To The Manner Born

What do you enjoy most about your career as a ballet dancer?
Being able to transform myself into other characters and also doing pas de deux work.

What do you enjoy least?

To whom or what do you attribute your success?

I owe both Monica Mason and Jonathan Cope for coaching me.

What role that you haven’t danced would you most like to try?

Des Grieux in Manon.

What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen on stage?

Romeo and Juliet
with Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope.

Of which accomplishment are you most proud?

Dancing in A Month in the Country opposite Darcey Bussell.

If you could work with any choreographer, living or dead, on a new ballet, who would it be?

Rafael Bonachela, the former Rambert Dance Company dancer-turned-choreographer who now heads up Sydney Dance Company.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone hard-working in the studio and a good partner.

What inspires you?

People from all walks of life who are at the top of their game. The best!

What would you like to be doing 20 years from now?

Either coaching and teaching—or maybe nothing to do with ballet.

What qualities do you admire in other dancers?

Everyone brings something to the stage, but what I admire most is others’ acting skills.

What qualities do you dislike?

When somebody reaches the top and then becomes big-headed.

What skill would you most like to learn?

To play the piano.

Who do you admire most?

Jonathan Cope.

Do you have any qualities that you would consider particularly “British”?

Yes, my name!

Latest Posts

Gregory Batardon, Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

The 2021 Prix de Lausanne Prepares for a Year Like No Other

In an ordinary year, early February marks an exciting time in the ballet world: the return of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition. But this is no ordinary year, so this is no ordinary Prix. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 edition will run from January 31 to February 7, completely via video.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Mena Brunette, XMBPhotography

Inside Washington Ballet Artist Ashley Murphy-Wilson's Dance Bag

Ashley Murphy-Wilson, an artist at The Washington Ballet, is all about making things personal. Well, personalized, that is. "My best purchase ever was a label maker," she says. "Everything I own is labeled. My phone charger is labeled. My roller is labeled. Everyone knows: If I leave something in the studio, I'm coming back for it—because my name is on it."

The TWB dancer adds a personal touch to almost everything in her dance bag, be it with her label maker, her "signature" leopard print legwarmers or her bedazzled (yes, we said bedazzled) booties. It's the mark of an experienced dancer; Murphy-Wilson, now in her sixth season at TWB after 13 years with Dance Theatre of Harlem, knows better than to let her belongings get lost to the dance studio "black hole" effect.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Charlene Gehm MacDougal as Lead Nursemaid in Petrushka. Photo by Herbert Migdoll

In Memoriam: Joffrey Dancer Charlene Gehm MacDougal, 69

Former lead dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, Charlene Gehm MacDougal died of ovarian cancer on January 10 at her home in New York City, age 69.

Gehm illuminated the inner life of each of the varied characters in her extensive repertoire. Whether she was the gracious hostess in George Balanchine's Cotillon, the riveting Lady Capulet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, or in the tumult of William Forsythe's Love Songs, she drew the viewer's eye and heart to the essence of the role.

As Forsythe puts it: "Charlene was certainly one of the most elegant dancers I have had the privilege to work with. Her striking countenance flowed into her work and, joined with her wicked sense of humor and intelligence, created thoughtful, mesmerizing and memorable art."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks