I Jumped into Every Project I Could Think of.

How dancers motivate themselves in the time of covid-19.

I’m creating a small series for my blog to give my favourite dancers the opportunity to talk about their experiences, motivation and daily routines nowadays. As you all know, it must be so tough for dancers to train hard every single day in isolation and stay in top shape, not knowing when the next performance is going to be.

Statement of Ksenia Ovsyanick, principal dancer with StaatsballetT Berlin

„I found that the biggest shock for me was that suddenly for us as artists the ground was taken out of under our feet. Without being able to perform we can not share our work, we can not inspire with our work the way we normally do anymore. And that desire to stay creative and relevant was my main motivation to look for all the new ways I could still be an artist. I jumped into every project I could think of.

From creating videos, collaborating with other dancers, composers, artists, singers, choreographers. It has really pushed me to develop in the directions I didn’t expect before. From learning to film, to edit, to create music and sound, to manage projects, collaborate in new and unexpected ways as a dancer or choreographer. It became incredibly important for me to search for and find ways to show how dance as an art form can be versatile and relevant and important to our culture.   

FROM BERLIN WITH LOVE | Creating in Times of Corona | Staatsballett Berlin
Even in isolation, our wonderful dancers are connected and ready to create. Initiated and edited by Principal Dancer Ksenia Ovsyanick.
Watch Ksenia at 0:19 as the 3. dancer.

I have to say eventually the training part also started catching up with me. And as the time went by, the harder it had become mentally to keep pushing myself. The biggest mental challenge was to realise that I cannot possibly keep the shape that I could have in the normal environment. Once I had accepted it though, it allowed me to look at it from a fresh perspective and realise I can choose to use this time differently. Rather than desperately trying to hang on to what I normally used to do and eventually give up completely for the lack of visible result, I can use this time to do things I didn’t have time for before. And I mean not only outside of ballet but also within. There are always areas of our technique that need improvement but we just don’t have time to prioritize working on it. Whether it is port de bras, feet, extension, arabesque, turns, alignment – now is a really good chance to zoom in on that particular area that you could improve.

Staatsballett Berlin, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Premiere 18.09.2020

By now there are so many online resources available to help with development of any area you want. You can follow classes of signature companies and dancers from around the world [i.e. go to Mariinsky classes to work on you port de bras, cuban classes to work on your turns and so on]. Im incredibly grateful to the ballet community for stepping up and offering so much support online! So I would say the key for me was to develop trust in myself that once back in full swing, with a bit of extra hard work we all will be able to get back all the stamina and strength and technique we hadn’t been able to practice in current environment. And meanwhile focus on developing specific areas of your techniques, that would allow you to be better dancer later. Plus focusing on that area also inevitably forces you to do some kind of training – as a result keeping your work and coordination going. 


»LIB« by Alexander Ekman, Polina Semionova, Ksenia Ovsyanick, Photo: Jubal Battisti

But as I said earlier, it is the lack of artistic output that became the most important question for me to resolve. And my way was exploring all the new ways I could bring dance to the audience. And it has become a very interesting year that got me to develop and push my abilities in the areas I didn’t think I could before. Im currently finishing working on a creation with Itzik Galili. The process we have started back in April, and hopefully coming to fruition shortly, but something that truly pushed my boundaries, my interpretive skills, learning to speak, to act and dance at the same time – completely out of comfort zone.


At Staatsballett we were lucky enough to get back on stage for 2 months at the end of August. It was a very special experience reminding all of us involved including the audience about the power of a live performance. The auditorium was only quarter full, audience seating with big gaps between each other, with feeling like they are alone there, yet these first shows back were emotionally charged on the stage and in auditorium more than ever. Inspiring, yet somewhere sad, but mostly genuinely happy to have that emotional connection through dance. The power we should make sure to remind the world the performing arts have! 


I wish everyone out there in the dance field to stay strong, persistent and creative. Let’s make sure to remind the world that what we do is important and inspiring, so that as soon as opportunity allows performing world can thrive more than ever before!”

