The Fairy Tale Series: An interview with ballerina Lana Jones
CinemaLive has exciting things planned this coming year: in cooperation with The Australian Ballet they plan on presenting The Fairy Tale Series, a succession of three ballets consisting of The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Coppélia, to cinema-going audiences around the globe. The Upcoming gladly took this opportunity to talk to ballerina Lana Jones of The Australian Ballet. The Fairy Tale Series is going to play the performances nationwide on 4th October 2016, 23rd November 2016, and 19th April 2017, respectively, so be sure not to miss it!
What do you hope The Australian Ballet’s newest cooperative project with CinemaLive will accomplish?
This is a wonderful platform for The Australian Ballet to showcase our work and deliver ballet to different parts of the world.
Which of the ballets in The Fairy Tale Series do you consider to be the most challenging and why?
This is a difficult question because all three ballets are so varied in what they demand. In saying that, because of how well-known The Sleeping Beauty is worldwide, I would have to say that ballet is most challenging, due to the expectations attached to it.
The ballets look amazing, and the costumes and scenery in The Sleeping Beauty, especially, are magical. How long does it take for The Australian Ballet to fully prepare a performance?
The Australian Ballet has a very demanding schedule, so we are always working on a few ballets at any one time. We started rehearsing a few sections in the year before it was created, and then mid-way through the next year, we had a good six weeks to get the ballet off the ground. For other departments it was a much lengthier preparation. I feel like we spent a good year building up to the occasion.
It came to my attention that you and your husband, Daniel Gaudiello, have had the pleasure of dancing together on numerous occasions – the ballets from The Fairy Tale Series included. What is it like to share a common passion with someone you love?
It is very special sharing what I love with the man I’m in love with. There is a beautiful security when dancing together onstage, which is rare; the stage can sometimes be daunting and vulnerable. I step out on stage with Daniel and all I need to do is look into his eyes, and I know everything will be ok.
I read that you are a fan of Rudolph Nureyev. He also choreographed Cinderella during his career. Which Cinderella choreography would you say is your ultimate favourite: Ratmansky’s or Nureyev’s?
I haven’t had the pleasure of dancing Nureyev’s Cinderella. It does seem difficult but wonderful. I definitely enjoy dancing Ratmansky’s production. They are very different in their styles, but at this point in my career I enjoy the artistry that Ratmansky’s Cinderella requires.
Both the Cinderella choreographies are set to Sergei Prokofiev’s music score, but which of The Fairy Tale Series composers inspires your dance the most – Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev or Delibes?
I would have to say Prokofiev, particularly the Act III pas de deux music in Ratmansky’s. It makes me tear up nearly every time!
Ballet is a demanding art form that takes ages to perfect, but does your body maintain the complete memory of a show even years onward?
I was only just talking about this the other day. For me, parts remain deep in the vault, and even if I couldn’t tell you what the steps were, put the music on and somehow your body remembers and knows what to do.
Out of curiosity: what would be the highest number of pointe shoes you have gone through in one show? Did it happen during The Fairy Tale Series?
Three pairs, during Don Quixote.
You have had some fantastic career opportunities, Lana, but I am sure more will follow. So may I ask, what will the future bring?
Well, this is an exciting question for me as I’m about 10 weeks away from having a baby! So the future is definitely exciting and, at times, a little unknown. I’m returning to Ballet. I’m not quite finished yet! More to discover.
In conclusion, do you sometimes feel as if you are living the Happily Ever After in a fairy tale?
To be completely honest, I do feel extremely fortunate to have this gift and realise my dreams. It isn’t easy, and it’s about to get even harder, but I wouldn’t change anything. The life and opportunity this career has given me will take me so much further than just the stage.
For further information about The Fairy Tale Series visit here.
Watch the trailer for The Fairy Tale Series here: