“A great artist is a great man in a great child”, by Victor Hugo.


You watch a beautiful performance that is almost flawless, and although it is hard to say what it exactly is, something is lacking or missing.  I recognize this as “dancing about nothing”; the absence of the sense of sensibility.

Often times it happens because of an artist’s immaturity caused by a young age.

Other times choreographers insist on dancing the choreography and are not fond of self-expression.  They simply eliminate one’s personality, and hope to amplify the overall look on the stage which may be necessary for an impeccable corps de ballet (group work.)

Before performing a part, I study as many artists possible performing similar roles.  I take what I like and I leave what I do not like as seeing both what I should be doing and what I should not be doing is an important element of the learning process.  I also make sure that I videotape the last few rehearsals (it may be painful as we are our own worst critiques) to watch and analyze myself.

If it is a brand new abstract work, I create a small story in my head for the piece, discuss it with the choreographer and stick to it.  I get this question a lot:  “Should I smile during the piece?”  If the story in your mind which is relevant to the part that you are dancing makes you smile, please do.  If not, please do not.

Every time I dance, I own the part, I feel it; I make sure my dancing is sensible and it is not about NOTHING!

Watch Cem Catbas as “The Lion” in Carnival of the Animals.