»Oval« by Richard Siegal, Photo: Yan Revazov

More infoRmation On her Website

https://www.ksenia-ovsyanick.com/

© Maria Kulchitskaya

CV of Ksenia Ovsyanick

© Maria Kulchitskaya

Born 1989 in Tihvin, Russia
Nationality: British/Belarusian
Berlin Staatsballett  2016 – today
English National Ballet — 2008-2016

EDUCATION

Open University BA (honours) Business and Economics studies 2011-2017
English National Ballet School 2005-2008
Belorussian State Ballet College 1999-2005

AWARDS

Outstanding classical performance, National Dance Award 2012 
Benois de la Danse 2013 best female dancer nomination
Prizewinner at the Beijing International Ballet Competition 2006
Prizewinner at the Prix de Lausanne 2007
Silver Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Harkov, Ukraine 2004 

BIOGRAPHY

Principal ballerina with Staatsballett Berlin, russian-born Ksenia started her training in Belorussian State Ballet College, followed by winning a scholarship at Prix de Lausanne to come to English National Ballet School. Her career started with English National Ballet and over the years she performed on the stages around the world including:  Opera National de Paris Palais Garner, Royal Opera House Muscat, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Royal Albert Hall London, Buckingham Palace, participated in gala performances in China, Singapore, India, Russia, Chile Greece, Sweden, Spain, Italy, France, Denmark, Latvia, Belarus  among others, as well as participated in Closing ceremony of Olympics in London 2012.  

At the age of 20 she danced her first Giselle and was nominated for English National Ballet’s Emerging dancer award.  In march 2012 Ksenia had a title role of Firebird choreographed on her in the world premiere of “Firebird” by George Williamson, which brought her the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for an outstanding performance.

In 2013 Ms Ovsyanick was nominated for “Prix Benois de la Danse” best female dancer award and in 2018 she won “Dance Open“ international Ballet Award in St. Petersburg.

Ksenia created roles together with current choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Liam Scarlett, George Williamson, Alexej Ratmansky, Itzik Galilli, Yabin Wang and performed ballets by Kenneth Macmillan, John Cranko, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Serge Lifar and Wayne Eagling among others.

In 2016 she joined Staatsballett Berlin as Principal Ballerina, performing leading roles in Nacho Duato’s Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, the title role in ballet Erde created on her by Duato, as well as Rubies and Diamonds in Balanchine’s Jewels, Giselle, Onegin, Don Quixote, La Bayadere and others.

In season 2019/2020 also a Permanent Guest Principal Dancer with Polish National Ballet. 

Netflix’s Tiny Pretty Things

Maybe tiny….but not so pretty?


Long winter nights and lockdown are the perfect excuses to binge on some addictive TV. And for all dance lovers, Netflix’s new drama ‚Tiny Pretty Things‘ is just the treat we’ve all been waiting for!
This new 10 episode drama depicts the daily life of ballet students at an elite ballet academy in Chicago and is based on the book series of the same name, by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton.

Weiterlesen „Netflix’s Tiny Pretty Things“

5th Anniversary of Balletloversblog.com

Thank you All

Thanks to all these amazing people I’ve met in the ballet world. It’s such a pleasure to get insights of this hidden world. I want to show you how grateful I really am for all love and support.

I want to thank all ballet lovers who shared my passion of ballet and dance. I have always loved to hear from you. You inspire me!

My Top 5 Ballet and Dance Videos filmed in lookdown

Ballet Dancers in Isolation

Swans For Relief

32 premier ballerinas from 22 dance companies in 14 countries perform Le Cygne (The Swan) variation sequentially with music by Camille Saint-Saëns, performed by cellist Wade Davis, in support of Swans for Relief. Organized by Misty Copeland and Joseph Phillips, 100% of the funds raised will be distributed to each dancer’s company’s COVID-19 relief fund, or other arts/dance-based relief fund in the event that a company is not set up to receive donations.

Weiterlesen „My Top 5 Ballet and Dance Videos filmed in lookdown“

Coming into the Christmas Spirit…

THE NUTCRACKER is my Xmas Ritual

Watching the Nutcracker on Christmas Day is my holiday tradition since years. Numerous ballet companies around the world offer this famous Christmas ballet now online or on Demand. In times of Covid I can’t see The NUTCRACKER live on stage. There are so many beautiful choreographies available, next to the original by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, done in 1892. My  favourite interpretations are by George Balanchine, Peter Wright and Christian Spuck.

