Since I’ve taken part in the Nijinsky Gala at Hamburg Ballet twice in recent years, I’ve danced with some of the company dancers there and they are all really great. Along with Tiit Helimets, Davit Karapetyan and Sarah Van Patten, I performed in Hamburg Ballet’s presentation of Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid. We all had a great time together, but it was hard to find rehearsal time with the company since they were so busy—they have something new to perform every week.
In the short amount of time I had off in Hamburg, I went to the harbor with some friends and took photos, got caught up in a bicycle festival, and ate a big pretzel. I also saw Hamburg Ballet perform every night—what fantastic dancers they are! It was such a treat to see them in so much different work.
Initially, I was worried about performing The Little Mermaid because the music tempo is different than how it’s conducted here—different conductors just have different ways of interpreting the music. Luckily, all went well and we received a standing ovation. After Hamburg, it was on to Moscow and the Bolshoi where the biggest challenge was the raked stage. We had a busy schedule but on the last night, I managed to run to Red Square and still be back in time to sign autographs on the second intermission. I’ve been in Russia twice before; the last time was three years ago when I performed on a gala in honor of Yuri Possokhov, at the Stanislavsky Ballet Theatre. It’s a real privilege to dance on the Bolshoi stage and I appreciate Moscow for its great culture and beautiful architecture.