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. 

No Stamina In Home Office

Interview with Rainer Krenstetter, principal dancer of the Miami City Ballet, since 2014

Rainer tells us about how to survive as a dancer in times of corona.

You are doing live stream dance classes on Instagram for intermediate and advanced dancers as well as private classes. How do you go about teaching online?

After everything was shut down due to corona, the Miami City Ballet started serving the community through educational and outreach programs throughout Miami, Florida and even worldwide. MBC offers online classes done by their highly ranked dancers. Our outreach program includes ballet basic classes, as well as stretching and strengthening classes for people more interested in Fitness, Yoga or Pilates. 

Weiterlesen „No Stamina In Home Office“

Zum Ballett geprügelt…

und trotzdem zum Ballett-Superstar aufgestiegen!

Yuli – ein bemerkenswerter Film über die ergreifende Lebensgeschichte des Profitänzers Carlos Acosta.

Als Kind liebte er Breakdance und hasste Ballett. Sein grosses Vorbild war der Fussballer Pelé. Aber sein Vater, ein LKW-Fahrer, erkannte das grosse Talent seines Sohnes und steckte ihn unbarmherzig in die staatliche kubanische Ballettschule.

Der Rest ist Ballettgeschichte – Carlos Acosta wird der erste schwarze Romeo beim renommierten Royal Ballet London und begeistert die Welt.

Weiterlesen „Zum Ballett geprügelt…“

The outstanding career of Misty Copeland

The most famous Prima Ballerina today

Misty Copeland has had a great year. She has not just been an outstanding ballerina, her story made her a role model for young dancers.

After becoming the first African-American Female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theater in 2015, she became an advocate for diversifying the field of ballet. She has played many roles:

Weiterlesen „The outstanding career of Misty Copeland“

What’s the word for a male „ballerina“?

Ballerino – sounds funny or not? 

Ballerino doesn’t sound perfect to me. It seems difficult to find the perfect name, but I googled it and found various terms for male ballet dancers around the globe. In Italy a male dancer is called a ballerino. In France, it’s Danseur. In the English speaking world, boys or men who dance classical ballet are usually referred to as male ballet dancers or just dancers. Weiterlesen „What’s the word for a male „ballerina“?“

I feel naked on stage

Rainer Krenstetter, principal dancer of the Miami City Ballet talks about his experiences in the US

Back when Rainer Krenstetter was a member of the ballet company of Staatsballett Berlin, I often had the opportunity to watch him perform. I was completely fascinated by his brilliant technique and elegance, and I will never forget Béjart’s masterpiece “RING UM DEN RING”, where Rainer delivered an outstanding performance in the role of Loge.

Weiterlesen „I feel naked on stage“

TOP 10 Best Principal Male Dancers

Who are my favorite male ballet dancers?

My friends often ask me about my favourite male dancers. As I have been a ballet lover for decades, it is very difficult to answer this question, given the amount of dancers I have seen perform. All dancers have different strengths and weaknesses; Rudolf Nurejev, for example, while a presence onstage and reknowned as the best dancer of the 20th century, would not be considered extremely talented by todays standards. I will also not be mentioning excellent male dancers who have passed their prime, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Vladimir Malakhov.

Weiterlesen „TOP 10 Best Principal Male Dancers“

Ballet Star Sergei Polunin: Intimate Prodigy

The James Dean of the Ballet WorldSergei Polunin was decribed by Daily Telegraph in 2012. He quit the Royal Ballet in London sensationally and stopped his golden carreer by himself. Enjoy to see him dancing in „Take me to church“, by Hozier, directed by David LaChapelle.

 

Article in the guardian from February 2015 von Judith Mackrell

Sergei Polunin dances with his demons to Hozier’s Take Me to Church
David LaChapelle captures the Ukrainian dancer’s battle to make peace with his talent – and in another viral video, Baryshnikov partners Lil Buck

Weiterlesen „Ballet Star Sergei Polunin: Intimate Prodigy“