When we first arrived in Hamburg, I was anxious about dancing up to the standards of Hamburg Ballet, given our jetlag. But happily on the first day, we were all ready to start—luckily, we had rehearsed at home quite a bit and felt prepared.
I had last been in Germany seven years before with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, performing on the same gala. It’s funny, this June, the weather was exactly the same as it was in 2005, when I performed there. In general, I find Hamburg lovely; some of the city has been rebuilt since World War II, but there is still plenty of beautiful architecture. Did you know that in Hamburg at least, the beer was cheaper than water? As I’ve done in San Francisco, I performed the role of the prince in Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, but this time, I was dancing a familiar work with a very different cast of Hamburg Ballet dancers (except for Yuan Yuan, Sarah, and Davit). It was a very strange experience!
Touring for me is always very inspiring. I love working with another company—it’s like taking an extra vitamin pill. You feel invigorated and re-energized. Not only is it a new perspective but you’re performing to new audiences and having your performances reviewed by different critics. While I love touring, and Hamburg and Moscow were no exception, I find it really hard to be away from my family, including my two and a half year old daughter.