Dansportalen

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

StevenMcRaeFrankenstein

Steven McRae as the Creature in Frankenstein at the Royal Opera House. Photo dancersdiary

In a profession as a dancer you wear your heart on your sleeve

LONDON: ‘As I see it your career is a three legged stool, you need talent, you need to have hard work, extreme hard work, and you need to have luck. You can’t have it unbalanced, you need all three.’

Steven McRae, principal dancer at the Royal Ballet in London, meets our correspondent Maggie Foyer, for an exclusive interview for Dansportalen.

‘The day I was promoted to principal that was the day I started working harder it was not ‘Oh I’ve made it’. Reaching that level is the easy part: to maintain the level and develop that’s when the hard work really begins. And social media allows you to share that.’

Rhapsody Steven MacRae

Steven McRae in Frederick Ashton’s ‘Rhapsody’. Photo RO


Steven McRae’s muscular build doesn’t immediately bring to mind Charles Dickens’ workhouse waif, Oliver Twist. But, like the little boy, he keeps wanting more. ‘I said that to Liam (choreographer Liam Scarlett), “more”, I said, “more, more, more”.’ McRae admitted, ‘I am hungry to have something really dramatic or showcase pieces, my own Rhapsody for example.

Frankenstein a good experience

But yeah, I’m just hungry for more now. I’ve been very lucky. Since my second season with the Royal Ballet I’ve had works created on me which, for a dancer, is everything.’

Familjen McRae

Audrey Blue Bell McRae together with her dancing parents Elisabeth McRae and Steven. Photo dancersdiary


The other creation that is central to McRae’s life is his 18-month-old daughter, Audrey. The Royal Ballet’s summer tour to Japan was a family affair. ‘It makes such a difference having your family with you when you are away that long.

When I’m away anything longer than a few days I start saying: ‘Why am I doing this? I want to be with my family. My wife, Elizabeth Harrod, is now eight months pregnant. She danced the first week of the tour then she stopped.

But Audrey was the star of Japan really. I got so many lovely gifts and most of them were addressed to Audrey. She loved to be around the company, to have so much attention. What 18 month-old wouldn’t? Travel isn’t easy, but she was an example to all of us adults. Even with the cancelled flight, delays and jet lag she just got on with it.’

The Royal Ballet is always well recieved

The Royal Ballet dancers love visiting Japan. ‘The company is always well received. The Japanese public are incredible, they appreciate what we are doing and just about every performance was sold out. They get to see such a diverse mix of companies and they’re very good at acknowledging high quality art.

Steven McRae strech after class Japan

Steven McRae stretching after class in Japan. Photo Steven McRae Instagram


I was supposed to perform Romeo with Iana Salenko but her work schedule changed so I performed with Francesca Hayward who has recently been promoted to principal.

Francesca had already performed it here in London and we had a week to put it together which was fine. It was a lovely show and the audience gave her a very warm welcome to Japan. Obviously she’s not as well-known as the others but I am sure they will know more of her in the future.

Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in Romeo and Juliet © ROH 2015. Photo by Alice Pennefather

Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in Romeo and Juliet 2015. Photo by Alice Pennefather


The week after, I did Giselle with Sarah Lamb who I always love dancing with; she is an absolute pleasure. We also danced Romeo and Juliet which is heaven. Romeo is one of my favourite roles and with Sarah you can just play on stage and it’s almost as if we can read each other without having to say anything. It’s a great feeling to end the season that way.’

A new work by Wayne McGregor

This season Wayne McGregor will have been Resident Choreographer for ten years and the Royal Ballet will celebrate the occasion with a new work. McRae finds no problem in adapting to McGregor’s style. ‘I’m in his new work which will be nice. I worked with him from virtually my first year in the company and also I think my early training in multiple styles has really helped.’

McRae began his training in Sydney. He met teacher Hilary Kaplan at 13, who told his parents: “this boy will go to the Royal Ballet”. ‘We didn’t even know what that was! But she knew what was going on. I have had incredible relationships with my teachers and will forever be thankful to all of them.’

