Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Salenko & McRae: putting the ginger back into ballet?

Iana Salenko & Steven McRae. Photo: Andre Uspenski

I had a fabulous time interviewing the glorious dancers Iana Salenko and Steven McRae for The Independent. Taster:
Even over post-rehearsal tea Salenko and McRae’s outlooks streamline into one: positive, sensible and with wit always at the ready. He speaks with strong traces of an Australian accent; hers is pure Ukrainian; but they still finish each other’s paragraphs. 
“The most important thing is the connection with a partner, how we understand each other,” says Salenko. “And then it’s the body and proportions. We are similar size: perfect.” McRae remarks that a photo of them in Don Quixote, showed everything: “We were in exactly the same line and even our facial expressions were the same,” he says. “It’s not something we talk about; it just happens naturally. It’s obvious that it works.”
 Article is out today, here.

Having seen them in Romeo and Juliet at the ROH a few weeks ago, I have to say that what will no doubt be called "all the fuss" is not about nothing. Quite simply, they look, sound and dance like soulmates.

Watch out for them in Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux in the mixed-bill cinema relay from the ROH on 12 November.

And here's a taster from Swan Lake rehearsals, filmed by Andre Uspenski.