Cupcakes & Conversation with Jessica Saund, Corps de Ballet, American Ballet Theatre
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
My motivation is; “Deep Art”, the fullest expression of human emotion, in all forms. I pursue it in everything I do.
What are you looking forward to dancing in the new season ?
New works by Alexei Ratmansky. We’ll see this fall what he creates for ABT. Everyone is excited about new choreography
photography throughout : Gene Schiavone
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
I would love to dance “Marguerite” in Lady of the Camellias with Ivan Liska; it’s my favourite.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
A Solo at Carnegie Hall with Josh Bell on Violin.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
Shellac and jet glue, it holds the shape. I also cut the satin off the toe. Works for me.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Right now I am in Paris; totally relaxed.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
To dinner? Frederic Chopin (in spirit,), and Sylvester Stallone, Alexander Scriabin, Pierce Brosnan, Oscar Wilde. That’s it.
What would surprise people about you ?
I love the “Rocky” movies and great white sharks. They both inspire me. “Jaws” is such a classic. I have seen it 100 times.
Who inspired you to dance ?
Classical music inspired me to dance ..Chopin’s music. This is why I dance .
What is your best piece of advice ?
Pursue your passion…I know everyone says that, but it’s true.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
I rest, listen to Chopin, do a very good warm-up and get my mind ready.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Gosh, every role is a test. I just have to go for it.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create ?
I would create a Black Velvet tutu with satin trim, a tiara in diamonds, suitable for a lead role in a love story.
What do you look for in a dance partner ?
A partner needs a strong work ethic, a passion for dance, and a sense of humour…like really funny.
What is your favourite quote ?
Favourite quote? “After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own.” Oscar Wilde.
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ?
Attitude Turns, and Adagio…that’s me…I think
A phrase I use far too often is … ?
Oh! It’s “blah blah blah” .. my words for everything that is .. not ballet
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
Actually no. I have no secret skills, but some say I should be an actress or comedian; go figure. I’m a dancer.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?