ballet Company. If not, then to have found a job in Europe.