It’s not every day that the average age of the audience for The Australian Ballet hovers around the five mark. However, with Storytime Ballet, a re-telling of classic ballets for children three and older, that’s exactly what happens. With The Sleeping Beauty Storytime Ballet about to hit the stage on the Gold Coast, we asked ballerina Isobel Dashwood for the low-down.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I wake up and get ready for the day. I do my hair in a bun and pack my bag then eat some breakfast (something that will sustain me for a big day of dancing). I then walk to the theatre and change for class. After I’ve warmed up my body and stretched my muscles, I take class, which goes for about an hour and a half. I then have about 45 minutes to finish my makeup, put my costume on and change my pointe shoes. We perform up to three shows a day and when the last show of the day is finished, I take off my makeup, take out my hair, get changed and head home to rest, have dinner and a big sleep.
Can you tell us about The Sleeping Beauty Storytime Ballet? Which role do you play?
The Sleeping Beauty; Story time Ballet is a new production of the Australian Ballet’s. Using the art form of ballet to help tell one of the world’s most beloved fairytales this production is an excellent introduction to ballet for boys and girls. I play two roles, which I alternate over the shows; Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), and The Lilac Fairy, who is the most powerful Fairy who protects the kingdom.
Do you have any advice for young ballerinas?
Always be yourself! Work hard and make sure you always HAVE FUN! Dancing is about sharing your passion and taking people to another place so don’t forget to let yourself be lost in the movement. People love that!
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?
I have been quite lucky actually and haven’t had many major issues while performing. But there was one time, I was performing in the finals of an international competition and I had this part of my solo where I had to turn on pointe one way then the other a lot of times in a row and I slipped and fell on my bottom and before I knew it I was back on my feet dancing again. It was fleeting but when I got off stage I laughed and felt like I had added my own contemporary twist on the piece.
Who are your heroes in the ballet world?
I am really inspired by dancers that are tall and can move fast. Being tall myself I know that it is hard to control long limbs. I look up to dancers like Darcy Bussell, Olivia Bell and Agnes Letetsu. They are each such beautiful statuesque dancers but have such strength about them and I find it incredible to watch them command the stage and be able to use their bodies in such an amazing way. I hope one day younger dancers look up to me in that way!
The Storytime Ballet: Sleeping Beauty has a five show run from 29 – 30 March. Tickets at theartscentregc.com.au
PHOTO: Jeff Busby