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9 October 2017
Author: The Place

Interview: Kasper Cornish

Kasper Cornish began his dance training at the age of 10 with Sara Phillips in 1984 and graduated from Central School Of Ballet in 1993 after which he joined Ballet Wales, touring the UK in productions of The Swan and Cinderella. His other performing work ranged from Ballet Dancer to Wrestler for the BAFTA award winning Channel 4 series Faking It to the title role in The Snowman (Birmingham Repertory Theatre, West End and BBC film of the stage show). Other credits include The Phantom Of The Opera feature film and dancing the role of Slavemaster for the national tour of the stage show. He played the Prince of Transylvania in the National Theatre production of My Fair Lady at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, was a founding member of Just Desert Dance Co. and as a freelance principal artist has danced popular ballet pas de deux as far afield as Japan. He was principal ballet dancer at Glyndebourne in 1996 as well as understudy to Zoltan Solymosi and toured France and Switzerland in Maurice Bejart’s Bolero with Sylvie Guillem

Why did you start ballet?

When I was 10 years old I watched “Singing in the Rain”, and “American in Paris” over and over on video as those two films were the only videos we had when we first got a VHS Player. In truth I must have fallen in love with the movement and artistry of Gene Kelly on the first viewing as I was the only one in the house re-watching them long after the novelty had worn off!

What is your favourite ballet moment - either in your own career or something that you have seen?

My favourite ballet moment was, and still is, watching the opening titles of “White Nights”. Mikhail Baryshnikov dances “Le Jeune homme et la Mort” by Roland Petit. It has influenced so many decisions in my life and continues to do so.

Why do you love ballet so much?

I love ballet because, contained within it is an eternal struggle for perfection, meaning, as with most classical arts, one can never learn everything there is to learn about it in one lifetime. It never gets boring! Ballet also evolves, albeit at a slower rate than more modern dance styles.This evolution is endlessly fascinating to me. I also love seeing people empowered by the physical and interpretive skills you can learn through Ballet.

What would you say to someone that has never done ballet before but wants to try it?

Try it!

What stereotype of ballet do you think people get completely wrong?

I think the stereotype about ballet that people get completely wrong is thinking that ballet needs to be taught as though everyone learning has been very naughty and needs to be told off in order to improve! 

Kasper currently teaches Level 2 ballet at 6.30pm Mondays and Wednesdays


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