I Didn’t Retire From Dancing

Interview with Rainer Krenstetter after his farewell with Miami City Ballet

Throughout his outstanding career, Rainer Krenstetter has danced principal and leading roles in most ballets in the classical and modern repertoire. Rainer published his memoirs entitled „ Not Without Tears – A life Lived Onstage“ this year. I was lucky to get a Zoom interview with Rainer in Miami when he was waiting for his flight to Europe.

Farewell performance with Miami City Ballet in April 2022 (filmed backstage)
Rainer Krenstetter with Katia Carranza

Your farewell was on 24th April with Balanchine’s Diamonds. How come the decision to get retired with the Miami City Ballet?

I retired with the Compagnie, but I didn’t retire from dancing. I still take classes, stay in shape, do my yoga and stamina workouts. 

After his farewell performance, Rainer Krenstetter with his mother Rosemarie Krenstetter and her husband Thomas Dupoux.

It was time to shift the priority. Other opportunities came along like in Tokyo and Arizona. I just turned 40 in April and I really wanted to end my career as a full-time principal dancer at a high level. As I am still in good shape, I am still doing galas as an international guest dancer, Workshops and other dance projects which are not that exhausting for my body. 

Now I will choose the repertoire what I want and what my body can still do. Obviously I don’t dance the big Pas de Deux variations and the codas anymore. I like doing neo-classical and modern pieces, or certain classical ballets like Le Spectre de la Rose lately or the Nutcracker in December.

In 2020 you were appointed Artistic Director of the company Unblanche in Tokyo and in 2021 you became Associate Artistic Director at The Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet in Arizona. Tell us more about those new jobs.

A friend of mine, Hana Kosaki who I often have partnered with, opened her own company in Tokyo. It’s an educational business company for ballet, dance and art. After doing a lot of workshops online during covid she asked me to become the Artistic director and I agreed. 

Hana Kosaki and Rainer in November for the audition program for Unblanche in Tokyo 2023 season

I give Japanese dancers professional support such as the opportunity to dance abroad. I already did this in Salzburg, in Vienna, in Miami or I invited them to join my Rainer & Friends Gala. We have competitions, workshops, classes, traveling abroad, summer intensives for young students and for professional dancers as well. Many more projects are planned in Japan and overseas.

The Fonteyn Academy is a ballet school with the highest standard of traditional classical ballet dance where the students get 8 years of ballet education. 

The curriculum includes Dance, Music, Drama, Visual Arts, Scholarly Arts, Technical Arts and Theater Craft work, so the students develop a broad understanding of all aspects of material learned. I am the second hand of the Artistic Director and will take it over completely when the main director retires in some future.

 Rainer Krenstetter rehearsing with 2 students in Melbourne for „Ne Roi“, choreography by Ken Ludden.

What would you recommend to a young student going into a professional career?

You have to be at the right time at the right spot. Don’t be blinded by names of companies because it doesn’t mean that you will find your happiness there. You have to be open, look at what company could be a fit for you. Obviously you have to be an allround dancer meaning trained in classical, neoclassical, modern and contemporary dance nowadays.

How are you feeling now? 

During covid it was ok to work for Tokyo. Last season I had 3 full time jobs which was difficult. I’m not complaining. I’m very lucky to get all these opportunities and take them all as we don’t know what’s coming next with covid and the world and whether everything will be closed again.

Now it’s quite challenging as I am still living in Miami which is home for me and my husband. So I travel a lot between Miami, Arizona, Europe and Japan. After my last show 3 months ago I just had 5 days off.

I am happy for the decision to retire as a principal dancer at that high technical level. My farewell was touching when all my family and friends from all over the world came, Lourdes Loupez, the Artistic director of MCB and the company were amazing.

I am so looking forward to the transition and taking time to settle.  It’s very exciting.

What are your projects?

I did Rainer & Friends Gala in Arizona in September, Alicia Alonso Festival in Cuba, lots of The Nutcracker in 3 different cities in the US in December. In February 2023 I’m coming to Austria for the gala in Salzburg and another one in St. Pölten in March, then the Miami Festival in summer, workshops in Japan, Arizona and other cities all around the world.

Rainer’s Memoir

Worth reading to get an insight in Rainer’s life – Link to Amazon.de

More in my review: 

My Interviews with Rainer

RAINER KRENSTETTER, PRINCIPAL 

© Jason Ashwood – London

Rainer Krenstetter was born into a dance family in Vienna where he began his ballet training at the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera. In 1999, he was accepted into the Royal Ballet School in London and continued his training there until 2000 when he became a member with the Vienna State Opera Ballet. In 2002, he joined the Staatsballett Berlin under the direction of Vladimir Malakhov and went through the ranks up to Principal dancer. He joined Miami City Ballet as a Principal dancer in 2014 and gave his last performance in April 2022. In 2020 he was appointed Artistic Director of the company Unblanche in Tokyo and in 2021 he became Designated Artistic Director at The Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet. Since leaving Miami City Ballet he is dancing as an international guest principal dancer all around the world.

Throughout his training, Krenstetter participated and won medals in various international ballet competitions including in Vienna, Brasilia and Luxembourg, culminating in his first place win at the Prix de Lausanne in 1999.

Throughout his prolific career, Krenstetter has danced principal and leading roles in most ballets in the classical repertoire including Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Onegin, Firebird, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, Cinderella and La Bayadere. Additionally, he has danced in ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Vladimir Malakhov, Kenneth MacMillan, Auguste Bournonville, Michel Fokine, Alexei Ratmansky, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, Hans van Manen, Uwe Scholz, Clarke Tippet, Jirí Kylián and William Forsythe among others.

Krenstetter has also performed as a guest artist in various companies and galas internationally in Europe, Australia, North and South America and Asia; been a member of the jury at the International Ballet Competition in Rome and Riga; and guest taught at several dance workshops, schools and companies in many countries.

Rainer received the 2016 Miami Life Award for “Best Classical Dancer” and released a book “Not without tears a life lived on stage”.

See Header Image: Rainer & Friends Gala in Arizona in September 2022

Autor: ballettlovers

I danced ballet as child, albeit with little success. Despite this, my passion for ballet and dance has carried into adulthood. I still love to watch ballet performances and would love to share my passion with you.

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