I am delighted to be able to reveal a specially commissioned drawing by Sarah, an immensely talented artist, to introduce this new series of interviews. I asked Sarah to depict the progression from student to professional dancer, and Sarah has very generously given of her time and skill to produce this magnificent drawing.
From Student to Star is a new series of interviews featuring Graduates as they begin their professional careers, and will be following them regularly.
Jeremy Curnier, a Graduate of The Royal Ballet School, begins work today with Northern Ballet Theatre. Curnier recently danced the role of Puck, from The Dream, in The Summer matinee performance by the School, and was truly outstanding.
What are you most looking forward to about joining the company?
With 8 years of training at the Royal Ballet School behind me I am now looking forward to a whole new experience and meeting a range of dancers from various backgrounds of training. It is also great to finally begin my career with Northern Ballet Theatre where I hope to perform regularly and experience being on tour.
How do you think life will differ from your student days?
Working as a student towards my chosen career has prepared me to give the best of myself and I aim to take this sense of responsibility into the professional world. I believe the routine of performing regularly and on tour will enhance my confidence on stage, enabling me to become more familiar with performance and interpretation of a role while at the same time retaining clean technique.
What are your best achievements as a dancer?
From an early age I have been privileged to perform various character roles with The Royal Ballet Company. These included Fritz in The Nutcracker and the Tsarevich from MacMillan’s Anastasia. Whilst I was at White Lodge another memorable event was a gala performance in front of Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
Since Being at Upper School there have been two roles in particular which I have performed on the Royal Opera house stage that have been huge highlights of my career so far. The first was a challenging role in Wayne McGregor’s i-relations and the second was dancing the role of Puck from Ashton’s The Dream at my final graduation performance.
Which professional dancers do you most admire and why?
When I was younger I remember watching ABT’s Don Q and being utterly inspired by Baryshnikov’s performance of Basilio. His technical clarity and his brilliant engagement of the audience were outstanding. I have now watched a lot of his roles and his extensive repertoire and diversity of dance genres is what I believe to be unmatched by any other male dancer.
Since being at Upper School I have learnt not only to draw inspiration from a few professionals but I search YouTube for clips of dancers of all generations and eras as different techniques can teach and show various strengths in a performance.
What do you think you will bring to the Company?
I hope to fulfil my role in Northern Ballet to the best of my ability and become a recognised member of the Company not only for my artistry but also for my hard work and dependability and perhaps a good sense of humour!
How do you imagine your first day to go?
I received an email from Northern Ballet to inform me that our first day will be filled with meetings! I therefore believe Monday the 27th of July will have a quiet relaxed atmosphere where I hope to get the opportunity to meet and become acquainted with the dancers and staff.
As for my first working day, I expect it to be tough as I will be trying to make positive impressions of me as a dancer. I imagine there to be a lively fun ambiance as everyone will be refreshed from their summer holidays!
Which role would you most like to dance?
I would never give up the chance to dance the role of Puck again, whether it be Ashton’s The Dream or David Nixon’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. I enjoy this role because of the energy required and the technical challenge it presents and find it well suited to my physique and stronger qualities in classical ballet.
Where would you like to be this time next year?
I would very much like to still be at Northern Ballet this time next year as I believe it is important to become well established as a dancer in a reputable company. I would like to achieve a higher status and profile in this company before moving on if I so wished.