Artisan at Heart

What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen onstage?
The Stevie Wonder concert a few months ago in Paris! Also, James Thiérrée’s performance piece, Au Revoir Parapluie.

What do you enjoy most about your career as a dancer?
I enjoy having a career that I’m passionate about, to be able to achieve as an artist, to meet talented people, but most of all, to be onstage to tell a story.
 

What do you enjoy least?
Sometimes I get tired of always questioning…and then there is the pain that is a part of daily life.

What qualities do you admire in other dancers?
Musicality, generosity and honesty. I have a profound respect for the dancers who are always in the back row but remain passionate.

What qualities do you dislike?
I don’t like dancers who do tricks. That doesn’t touch me. I also don’t like dancers who don’t respect those who are older than they.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes for performance?
I choose my shoes two days before dancing. I try them a thousand times to be sure, and I question even this!


What were your first impressions of the POB when you were a student?
When I was little, I thought that the Opéra was a museum, and I really didn’t understand what I could do there!

To whom or to what do you attribute your success?
To my willpower, my perseverance and to my partner, POB étoile Manuel Legris.

What do you think you will be doing 20 years from now?
My son will be 20 years old. I will probably be having a serious talk with his girlfriend!

What talent do you have that few people know about?
I create jewelry in my little atelier.

How would you like to be remembered?
I don’t have the desire to please at any price. I dance because I love it and to put myself on the line. I want to discover myself, extend my range as an artist. In the end—it’s selfish!

What is your advice for students wanting to be professional dancers?
Never forget who you are while doing this magnificent profession. Dancers are artisans; it requires enormous amounts of work. You must be interested in other forms of art to enrich and inspire you. Respect your partners and those who work with you. Stay humble because you know there is always someone who can be better than you!

What inspires you?
Music, the human species and very good red wine!

Latest Posts


Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

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VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

Defining and Refining Musicality: How to Tune In and Develop Your Artistic Voice

Ask a hundred people what musicality is, and you're likely to get a hundred different answers. "Musicality is where an artist's personality shines brightest," says Smuin Contemporary Ballet member Ben Needham-Wood. For American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt, "it's what distinguishes one dancer from another. It helps me express myself more vividly and emotionally."

Teachers encourage it, directors seek it out and dancers who possess it bring choreography to life in compelling ways. But what exactly is musicality, and how can dancers get more of it?

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