My training years. How I started dancing. I started dance lessons at the age of three. My elder brother and sister were both taking various dance classes at our local dance school so as soon as I was old enough my parents gave me the chance to give it a try. I was a competitive child with a lot of energy and I loved to move. Dancing was a challenge similar to all the sports and activities my parents gave me the opportunity to do. To be honest I remember not enjoying ballet very much when I first started. I was determined to get good grades in my exams but because it was so strict and the content of what I was learning was so boring I often didn’t look forward to the classes. It wasn’t until I went to see the Birmingham Royal Ballet perform that I got an idea of what it was really about. Seeing strong men jumping so high exerting lots of energy made a big impression on me. I still remember the sweat spraying off of them as they turned in the air.
Just a few years later, I was lucky enough to be one of the kids in Coppelia watching them on stage from up close.
How I feel when I am on stage. It’s a tricky question as I can feel a multitude of feelings which depend on many variables but to give a general answer I feel the uniqueness of the occasion and the power of the present moment. My mind deliberately races with numerous thoughts every second. I enter a different state of consciousness, I feel poised and ready to explode with all I can give. Even if I’m a little nervously cautious of certain things not going as well as I’d like them to I’m aware that I can only do the best I can in the moment.
Memories of a performance dear to my heart. Less than six months into my professional career I was given an opportunity which turned out to be my big break. I learned an eleven minute solo by Marco Goecke within five days which was an incredibly difficult task for me. I then performed it on the sixth day. I was extremely nervous for a few obvious reasons but I gave it everything I had. It was the first time I had done anything so far-out. The atmosphere in the room was filled with suspense. When I made it to the end of the piece and felt the response from the audience it was incredible. The whole experience changed my life. It was then that I began to realise much more about what it meant to really let go, express myself and be an artist.
Characters I feel close to. Those whose emotions I can relate to, because I experienced them in my own life or can easily imagine what it could be like experiencing them. I also fully get into a role when the music really moves me. An example of this was when I danced Armand in “The Lady of the Camellias” by John Neumeier.
My responsibility towards society. I think art and expression are a necessity in life for everyone. As a performing artist I feel responsible in immersing myself completely in what I am doing on stage. If things like fear and doubt enter my head I believe the observer is left feeling unconvinced and dissatisfied. It is therefore my responsibility to always deliver. It is also why my profession is so rewarding and yet so mentally and physically exhausting. Perhaps it is rare or even unattainable to feel completely satisfied with myself after the curtain goes down but I can live with imperfection as long as I’ve committed myself one hundred percent to the performance.
Will classical ballet still exist in 500 years. I hope people will still be dancing ballet, rather than machines! I recently read about an experiment that showed that robots could not do pirouettes right! Technology cannot yet replace dancers.
The opposite of dancing. Routine. Non-explorative habits.
What I want to bring to my public. I wish I can help people escape the tragedy and pain of which consist of living on our planet. Touch peoples lives. Inspire and move them emotionally.
I hope people in the audience can relate their souls to mine.
Can dance have an influence on how people see the world. Yes I believe that dance can impact people, their opinions and how they perceive things in the world. Any kind of story can help the viewer relate to the characters in it whether it be a play/dance/film/book or what ever.
William Moore is Principal Dancer at Ballet Zurich.