Dansportalen

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Full program for Jurgita Dronina in Holland

Jurgita Dronina in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo Serguei Endinian

Jurgita Dronina in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo Serguei Endinian

Last summer Jurgita Dronina took leave of absence from The Royal Swedish Ballet and moved to Amsterdam and The Dutch National Ballet – Het Nationle Ballet. Dansportalen correspondent Maggie Foyer met with her there for an interview.

Tell me about your introduction to Amsterdam?
My first appearance here was a year ago, early March. I was guesting in Alexei Ratmansky´s Don Quixote with Cédric Ygnace. It was great, the weather was lovely and I fell in love with the company.

So what have you been doing professionally since you left Sweden?
I came back to a revival of Don Quixoteso it wasn´t a stressful premiere. Everybody knew me and I felt comfortable. Next came the triple bill, Benjamin Millepied´s One Thing leads to Another that was another premiere for me and after that followed The Sleeping Beauty. That was the first time I had danced the full ballet and then Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux — one more premiere — and my first Balanchine. Now we are preparing the Hans van Manen programme and then I will be working for Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui on his new creation, which is a world premiere.

Is this is your first time working with him?
Yes. I haven´t met him yet but I´ve seen excerpts of his work and I like it that he has such extremes. It should be interesting and I am looking forward to it.

Jurgita Dronina in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo Angela Sterling

Jurgita Dronina in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo Angela Sterling

David Dawson´s new ballet is also on the bill — are you cast in that?
No, I did learn his Grey Area but never performed it. I was looking forward to working with David but that is the way it happens. I like his choreography; it reached the maximum then you feel like you go over yourself and that, for the dancer, is the greatest feeling — when you kind of surprise yourself.

Tell me a little about working in the Balanchine style. You worked with Pat Neary?
Yes, I was a little bit nervous in the beginning because I hadn´t danced any Balanchine. I mentioned after a few rehearsals, ‘Oh, it´s the first time for
me´, and Pat was very surprised. She hadn´t realised as I was hiding it so well.

The style is different mainly in the preparation, in the attack and the speed of the movement. Also the choreography has almost no plié. I have only danced the Tchaikovsky Pas but it was a surprise for my body that it´s possible to dance so quick with no plié and no preparations just the attack of the movement. And the spotting front all the time! By the end I couldn´t spot the normal way anymore I was enjoying so much doing it that way! I had a lot of fun.

It´s a wonderful pas de deux to dance. Very puffy stamina wise and very, very challenging but I was dancing with Cédric and we had such a wonderful time on stage.

And with Benjamin Millepied — you were part of the creation process. Tell me about that?
He was creating on the spot basically so it was very step by step. It needed a lot of patience but the result was great. His work is very abstract but what I liked was that there was complete freedom in the feelings so we adapted the steps to what we felt at that moment. With Cédric when we went on stage we were at that moment; at that second; at that mood. We had complete freedom in the emotional range. The music basically had no melody ... but it was interesting to just float within it. Our pas de deux felt like a meditation, quite long, slow, wrapping around and a bit dreamy.

And Hans van Manen?
We just started so I haven´t worked with him yet.  I am starting to learn Hammerklavier and I think it is a great start because it´s very slow, very basic but within Hans van Manen´s style. Rachel (Beaujean) gives a lot of exact information: how to look, how to place the head, to keep the body forward, and I have time to absorb everything.

Rachel mentioned right away that there has to be a special atmosphere between the three principal couples on stage. It has to set this particular mood while feeling each other and being exactly step by step together.

And Ratmansky? He´s Russian and works with the classical technique so, no big change?
Yes, but his choreographic style was still different. It was very quick with a lot of steps. I did Olga in On the Dnieper. It was interesting to realise that in such a quick tempo and with so many steps you were still able to tell the story. I enjoyed it because I like dramatic ballets, melodrama, drama, everything that has a story, I enjoy!

Jurgita and Cédric Ygnace. Photo Angela Sterling

Jurgita and Cédric Ygnace. Photo Angela Sterling

You and Cédric have formed a very special partnership.
Yes, we met in Italy were we danced The Sleeping Beauty. My partner was injured and although Cédric and I knew each other, we had never danced together. But when we met we just clicked right away. We had fun and a lot in common outside the ballet as well. But when we danced together we really decided that it has to continue or we might miss great future opportunities.

Do you intend staying in Holland for a while?
Yes, my husband, Serguei Endinian, is a soloist in the company and we are happy here. This particular season has given me so much; every programme was a premiere. It was so exciting and on top of that there are the extra bits like galas, so I always feel in shape.

While I’m doing the classical, I am guesting something modern and while I am doing modern I am guesting something classical – so they always complement each other. Amsterdam is so central and so much easier to travel.

Your diary must be very busy?
Yes, a bit crazy in May and June but I like crazy months.

You are dancing the title role in Sylvia. Is this your first time working with John Neumeier?
We met in Sweden. In my first year we did Peer Gynt. I was just corps de ballet but doing a principal part I get direct input from him.

Sylvia is a very complex character.
The role has different layers. It’s not what she does, it’s what she feels, a life beside that which is shown on stage – it’s very complicated. John comes in and says two words that describe exactly what he wants to see from us and we understand it straight away. It’s interesting to work this way. You get it right away by this contact with the choreographer who knows exactly what he wants.

The way that he explains, it gets right inside. But the last week was very intense and I felt in one week it developed so much. It’s wonderful this ballet, it’s not like a usual full length ballet. After Sylvia you leave the stage in a sort of trance so that it comes back after a few hours, ‘we did feel it, that particular moment in that way, that was so special’!

And I am lucky to have such an honest partner as Artur (Shesterikov). I don’t want to leave, to leave him lying there. When the husband comes it breaks my heart. Every time I leave I cry. I would give everything at that moment to stay on stage but as John said, ‘you have experienced so much in your life, you have your husband and you can’t go back. This is your life and you have to go on with it’.

What has been the most exciting moment since you came to Amsterdam?
The highlight of the season for me was The Sleeping Beauty. I was so looking forward to it when I knew I was doing the opening night. So that was the big premiere for me.

Jurgita Dronina. Photo Carl Thorborg

Jurgita Dronina. Photo Carl Thorborg

Any plans to guest in Stockholm?
I went to Sweden the first time when I was 16. I felt at home and the feeling stays even though I feel great here. When I think of Sweden, of the theatre where I grew up as an artist – it’s my home. If I get an opportunity to come back and guest, I would love to. I love that theatre, it has such special memories. I miss Stockholm.

Maggie Foyer
May 10 2011


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