Georgeta Varvarici: "Talent or hard work is not always the thing"

Having exquisite body lines, beautiful arched feet and long limbs, Georgeta Varvarici, a Moldavian born ballet dancer, also gifted with hyperextension and extraordinary turnout, seems to be born to do ballet. In our interview she tells us about the beginning of her dancing career, her life outside theatre, passion for fashion and upcoming projects she has in mind.

When and where was your first ballet class? Why did you start doing ballet?

I started at the age of 9. Why did I start doing it? I think it was more from my parents because I had no idea what ballet is like. I didn’t know that it was going to be so hard. It was actually more from my dad because on the event he did, he met a director of the ballet school from Moldavia. He said they were going to start the audition for the school. My dad told him, “Oh, I have a daughter”, so he answered, “You definitely may bring her”. So, he brought me the very next day, they saw me and took me straightaway to the school.

What was your first impression of ballet at the ballet school? For example, Nikolai Tsiskaridze wanted to dance on stage at that very moment he entered the school. He didn’t want to do exercises. What about you?

I don’t really remember what my first impression was like. I guess I could feel intimidated because there were a lot of girls, I thought that I could look awkward. As a kid I was kind of shy, but I tried to work it through and think what I have to do next. I was just following the flow. When I grew up after a few years, I wanted to dance more and more, but, honestly, it was hard for me. The more you’re gifted, the harder it is for you, so I had to do extra classes in the evening and stuff like that. But I definitely could not see myself straightaway like other dancers saw themselves – “Oh, I will be a prima ballerina”. I was following the flow like “I’ll get there when I get there”.

Photographer Daniel Graf

You say it was difficult. Was it really unbearable?

Yeah. Parents who are planning to give their children to ballet schools, have to think at first that their kids should have a strong mind, because it’s really hard, also mentally, to be in a school where teachers scream at you and make you feel bad, but you should know they try to encourage you.

Of course, you’ve heard of different teaching methods, for example, of the Moscow Ballet Academy and of the Vaganova Ballet Academy. Are they different from those you had in Moldavia?

In Moldavia we had the Vaganova base, because our teachers used to study there. It was exactly the same tough and hard training.

Photographer Tim Raack

Do you think it’s necessary for teachers to use cruel methods of teaching ballet? Or they can tell you how to do it in a calm voice, and you’ll get the idea?

I think, everybody has their own style of teaching. At school I was kind of a person that wanted somebody to scream at me because I would get stronger. But for everybody it’s different. If you take it personally, if you are super shy or intimidated, that’s a big problem. I also think that dancers should have a psychologist. Probably, every person has to have one, but for ballet dancers it’s what’s definitely needed.

You’ve mentioned some shy people who can’t stand all this public humiliation, so, do you think taking private classes can be a way for them?

Of course, if you take them in your free time like twice a week, then, it is definitely not going to work. But if it’s every day, then, yes, because I’ve seen schools that had people who really wanted to do ballet, and they had really good teachers, and even though they start quite late, they are still pretty good. I guess, if you work hard, you can achieve a lot of things.