Avatâra Ayuso plays Nikiya, one version of the bayadere in Shobana Jeyasingh’s Bayadere – The Ninth Life 2017 edit. We caught up with her ahead of the show’s world premiere at The Lowry (Thu 28 & Fri 29 October) to find out what it’s like to be a professional dancer and how she prepares for a performance.
Have you seen the original ballet La Bayadere by Marius Petipa? If so, what did you think? And if not, did you have any opinion about it?
I had seen it many times before Shobana approached it. I even performed a version of it when I was much younger in Spain. At that time, my view about it was very naïve but when I shifted my career towards contemporary dance I realised that despite enjoying the dance technique (ballet), I did not agree with the way many things were represented. It is a love and hate relationship!
What is it like to work with internationally acclaimed choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh?
I got into Shobana Jeyasingh’s company in 2007. From the very first moment, I felt privileged to have entered the world of such a fascinating artist. 10 years later the feeling is still the same every time I enter the dance studio. I’ve had the exceptional opportunity to experience from within the change in her creative thinking over the years and her exploration of the body in motion. There’s no doubt that Shobana keeps on challenging her creative team and her audience in every new production. Her thinking and research never stop because Shobana moves with the times, she lives in the future.
What is your favourite part of this new production Bayadere – The Ninth Life?
I really like act I: Shobana has condensed very well the main aspects of the original ballet, picking up on the aspects that are more controversial in a very elegant way. Act III is also very exciting to do as a dancer.
The new 2017 edit of Bayadere – The Ninth life will have its World Premiere at The Lowry. How important is it that Dance is seen outside of London?
It is essential that dance reaches absolutely every single corner of the country if we want an audience that is motivated, excited and inspired. I’m sure this new version will bring all those things to the audience.
And lastly, before the curtain rises how do you prepare for a performance?
I always go to warm up on stage, right before the show. I like experiencing the theatre completely empty, visualising what the performance would be. It is a very peaceful moment that prepares me for the big moment.
To see Avatâra Ayuso dance in Bayadere – The Ninth Life book tickets here or call box office on 0843 208 6000.