|Guillaume Côté dans Nijinsky|
Photo Erik Tomasso
|Un train nommé désir|
Oh, man. Actually, because I grew up in Quebec, there wasn’t really any live ballet, other than the older kids in my ballet school. But when White Nights started being available on VHS, that changed my life. Obviously, Baryshnikov was very manly, and [ballet] was attractive to me all of a sudden, because it was athletic, and it was a display of virtuosity as well. But what touched me the most was that it seemed to me that it came from a place of a real person dancing and expressing real feelings, and real emotions, and a real human being. It wasn’t about fairies, and pretty tutus, and things like that. As a young man, [those things] didn’t really do it for me. But when I saw him do something called Le jeune homme et la mort, which was Roland Petit, which was a ballet, a story written by Jean Cocteau. It was more of a concept – a young man who was visited by his own death, a young artist living in Paris, and this really wonderful, beautiful woman comes in and she’s representing his death. I just remember it was this abstract thing, but I understood it all, and I must have been nine or ten. It was quite powerful. So from that point on, I thought, “Okay. Well, this is really something that I’d like to pursue.”
Yeah! The funny thing is, I started dancing when I was maybe four, just because my parents were involved in the ballet school up north in Quebec. They really wanted to bring culture to the area. They had wanted to start a theatre company, but they didn’t know anyone in theatre. But they had a friend who was studying dance at the University of Montreal. When she came back home to Lac-Saint-Jean, my parents helped her found the school.
I was ten the first time that I came to the ballet school. I went to ballet school at l’école supérieure for one summer when I was ten years old. I didn’t like it so much, just because there weren’t enough boys at the time. It’s very much a girls’ world, especially in the younger days and the younger ages. So then I decided I was going to try the National Ballet School, in Toronto, one year later, and I loved that. I came to the ballet school when I was eleven.
Of course. The first few months were very difficult. But the funny thing was that summer school lures you in, because summer school’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of really exotic classes. You’ve got a lot of flamenco classes, Indian dancing – you’re in these groups where it’s low-pressure. They’re kind of auditioning you quite intensely, but you don’t notice, because you’re going to Canada’s Wonderland, and you’re going to a bunch of stuff. Growing up, in Lac-Saint-Jean, I wasn’t really exposed to the big city stuff, so it was very exciting for me.
I’ve spent my career here as a full-time member of the National Ballet, but I’ve had the chance to dance a lot of other places. What keeps me here [is that] I think the people that had huge impacts on my life are people who decided to invest themselves in the place where they knew they could make some kind of difference. From dancing at a young age, I started casting in New York. I danced at the Met, and I danced in Berlin, and I danced with the Royal Ballet, and the English National Ballet. And at some point, I fooled around with the idea of dancing in London, or dancing in New York.
Obviously, my first show of Swan Lake when I was 19 was very special. It was with Sonia Rodriguez. I was the youngest person to perform that role in the history of the National Ballet, so that was interesting.
It was interesting, because it was at an important time. There’s so much going on politically about the treatment of women, and that particular story – so interesting in the way that it’s written for real people, with faulty, faulty personalities. My role is very disturbing in a way, and to try and embody that character was very out of my comfort zone. I’d been a prince for so long- even Nijinsky is more of a precious character- this role was something else altogether.
Well, for Streetcar, it’s very important to definitely leave it in the studio [laughs]. You do take it home, in a way. When you do Nijinsky, it’s a couple of weeks of preparation where you go into a place of emotional distress, I would say. Especially by the time we get to that second act in the show, to go somewhere where you’re so disturbed, there’s a place of no return. Then when you get away from the stage, a lot of times I’ll still be shaking, and you can’t sleep for a day or two.
The nice thing with Heather and I is we got to dance together for a long time before we were a couple. To be honest, dance is a bit of a thing where you’re responsible for your own performance, more or less. So I never feel that I’m dependent on her, or that she’s dependent on me in any way, which is great. She’s always super, super strong, and super consistent, and incredibly musical, which is the thing that I think I love the most about dancing with her, because her innate sense of musicality and splitting notes in half is intense. It’s so thrilling to do, because even with something like Sleeping Beauty that you’ve done a million times, she can play with the music. It’s not just different phrasing – we’re talking about splitting notes, and talking about silences being inserted into sections where you wouldn’t think a silence could fit in there, or a stillness. It’s getting to a point where we’re both at the same point in our careers, where we’re working on subtleties. We’re working on texture, and that’s what I love the most, because I feel like we’re both working together – especially for Sleeping Beauty.
I’ve always wanted to choreograph. I composed music before I choreographed, because I had this idea of creativity. When I discovered choreography and when I started doing it, I right away loved the idea of architecture to music, and I loved the idea of telling stories. So I felt like it was all these really wonderful things coming together.
I loved it too [laughs]. I loved the process of it. I loved the idea of taking such a sacred story, and then trying to reposition it into a different world, and creating a new world for it, and creating a new life to it. Because it is such a beautiful piece of literature, and it’s sacred, in a way. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t live as something else.
Well, the thing about LePage – I’m just so grateful that I’m in this project [laughs]. I can’t believe it; this man is just one of the greatest artists in Quebec, and I think I can say Canada.
I’ve always wanted to do The Dream, because Ashton is classic, and I’m getting up there where I’m aware that the classics are not gonna be too much longer, so I’m really excited that this came now. Of course, I requested it, but I’ve been requesting it for a long time, so I’m sure it’s not my request that made it end up on the programming, but I’m very happy that that’s there.
Thank you very much for the nomination. You just do your best, and you hope that people really like what you do, and I think what you’re doing is wonderful, too, because it inspires us to keep going.
Kelly a obtenu un diplôme en communications de l'Université de Boston, mais ce qu'elle a vraiment acquis durant ses quatre années passées à Toronto a été un travail de révision télévisuelle composé de plus de 1000 posts et étiquetés MyTV, le plus souvent le résultat d'heures passées à regarder Buffy au lieu de écrire des essais. Son amour débordant de Shakespeare et du théâtre musical l'a amenée à créer MyTheatre en 2010. MyCinema et MyBookshelf (maintenant, MyBooks) ont suivi, tout comme MySports Stadium (maintenant, MySports) quand son obsession du baseball a eu raison d'elle. De nouveaux ajouts MyMusic et MyGames ont complété la famille et ont mené à la création du site ombrelle My Entertainment World, où le lecteur approfondi peut acquérir une compréhension incroyablement détaillée des pensées et des sentiments de Kelly. De tout. Kelly travaille comme écrivaine et patineuse à Toronto, est une disciple dévouée de l'école de Sorkin et tient à remercier Joss pour ses commentaires audio inspirants. Elle est une podcasteuse à double fonction sur le réseau RHAP et un fier membre de la Canadian Theatre Critics Association .