The Nutcracker by the Royal Ballet London
Weiterlesen „Coming into the Christmas Spirit…“

My Top 3 Xmas Gifts

Last Minute GIFTS, Online and For less than $15

Weiterlesen „My Top 3 Xmas Gifts“

Wir versuchen zu begreifen, was uns ergreift.

Buchrezension: Ursula Pellaton – Tanz verstehen

In Form von videogestützten Interviews berichtet die Tanzkritikerin und Balletthistorikerin Ursula Pellaton über ihre Berufserfahrungen sowie über die Entwicklung des Tanzes im 20. Jahrhundert in der Schweiz. Die Tanzwissenschaftlerin und Spezialistin für Oral History Julia Wehren fasste die persönlichen Erzählungen und Erinnerungen der Zeitzeugin in vier Kapiteln zusammen. Dieses Buch beschreibt einzigartig, den Schweizer Weg zwischen Tradition und Vielfalt in der Tanzgeschichte.

Ursula Pellaton im Gespräch mit Julia Wehren
Weiterlesen „Wir versuchen zu begreifen, was uns ergreift.“

Fabulous Ballet calendars 2021

Last minute gifts for all ballet and dance lovers!

Watch on the website of your favorite ballet company and order online a calendar, a mask, a DVD or more.

The Royal Ballet London

One of the best shops with beautiful Xmas items.

https://shop.roh.org.uk/?_ga=2.115454597.2011145309.1607516629-1816190275.1607096744

Weiterlesen „Fabulous Ballet calendars 2021“

We will be dancing THE NUTCRACKER outside in a park

HOW DANCERS MOTIVATE THEMSELVES NOWADAYS

I’m creating a small series for my blog to give my favourite dancers the opportunity to talk about their experiences, motivation and daily routines nowadays. As you all know, it must be so tough for dancers to train hard every single day in isolation and stay in top shape, not knowing when the next performance is going to be.

Rainer Krenstetter, principal with the Miami City Ballet since 2014

I will never forget Rainer’s character in THE RING in 2007, where he interpreted uniquely and impressingly the LOGE, the storyteller in Maurice Béjart’s outstanding choreography. And there are so many gorgeous performances I’ve seen from Rainer that still stick with me today.

Weiterlesen „We will be dancing THE NUTCRACKER outside in a park“

My mind is buzzing with ideas

How Dancers motivate themselves NOWADAYS

I’m creating a small series for my blog to give my favourite dancers the opportunity to talk about their experiences, motivation and daily routines nowadays. As you all know, it must be so tough for dancers to train hard every single day in isolation and stay in top shape, not knowing when the next performance is going to be.

Daniel Mulligan

When thinking about Daniel Mulligan, it’s plain to see what makes him so brilliant on stage. A good dancer excels technically and executes the choreography perfectly. But Daniel goes way further, fully emotionally investing in his roles to bring his characters alive. A soloist with the Ballet Zurich since 2009, Daniel has transfixed audiences with an array of characters – including his witty “Mercutio’ and his evil ‘Mephisto’.

Daniel Mulligan at home

STATEMENT OF DANIEL MULLIGAN

The global pandemic has really affected the arts and dance world in an extreme way. Here in Switzerland we were locked down from mid March until the beginning of June and then the company had to go into quarantine for 12 days in October because we had some cases that unfortunately hit my colleagues and friends in Ballett Zürich. Now, once again, the performances have been postponed or reshuffled which has a huge impact on everyone involved in the theatre, not least the dancers who are missing out on important new experiences and learning opportunities. Staying motivated during this period is challenging, personally I’ve only done 5 performances in the whole of 2020 because I was also injured before the pandemic began! But I’ve managed to find a rhythm of fitness and workouts in the gym which help keep my mind and body in shape. I’ve also taken the opportunity to enjoy my free time and indulge in some of the things that I often don’t find time for, like browsing the 2nd hand furniture stores known as “Brockenhäuser”, checking out the flea markets and playing some guitar at home. My mind is buzzing with ideas now I have more time and I’d like to try some “Popping” classes and I’ve also been involved in a couple of projects outside of the theatre which I’ve found liberating. Life goes on and I’ve managed to stay positive because I love living here and I feel privileged to earn an almost fully protected salary although we can only work at 50% capacity. My heart goes out to all the freelance artists out there who have been hit very hard by the pandemic.

Weiterlesen „My mind is buzzing with ideas“