An Interview with Beatrice Castaneda and Lee Jia Xi

Dancers of Ballet Under the Stars share their love for Ballet

BUTS - Giselle

by Yoon Ji Seon  (photo credit: Singapore Dance Theatre )

The dancers who will be participating in Singapore Dance Theatre’s latest productions : Contemporary Dance featuring Expressions Dance Company and Giselle, tell us about their experiences of being a ballet dancer.

Jia Xi

Interview with  Ms Lee Jia Xi

1.Tell us why you love ballet. (What’s so special about this genre of dance?)

To put it simply, I love the “square-ness” of its beauty. Ballet is made up of clean, clear lines, and in a way, ballet moves can be very geometrical as can be seen in neo-classical pieces in works of choreographers such as George Balanchine. There are endless possibilities to how we can move in ballet.

2.How hard is it for you to convey emotions through movements during your performances?

Everyone has different emotions. It is not easy but I always try to relate movements to everyday life so that my movements originate from the truest source, life. During performances, emotions and movement will become one as I think of conveying the message to the audience and then the self becomes non-existent. And that is when a performance has its value for the performer as well as the audience.

3. Share with us what the audiences can expect to see in the Evening of Contemporary Dance and Giselle performances?

I think it’s best to keep your hearts and eyes open for the new work to be presented at the contemporary weekend and the nuances of the classic elements of ballet that is in Giselle. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, and expect to have a good time in the park with family and friends, and share our joy of dance and music!

Beatrice Castaneda

Interview with Ms Beatrice Castaneda

1.Having performed in so many productions(Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Pinocchio and more) , what is one performance that you remember the most and why?

For me, all performances are important because you never know if it will be your last (injuries for instance). Since training in America for four years, I have come to better appreciate the ballet, The Nutcracker. For most ballet companies in America, this a very important ballet because the revenue made from this production helps a great deal in keeping a company afloat. For me, I have so many fond memories from learning and rehearsing the choreography to performing it onstage and all the in-between behind the scene moments.

2.Ballet dancing requires a lot of practice and training, do any part of your body get sore and painful? (e.g. back, feet)

My feet do get sore by the end of the day and sometimes they get swollen especially when I dance in pointe shoes. I have tendonitis on my left knee. The pain level varies daily from bearable to suck it up and take some ibuprofen. But that’s the price I have to pay in my pursuit of my lifelong dream.

3.Lastly, do you think it would be difficult for adults, who have zero experience in ballet, to start learning ballet?  (non-professionally)

I believe anyone can dance whether it’s ballet or ballroom dancing. I don’t believe in the “I have two left feet notion”. Yes, adults with no previous dance training will be able to take a simple beginner’s ballet class. I just can’t promise them that they won’t be sore the next day!

Ballet Under the Stars tickets are available through SISTIC