Yolanda Correa: "Siegfried is dreamy, naive, pure-hearted"


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.