Cupcakes & conversation with Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani, First Artist, The Royal Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
Knowing that I’m able to be a part of one of the best companies in the world, performing to the most incredible audiences, surrounded by such nice people…
Who would you most like to dance with ?
Carlos Acosta (sorry Charlotte), Federico Bonelli (sorry Hikaru)
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I sew on ribbons and elastics, then I begin a ritual of ….haha, just joking…
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
At the moment anything goes! We are presently on holiday, but there’s usually a swim at some point during the day.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Unfortunately a couple of them are no longer with us, but I think I’d invite Mahatma Gandhi, Michael Jackson, Karen Kain, Barack Obama, my boyfriend and someone funny like Jack Black. I think that’s a good mix, eh?
What would surprise people about you ?
I’ve been doing an annual 5km swimathon for the past eight years, raising money for charity. It always falls in March or April, in the thick of our season, so there’s no training involved. In fact I usually haven’t swum since August of the year before!
Who inspired you to dance ?
Initially it was simply the joy of dance from when I was very young (and still is of course). Then when I began to learn a bit more about ballet and all throughout my training, it was Karen Kain who inspired me to dance. Now I think Sorella Englund is such an inspiration to so many dancers including myself – she’s an incredibly beautiful artist and person, inside and out, and has so much to give.
How would someone else describe you ?
The way someone else would describe me is probably very different from the way I would describe myself, so you better ask someone else!
What is your best piece of advice ?
Many people take so much for granted nowadays. I wish that they/we could learn from people who have so little… They manage to do so much and be so happy.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
I was only understudying it, but I’d have to say the Queen of the Wilis (from Giselle). An adagio solo with millions of bourrées, back to back with several allegro solos of all types – all the while looking poised, elegant but evil, and in complete command of the forest and Wilis…
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
I don’t know actually…I laugh too much everyday to be able to narrow it down to one thing.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I’m afraid that’s top secret right now…
What are you most proud of ?
At the moment, I’d have to say my boyfriend. He’s helped thousands of Africans have better lives, amongst many other incredible things…
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
When the time is right, I think you better ask the casting director and then I’ll ‘okay’ her (or not)…
What is your favourite quote ?
I’ve got many, but here’s one of my favourites, by Mother Teresa:
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
I do have a secret balletic skill which I do on pointe, but I wouldn’t be doing it justice if I described here – you have to see it for yourself 😉