Image: Harvey Littlefield as Prince Siegfried and Beatriz Kuperus as Odile in My First Ballet: Swan Lake © Laurent Liotardo

As My First Ballet: Swan Lake continues its national tour – heading to Oxford this weekend – catch up with Beatriz Kuperus, an English National Ballet School student dancing the fiery role of Odile in this adaptation for young children.

What or who inspired you to take up ballet? Can you remember the first lesson or performance you attended?

My older sister inspired me. It was a natural thing, it felt just like breathing. I felt I had to do this. I have ADHD and found it hard to express myself at school, dancing was a release. It felt so good to dance.

What did it mean to you to get a place at English National Ballet School?

Amazing. I’d been at a small dance school in Colorado when I was offered a place at ENBS (English National Ballet School). I did a trial week and loved it. It’s a professional school but felt like home which made it easier to be away from my family.

Harvey Littlefield as Prince Siegfried and Beatriz Kuperus as Odile in My First Ballet: Swan Lake © Laurent Liotardo

What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to dance in My First Ballet: Swan Lake?

I love being able to work with people from English National Ballet. I’ve just rehearsed with Loipa Araujo (Associate Artistic Director, English National Ballet). She has so much knowledge which was so good.

Tell us about the role you have been rehearsing – what are the best bits and the challenges?

I’m rehearsing the role of Odile. This is a new production so I’m being choreographed on for this role which is incredible. This means I’m part of the creation of this character and during the process she has become more playful. It’s a new thing for me, staying in a character the whole time. I’m enjoying bringing her to life.

Beatriz Kuperus as Odile in My First Ballet: Swan Lake © Laurent Liotardo

You’ll be taking My First Ballet: Swan Lake on tour around the country – what about touring are you looking forward to most?

It will be great to experience what life in a touring company is like. Performing is what I like most so this opportunity to go on tour and do so many performances is great. My friends feel like family, touring with them will be fun.

How does it feel knowing that your performances of My First Ballet: Swan Lake often give children their first experience of ballet?

I love that with this production you have young people performing for young people. The audience can watch the show and think ‘she’s like me!’ I want to inspire them and I hope that other children will find their form of expression and voice.

Beatriz Kuperus as Odile and Harvey Littlefield as Prince Siegfried in My First Ballet: Swan Lake © Laurent Liotardo

What are you your future career plans and aspirations?

English National Ballet is my dream company. London is the place to be, they really appreciate the arts here.

 

My First Ballet: Swan Lake is in Oxford this weekend (21 – 22 April), then makes its way to Manchester, Blackpool, Woking and Torquay. With plenty of chances left to see it, get your tickets today.

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