Cupcakes & conversation with James Forbat, Soloist, English National Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
The fact that it is a new week, full of possibilities. That I am surrounded by fun, intelligent and creative people who will all help me to get the best from myself, and especially if it is sunny!
Who would you most like to dance with ?
Sylvie Guillem, Marianela Nunez. They are both inspirational dancers in different ways and every time I see them dance I get tingles!
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
I like to take my mornings fairly slowly so as to have a little time for myself before work begins. I always have a good breakfast, usually cereal, then public transport (urgh!) to work. Work always consists of class then rehearsals during a rehearsal period and rehearsals and one show (or just two shows) during a block of performances. When I get time I like to go to the gym, and go for a drink with friends in the evening before bed (not too early as I don’t function too well on more than eight hours sleep!)
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Amy Winehouse, Sylvie Guillem, William Shakespeare, Pedro Almodovar, Dawn French and Jerry Springer just to mix it up a bit!
What would surprise people about you ?
I love working hard and dedicating myself to my work, but I also love to forget about it all, let go of it and just go out and have fun!
Who inspired you to dance ?
When I originally started I was very young and I just did it because I wanted to dance – so in a way me! Some kind of realization that I might want to do it professionally came when I was working with The Royal Ballet at age 8 as a page boy and a gargoyle in Anthony Dowell’s production of Swan Lake. The magic of it all and seeing stars like Darcey Bussell performing up close definitely inspired me to carry on my dream of being a dancer.
How would someone else describe you ?
Talkative. Motivated. Decisive. Organised. Tidy. Hard working. Opinionated.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Do something you really love as a job and never hesitate to be bold. Only you have control over what happens in your life.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Probably dancing Albrecht in Giselle. I was very excited but it was a test because it combines all the factors of being a true classical dancer. Acting, technique, pas de deux, stamina and the ability to move an audience.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
There are too many to fit in here – I love to laugh and growing up with my friends in The Royal Ballet School we had many hilarious moments!
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
Something easy to move in which shows off the dancers body but is unique and colourful.
What are you most proud of ?
Making it as a classical dancer. It is a truly gruelling process even to make it to the corps de ballet of any company and so many people aren’t suited even if they put everything into it.
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
If I were famous enough for anyone to make a film about my life, I would want to play the role myself!!!
What is your favourite quote?
What’s on your iPod ?
Lots of laid back music – Amy Winehouse, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, James Morrison alongside a lot of dance/trance music which I use to motivate myself. I really like music in Spanish, especially from Latin America in particular Mercedes Sosa. And far too many ballet videos!
Do you have a secret skill which no one knows about ?
I can do a backflip!!!