Gold at Prix de Lausanne

The turning point came when McRae won Gold at the Prix de Lausanne in 2003 – and caused a stir by choosing to dance a tap number for his alternate solo.

Gailene Stock was chair of the jury and offered him a scholarship to The Royal Ballet School. ‘Financially this would have been impossible for my family but Gailene just opened up the world for me. The final was on Sunday and she told me to come directly to the school. WHAT!!!

Genee Int Ballet Comp 2002 16 yr

Genée International Ballet Competition in 2002 when Steve was 16 years. Photo Steven MacRae Instagram


But she made it work and found accommodation for me. So, as of Monday I was a student at The Royal Ballet School. That evening, they needed a student to hold the tray with cups in the hunt scene in Sleeping Beauty. So on my first day I was on stage with Darcey Bussell and all these incredible stars that I had watched on video and idolised.’

Talent, hard work and luck

‘As I see it your career is a three legged stool, you need talent, you need to have hard work, extreme hard work, and you need to have luck. You can’t have it unbalanced, you need all three.

Since I’ve been dancing principal roles I’ve had Leslie Collier as my coach. She was an incredible artist herself and worked extensively with Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. When I’m coached by her it’s totally unselfish. She doesn’t hold onto any secrets: what she knows she passes on to help you develop in your own way.

In a profession like this where you practically wear your heart on your sleeve, you need a coach that understands you as a person–I call her my ballet mom!’

Social media a fantastic way to communicate

Steven McRae loves social media. ‘For me it’s a fantastic way to communicate. I have contact with young dancers who are asking me questions and I get to watch what other dancers are doing and learn from them.

StevenMcRaeandIanaSalenkoBlackSwan

Some Black Swan action with Steven McRae and Iana Salenko from Ibstage Gala. Photo Steven McRae Instagram


I have always been interested in other areas of life, reading different things about different topics and social media is just a mini compact version of that. Instagram pops up and all your interest are suddenly there.’

‘You need to have a certain element of openness and truth about it as well. We are very fortunate to be in The Royal Ballet with incredible facilities but it’s not all smiles and laughs and it takes incredible hard work.

The day I was promoted to principal that was the day I started working harder it was not ‘Oh I’ve made it’. Reaching that level is the easy part: to maintain the level and develop that’s when the hard work really begins. And social media allows you to share that.’

Every single step is seen by thousands of people

He has been featured in many of the ‘big screen’ performances relayed from the opera house and seen all over the world. ‘The first cinema relays were quite off putting. I was thinking “every single step I am doing is being seen by hundreds and thousands of people”.

The cinema relays are not edited in any way. That’s very difficult especially if you do four performances and the one show that was filmed – that wasn’t your best one. That’s life! I try not to let it affect my performance as there are still 2,500 people in the audience who are expecting a normal live show.’

Steven McRae

The Evening Standard had Steven McRae as this years Progress 1000: London's most influential people. Photo Steven McRae Instagram


‘I think Macmillan’s ballets film very well because we have always been coached to make them as realistic as possible so it’s not a case of having to tone anything down and Ashton, particularly in La Fille mal Gardée, is such a genius in the way he does comedy that everything, even the over-the-top stuff in those ballets, actually works in the cinema.’

The family enjoy going to Australia for vacations. ‘I’ve guested with both Queensland and the Australian Ballet and I hope it will happen again. It’s important for me to keep my roots there because I am proudly Australian and my daughter is half Australian.

I would love to stay involved in the dance world out there as much as I can in the future. I’ve had this incredible career in London and Europe, Russia and New York and it would be selfish not to take some of that home and share.’

Maggie Foyer
20 Oct 2016


  • Pär Isberg
    Pär Isbergs magiska låda, musiken och teatern
    Dansportalen gläntar på ridån för Pär Isberg, premiärdansare och koreograf med gedigen meritlista. Utbildad vid Operans balettelevskola, senare Kungliga Svenska Balettskolan. I dansen såg han en frihe...

