There is this thing in ballet that inspires us all, there is a quality that everyone is inspired by, and there is a moment in everyone’s career that defines us as an artist, not a dancer. It is the reach. When we are younger the reach is towards technique, reaching towards perfection, the impossible. We idolize primas, and youtube videos, and we strive for that idea of perfection. Somewhere down the line, either at a professional school or early years in a company we see a quality that is possessed by mature dancers and the reach towards artistry stands outs, the idea of being promoted, and the reach seems a lot shorter. Finally, when performing and you realize you have to reach inside yourself as a human being and bring it to the surface.
It is always about this reach… In school, I remember being in a very large fourth position, and my ballet coach telling me to reach in the position, making it longer, more exciting, more elegant.
Then in a company, I remember rehearsing in the corps, and I would watch principals, and mimic their quality.
Finally, once I had my first lead role, I remember my coach telling me I had to reach inside. It wasn’t just about being musical, or having superb musicality, it was about making ballet human: relatable.
So, how does one inspire the next generation to reach?