For ballet dancers all over the world, performing as a principal dancer within a company is the ultimate achievement. We caught up with soloist Natalia Romanova of Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet coming to G Live in Guildford this December to ask her about her life as a professional ballet dancer.
Q: How long do dancers prepare for a big production like The Nutcracker? How many hours training are involved?
A: We are constantly training, performing and fine tuning our dancing and acting skills throughout the year. We tour all over the world, so it’s not like we have to prepare for a one off production, it is just a way of life! On a performance day, we have dance class all morning and afternoon, then the performance. It’s important to be warmed up properly. It’s certainly a way of life rather than a 9 to 5 job.
Q: While on tour, what is a typical day like?
A: If it’s not a travel day, we usually stay in a local hotel. We have breakfast and then head to the theatre for a warm up class with the dance mistress, which usually starts at 10am. After a lunch break, we usually focus on the barres in the afternoon. We don’t tend to do dress rehearsals unless something has changed dramatically, as we know the performance well. Then we break for tea, and get hair and make-up ready for show time! If we don’t have a matinee, shows start at 7.30pm and finish at 11ish, so we change and sleep!
Q: What do most of the dancers do to relax? What do they do in their spare time?
A: If we’re travelling, we try and take in a bit of the city we’re staying in but usually we don’t get much time. When I’m back at home, any free time is a great opportunity to catch up with family and friends, go to the cinema and yes, even go and watch a ballet! I still try to train every day, though.
Q: What is your favourite thing about being a ballerina?
A: Performing to audiences all over the world. It’s great to see and hear the reaction that the ballet has on people. The live orchestra always adds a special buzz to the performance and it’s magical to take people on a story-telling journey with you!
Enjoy Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet and their production of The Nutcracker at G Live from Wed 26 – Fri 28 December, see GLive.co.uk for details.