  • pure_coincidence_c_admill_kuyler
    Young dancers impress in new choreography: Junior Ballett Zürich in Impulse
    Junior Ballett Zürich , founded in 2001 is now an established adjunct to the main company appearing regularly in major productions and with many of the young dancers joining the company ranks.The lives...

  • tag_tueren_2015©zenna_web_D33B0866
     »I think the Prix de Lausanne gives a great opportunity for young dancers to get into the international dance field«
    In Montreux I met with Jason Beechey director of the Palucca University of Dance Dresden, one of the prestigious schools that are associated with the Prix. Jason has also been a member of the Artistic...

  • Samira Bethke Kitri PDL21
    Prix de Lausanne 2021 blev en annorlunda tävling
    På grund av den pågående pandemin hölls tävlingen i år digitalt. De nio jury medlemmarna som bedömde dansarna var samlade i Lausanne där de såg de tävlandes bidrag på storbildsvideo. Clairemarie Osta ...

  • Törnrosa Aurora 
    I pandemins spår – kommer dansare, sångare med flera tvingas byta yrke? Dansportalen undersöker
    I en artikel i DN den 17 november säger Birgitta Svendén, chef för Kungliga Operan i Stockholm: ”fler och fler lämnar sina yrken och söker nytt jobb. Vi ser redan nu ett kompetenstapp och om vi inte k...

  • Auguste Marmus
    Auguste Marmus förverkligar sin dröm i St Petersburg
    Uppvuxen i Majorna i Göteborg och tidigare elev vid Svenska Balettskolan i Göteborg gör Auguste Marmus just nu sitt APL-år vid Vaganova-skolan i St Petersburg. Att han getts denna möjlighet handlar om...

  • God Jul & Gott Nytt År 🎄 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
    A Holiday Greeting from Dansportalen!

  • Jekyll & Hyde
    Världspremiären av baletten Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vid Nationalbaletten med glänsande manlig energi och dans
    Höstens andra balettpremiär i Operahuset i Helsingfors hann ha sin premiär och dansas av alla tre rollbesättningarna före dörrarna åter stängdes på grund av pandemin. Tre föreställningar skulle ha åte...

  • Laura Persson SVB
    Kulturstipendium till ung talang vid Svenska Balettskolan
    Laura Persson, 15 år, har tilldelats ett stipendium ur Västsvenska Kulturfonden. Stipendiet skulle hon få mottaga vid en festlig ceremoni den 28 november.

  • Transit SDT Carl Thorborg
    Nya verket Transit är en ursinnigt utförd ritual, en kamp för överlevnad och förändring
    Jag fick tillfälle att se premiären av Skånes Dansteaters Transit på Malmö Operan den 17 oktober. I en lokal som rymmer ca 1500 åskådare var det tillåtit att endast ha en publik på högst 50 personer.F...

  • Dansmuseet
    Ballets Suédois 1920–1925 på Dansmuseet
    Dansmuseet i Stockholm uppmärksammar hundraårsdagen av Svenska balettens i Paris premiärföreställning den 25 oktober 1920 med en jubileumsutställning under mottot ”OM NI INTE GILLAR DET KAN NI DRA ÅT ...

  • Saluts démos 2015
    Everything is in our bodies, says Madame Elisabeth Platel, director for Paris Opera Ballet School
    Leaving the plane at Charles de Gaulle-airport you are met by large photos of dancers, musicians and other cultural motives along the walls in the airport. A fantastic way to welcome visitors.My goal ...

  • Ekman Operan sep 2020
    Det var som om man blev ännu mer passionerad av att vara dansare bara för att man inte kunde ge föreställningar
    Dansportalen träffade dansarna Hampus Gauffin och Gabriel Barrenengoa vid Kungliga Baletten i ett samtal om pandemins konsekvenser och om det nya programmet på Operan av koreografen Alexander Ekman.De...

  • Agneta S
    Agneta Stjernlöf-Valcu: Du ska förmedla dansnotationen till dansare så att det blir en föreställning.
    Dansnotationens syfte är inte bara att bevara något som passerat utan först och främst att ge möjlighet till återskapande. En videofilmning är alltid en tolkning av ett koreografiskt verk.Oavsett om a...

