Opening night is tonight!! To celebrate this, let me welcome our lovely next interviewee Bookee Suksathaporn.
1. How is Ballet Central going? I am enjoying it – it is quite strange being in third year because you are in this in-between state of being treated like professional dancers but still within a school environment. I love that each day is different and there is more of a focus on artistry than on the daily rigours of technique (although we can never escape the daily ballet class!).
2. What pieces are you learning? I have been learning Darshan Singh Bhuller’s piece (Mapping #3), anon. by Chris Marney, and Florestan Pas de Trios from Sleeping Beauty.
3. What is your favourite piece and why? I think my favourite is Darshan’s as I feel so free and natural, and it is all about how you move and respond to the music. In a strange way it is quite an internal piece – I really have to delve into my inner self, tapping into my emotions in order to project on stage. I also love the music and its modernity and I am very excited to see how the projection works (an exciting part of the piece that incorporates video projection and the dancing on stage). I also really enjoy dancing the classical ballet pieces like Florestan, as there is always something to work on like turn-out, timing, technique etc. I like that challenge!
4. What is it like working with different choreographers? I find it very interesting to learn how to adapt to different styles of choreography. As a dancer you have to be a chameleon and learn how each choreographer wants a certain step, so you have to alter yourself to match their intention – it makes you very selfless as you have to constantly think of pleasing the choreographer rather than yourself. I value it when a choreographer goes over things repetitively, which might be boring for some people but it means that the steps can be set into my muscles and then I can concentrate on the artistry.
5. When did you start dancing? I am from Bangkok but the basics of ballet don’t change wherever you are from. I started when I was 4½ years old, in my pink leotard, pink frilly skirt, picking up flowers, pretending to be a fairy! I originally started because I was quite an energetic child and I also had some problems with my feet and legs that ballet really helped to correct. It turned from a hobby into an ambition when I was doing Grade 5 RAD at around the age of 11. I had been recommended by several teachers about continuing my training in England and I read about all the major schools from Dance magazines. I auditioned in earnest and one of those schools included Central. I initially didn’t get in but when I auditioned a couple of years later, I was accepted and started my three year training with the school. I value that time between auditioning the first and second time because I really grew as a dancer in maturity and experience. It also meant that the audition process was slightly less scary the second time round.
6. Who inspired you to dance? There wasn’t one dancer or inspiring character but I think my friends and family supporting me were and continue to be my biggest inspiration.
7. What’s the best advice you can give to future dancers? I had quite a tough time in Second Year with various injuries – however I now really value the experience because it has made me understand myself more and also I learnt to appreciate all the reasons why I love to dance. So I suppose all I can say is that the downsides will always be balanced by the upsides.
8. Opening night is tonight! – how are you feeling? Really excited – after so many months of rehearsals, I am really looking forward to finally performing on stage to an audience. Saying that though, opening night has come round so quickly!
9. What are you most looking forward when you start touring?I am really looking forward to working backstage, doing the get in and the get out and also seeing the UK and all the different venues.