Cuban-born prima ballerina of the Staatsballet Berlin debuted on stage of the Deutsche Oper this season as Odette-Odile in Patrice Bart's production of "Swan Lake" shared her opinion on this iconic ballet in an interview for our magazine.
What is your favourite moment/part in "Swan Lake"?
It's not posible for me to pick up a moment or part in this ballet, I love both characters and the challenge that each one offers to defy. To be fragile and powerful, loving and loved, evil and strong — all these things make this ballet incredible to enjoy.
What is your favourite production of "Swan Lake"?
I have done a few so far... I will say Patrice Bart's "Swan Lake" is the most difficult one, and I'm enjoying the challenge so much. But I like traditional versions. And I do love when Odette dies in the end.
Don't you think that nowadays "Swan Lake" has too many clichés?
I see the ballet as a piece of history, style and tradition rather than a cliché.
May it seem strange to modern public that the prince runs to a lake to see swans?
Well, audience can be modern but I'm sure that, when they come to the theatre to see "Swan Lake", they know that it's a classical production based on more than a hundred-year-old romantic story. Besides, why is it so strange if the prince goes to the lake to see swans? I don't think there's someone who thinks that swans are not beautiful creatures.
How do you work on your arms for this ballet? Do you use words in your mind when you do mime?
Yes, the work with the arms takes time and practice. Something you have to do over and over again until your muscles get coordination, smoothness and softness within technical steps. The ballet master Christine Camillo here at Staatsballett Berlin is really amazing to work with to create a swan. Yes, we do use words when learning the mimes but after it's a part of our body language, we don't think about actual words anymore.
Can a ballerina without exquisite lines be persuading Odette?
Artistically or technically — maybe yes, but the stage is cruel and so can be the audience if they don't see a swan at first.
Who is your favourite Odette-Odile? Why?
Josefina Mendez, a Cuban prima ballerina, was the best Swan Queen I have seen. Nowadays I follow Marianela Nuñez. She has a beautiful way of dancing "Swan Lake" with an exquisite technique.
Why did Odette fall in love with Siegfried? Was he her last chance to be saved or because of other reasons?
Odette sees hope in Siegfried when all hope is lost. I imagine her feeling safe with him. After all, he is a charming prince, a gentleman who is utmost caring and kind with her but also strong and brave.
Who is Odile? Why does everybody think she should be sexy and seductive? Isn't it too simple to interpret her character in such a way?
The character of Odile has always been an evil one but she doesn't want to scare the prince, she wants to seduce him. Since he thinks Odile is Odette that he has seen previously fragile and pure and who is now also sensual and seductive, no wonder why he falls for her. Odile knows everything.
Why can't we trust men?
Men and trust. Forgive me, but the question is a bit too generalized. Honestly, I don't feel that way about men when it comes to trust.
Do you think Siegfried was deceived? Or was his love just not true?
I guess the character of Siegfried is a bit naive when falling completely for Odile to the point of swearing eternal love to her almost without thinking. But still the power of Rotbart is too strong, so I'd like to believe that he was deceived.
Is Siegfried similar to Albrecht and Solor? In what way is he different?
I see similarities with Albrecht and Solor but, unlike Siegfried, they always knew what they were doing, though they didn't realize what consequences their actions could bring. Siegfried is more dreamy, naive, pure-hearted, more honest in his feelings.
Yolanda Correa and our CEO Julia Pneva before the performance of "Swan Lake" at the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Photos by taken by Adil Sunil specially for Voci dell'Opera