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Mon 03.07.2017 Fabienne Rohde

Ksenia Ovsyanick about "Erde" and "Sleeping Beauty"

Ksenia Ovsyanick is one of the Principal Dancers at the Staatsballett Berlin. She danced the premiere of the modern piece “Erde” by Nacho Duato in the double evening "Duato | Shechter " in April 2017. Her Berlin debut as Princess Aurora followed in June. She talks in the interview about her experience with the two different pieces.

 Let's start with the costumes. You wear different costumes in the two pieces. How do you like them?

The costumes in both ballets are very different, just like the style of the movement. In "Sleeping Beauty" I wear classical tutus, which are beautiful, elegant and in this production very light and comfortable. Wearing a tutu immediately inspires classical posture and movement.  In "Erde” I have all-in-one leotards, one of which is very rich in its details (“you feel like a pop star in it!”) and the other one just a very thin see-through fabric (“feels almost like wearing nothing!”). These types of costumes 

expose movement in every part of your body and definitely affects the way you feel and move on stage. 

Which costume is better to dance?

It really depends on the style of movement. It changes the way you feel depending on the costume you are wearing.

Recording of the music, the two evenings are total opposites, or are there remarkable similarities?

It is difficult to compare the music in "Erde" and “Sleeping Beauty”. They couldn’t be more contrasting coming from different centuries. Even the way Nacho Duato approached the music in these two ballets was different. In “Sleeping Beauty” he is incredibly musical using the music to create every movement, whereas in “Erde” he no longer attached himself to using every note, but rather focused on proposing the movement that captures the essence and the mood of the music. 

First the premiere of "Erde" and now your Berlin debut in "Sleeping Beauty": How did you feel and what is your experience?

It was very gratifying to dance at the premiere of “Erde”. Opening night is always a highlight of the whole work process after so much work. You feel the energy of the entire company and the audience. This was an exciting performance. 

My debut in "Sleeping Beauty” I had in Turin in December 2016 on our tour. It certainly made my Berlin debut easier having danced it already on stage with the lights and the atmosphere. The more you are on stage the more you can add, discover and develop in the role and the choreography. With every show you can offer a bit more...I really enjoyed my Berlin debut recently. 

What do you say about the Berlin audience?

Even though there is a different audience for classical and contemporary ballets, I find that at the end they offer equally warm reception here! I am very pleasantly surprised how long the applause is at the end of the every show. In comparison to some other countries, here in Germany  the audience claps much longer, which is very gratifying for the performers. 

What do you like more, classical or contemporary ballet?

It is a tough question, as I really enjoy both! I enjoy contemporary dance for the fact that it is often based on your own movement and that allows for much more freedom of interpretation. Saying that I love the challenge and precision of classical technique. But more than anything I love to lead, live and act through the whole story of the ballet, and usually classical ballets offer that. (although there are always exceptions) 

Are you more of a classic fairytale princess or the modern heroine?

I like to think that I suit both. I like to explore and find relevance in different roles whether it is a fairy tale princess or something a bit more heavy minded like “Erde”.