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.

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