  • COW1
    Nationaloperans säsongöppning med en mycket fräsch COW av Alexander Ekman.
    Höstens första danspremiär vid Nationaloperan i Helsingfors hälsades mycket välkommen av premiärpubliken på lördag kväll. Alexander Ekmans COW visade sig vara den energiska laddning som behövs just nu...

  • SHIFT I CACTI
    Höststart på Kungliga Operan – urpremiär av Alexander Ekman
    Den 26 september slår Kungliga Operan åter upp dörrarna för en ny säsong med två premiärer, först ut är Alexander Ekmans SHIFT | CACTI. Därmed flyttas säsongsstarten fram vilket innebär att premiären ...

  • Oscar Salomonsson
    Oscar Salomonsson, premiärdansare – Det udda och uttrycksfullas mästare
    Oscar är utbildad vid Kungliga Svenska Balettskolan och anställdes vid baletten 1997. Mellan 2004 och 2007 dansade han i Madrid, Spanien.Han återvände till Stockholm och fick utmärkelsen Årets dansare...

  • SigridYAGP
    Om finalen som ställdes in och Sigrids drivkraft, engagemang och hårda arbete
    Sigrid Åberg är 13 år och går Alhanko Academy of Ballet i Stockholm. I höstas var hon i Cattolica, Italien och tävlade i Youth American Grand Prix.I vår skulle hon egentligen åkt till New York för att...

  • LesBalletSuedois
    There is no lack of creativity in the house. We just work in different ways.”
    Nicolas Le Riche – Ballet director of Royal Swedish Ballet – gives Dansportalen an update on the current situation of the company and informs about the plans for the future.Upon arrival of Covid-19 Ro...

  • Paul Marque Le Louvre
    Scènes de la vie confinée de Paul Marque
    A Paris, le confinement règne depuis le mois de mars. Pour les Français il est interdit de passer plus d’une heure dehors ou s'éloigner au-delà d’un kilomètre de sa maison, sinon on écope d’une amende...

  • Paul Marque Louvre
    Meet Paul Marque and a Soloist Dancers Life Today in Paris
    In Paris, social distancing rules have been in place since March. French people are forbidden to spend more than an hour outside or travelling more than one kilometre from their home. If they do eithe...

  • Carmen Helsinki
    En magisk föreställning av Carmen
    En helaftonsbalett i tre akter till musik av Georges Bizet hade premiär på Nationaloperan i Helsingfors i vår. Produktionen var norsk och koreografen var denna gång Liam Scarlett.Alla föreställningar ...

  • GöteborgsOperan
    Vad händer på våra operahus när världen stängs ner på grund av Covid-19? Katrín Hall, GöteborgsOperans Danskompanis konstnärliga chef om situationen i Göteborg
    Dansportalen har talat med Göteborgsoperans Danskompanis konstnärliga chef, Katrín Hall. Hon berättar att man i dessa dagar får använda all sin kreativitet för att hitta och nå publiken och att vara f...

  • Beyond GO mars 2020
    "Allt som man gör i en uppsättning, vare sig det är teater, dans eller något annat rör det sig om en relation med åskådarna"
    GöteborgsOperans Danskompani backar inte för utmaningar. Efter Sidi Larbi Cherkaouis ”Icon”, med 3,5 ton lera på scenen, och Damien Jalets ”Skid”, där golvet hade en lutning på 34˚, tar de sig nu an ä...

  • Balettpedagogtävlingen
    Många talanger i den nationella balettävlingen
    Den nationella balettävlingen hålls vartannat år av Balettpedagogernas förening i Helsingfors . Den alternerar med tävlingen Ung energi som också anordnas av föreningen. Skolornas intresse stort och ko...

Redaktion

dansportalen@gmail.com

Annonsera

dansportalen@gmail.com

Grundad 1995. Est. 1995

Powered by

SiteVision

Uppil