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The secret of the White adn Black swans: Interview with Andria Hall



On March 28 the Czech National Ballet premiered the famous Swan Lake created by the legendary choreographer John Cranko. The team of professionals preparing the performance involved Reid Anderson, Birgit Deharde, Andria Hall and Filip Barankiewicz. Shortly before the opening night we had the opportunity to talk to Andria Hall.

Andria, you look very calm and composed even though the premiere is drawing near…
Yes, I am incredibly calm. When I came to Prague I already knew the Czech National Ballet company because I had worked with them on La Fille mal gardée. At that time I felt very good with them and knew the collaboration would be smooth. The dancers tend to help each other and high spirits prevail. Our time spent on Swan Lake was joyful too, without problems.

Swan Lake is one of the most often staged classical ballets. In what way is John Cranko’s version different?
Cranko’s Swan Lake carries a strong message. It is not only a beautiful choreography. It tells a story and is emotionally deep – a real gem. Think of the role of Odette/Odile. It is technically very demanding. You feel quite naked when you walk on stage in the white tutu – you have to be a very confident dancer. As Odette you express total innocence and purity. As Odile, the Black Swan, you have to be exciting and quick, you have to fascinate the audience as well as Prince Siegfried whose character is well depicted in John Cranko’s adaptation.

The Czech National Ballet has three casts of Odette/Odile. What are the dancers like?
All three of them – Alina NanuNikola Márová and Miho Ogimoto have danced in Swan Lake before. Nevertheless, is was necessary to discuss expression, the way emotions should be communicated, and to make sure they understand John Cranko’s version properly. Alina likes to try different approaches. Her body moves lightly and it is easy to work with her. Her White Swan is genuinely pure. At the same time her Black Swan is very strong. Miho is incredibly deep and her Black Swan is passionate. Nikola is relatively tall and her body is elegant. It is exciting to watch her dance. All three will be stunning.

The whole interview can be found on OperaPlus, the media partner of the Czech National Ballet.

Text: Markéta Faustová
Photo: Martin Divíšek