Dansportalen

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Nathalie Nordqvist och Jonatan Davidsson. 

Nathalie Nordquist and Jonatan Davidsson. Photo Tobias Regell

02 okt
2019

"People say that it is enriching to be a dancing parent"

STOCKHOLM: "Jonatan and I had a discussion about whether we really wanted to post this picture or not as it is very revealing. Besides being naked, it shows us quite openly. However, we see it as a way of sharing this precious moment of our lives with the rest of the world. We feel blessed to experience the miracle of life," says the principal dancer Nathalie Nordquist and soloist dancer Jonatan Davidsson with the Royal Swedish Ballet in an interview with Jenny Berkán from Dansportalen.

Looking back at your career so far, what events have been particularly meaningful?
One of the highlights of my career happened very early on, when I was 21 years old. Petter Jacobsson, my ballet director at the time, cast me in many soloist roles of contrasting dance styles, which propelled my progression.

Even though I had not yet performed a lead role in a full-length classical ballet, the British choreographer Sir Peter Wright saw my potential and gave me the opportunity to perform the iconic role of Odette/Odile in his “Swan Lake”, a dream come true. It is one of the toughest parts for any ballerina and since I was the chosen young talent, I certainly felt the pressure.

Nathalie Nordquist

Nathalie Nordquist in Sir Peter Wright’s Swan Lake. Photo Mats Bäcker

Furthermore, the BBC came to Stockholm to record Sir Peter Wright’s “Swan Lake”, marking the first and only time that the Royal Swedish Ballet was documented by the British broadcasting giant. The recording was shown on both Swedish and British television and got produced into a DVD, which is still distributed worldwide.

In some ways, I wish that this opportunity had come a bit later on in my career, since the role demands so much artistically.

However, when I watch the DVD today, I see that the interpretation of my youthful Odette is quite genuine and expresses a great joy for dance. Needless to say, my debut as the Swan queen demanded everything from me and I can see that this special experience catapulted my career.

2) Juliet in Jean-Christoph Maillots Romeo and Juliet, photo Marie-Laure Briane 

Juliet in Jean-Christoph Maillots Romeo and Juliet. Photo Marie-Laure Briane

Some years later, when I was 24 years old, I was cast as Solveig in John Neumeier’s “Peer Gynt” and received invaluable coaching by the unique Gunilla Roempke. She possessed the rare ability of explaining Solveig’s core essence in simple words.

She enabled me to bring forth an honest characterization in a way that I had not experienced before, which is especially important in Neumeier’s work. I felt so privileged to work with a nurturing artist like Gunilla. Sadly, it was the last time that she staged a work at the Royal Swedish Ballet as she soon passed away untimely.

Upon performing Solveig, my artistic director Madeleine Onne promoted me to the rank of principal dancer. Interestingly enough, as a 9 year old girl, I was spellbound by Madeleine’s performance of Lise in “La Fille Mal Gardee” and this performance awoke my dream of becoming a professional ballerina. In a sense, the circle was complete.

After several years of growth at the Royal Swedish Ballet, I decided to throw myself into unchartered territory in order to develop further.

Nathalie Nordquist som Odette/Odile i Drömmen om Svansjön (Pär Isberg)

Nathalie Nordquist as Odette/Odile in Drömmen om Svansjön [The Dream of Swan Lake] by the Swedish choreographer Pär Isberg. Photo Tobias Regell

Jean-Christoph Maillot, internationally acclaimed choreographer and director for the Monte-Carlo Ballet, staged his Cinderella here in Stockholm and I felt extremely inspired while performing the lead in his production.

At 27 years of age, I decided to take a leave of absence, joined his company and got to tour the globe. Through dancing Maillot’s theatrical story telling ballets, I immersed into a journey of artistic growth. He cast me alongside artists with the highest level of emotional and physical expression.

I really enjoyed performing his works as well as creating “Spectre de la Rose” by Marco Goecke amongst many other experiences. This became a much-needed influx of inspiration.

And still you returned home?
Yes, one of the great perks of the Swedish system is the ability to take a leave of absence. One can say that I thoroughly enjoyed a three-year adventure, only to return home to my life in Stockholm.

I now valued the rich culture of our historic theatre even more. I felt enriched by the skill set that I had acquired in Monaco and could breathe new life into the classical roles, which I happily embraced at the Royal Swedish Ballet.

Nathalie Nordquist som Manon i Manon

Nathalie Nordquist as Manon in Manon. Photo Tobias Regell

What do you dream about in terms of your career after your parental leave?
I hear many people say that it is enriching to be a dancing parent. Since the child will become the focal point of my life, I imagine that I will tackle work-related stress easier. I am interested in seeing how I will grow by nurturing a new life into this world.

My husband, Jonatan Davidsson, a soloist at the Royal Swedish Ballet, and I would love to dance together more in the future. We had so much fun performing Alice and the White Rabbit in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Alice in Wonderland” in 2018.

We currently enjoy developing under Nicholas Le Riche’s directorship and value his efforts to further the creative potential of the Royal Swedish Ballet. He desires to revitalize our ballet school and training so it can continue to produce outstanding dancers. My husband and I hope to inspire audiences and young dancers by proudly carrying on the Swedish ballet tradition.

What does the picture of you, your husband and your unborn child mean to you?
Jonatan and I had a discussion about whether we really wanted to post this picture or not as it is very revealing. Besides being naked, it shows us quite openly. However, we see it as a way of sharing this precious moment of our lives with the rest of the world. We feel blessed to experience the miracle of life.

The growing baby boy moves constantly and is eager to make his entrance on the stage of life. I cannot help but to live life in the present moment when surrounded by the constant feelings and emotions that a pregnancy brings.

I imagine that I will continue on the path of here and now once our son is in my arms. The photo that we published represents the dawning of a new era for us in our private and professional lives. I look forward to my first step back on stage as a mother in the near future.

Jenny Berkán
2 Oct 2019


English edited by Jonatan Davidsson

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