Cupcakes & Conversation with Itziar Mendizabal, Principal, Leipzig Ballet

Cupcakes & Conversation with Itziar Mendizabal, Principal, Leipzig Ballet

Itziar’s season at Leipzig Ballet finishes on 16th August and after a short holiday, she will join The Royal Ballet as a First Soloist. The Company don’t audition. Itziar’s Ballet Mistress gave a DVD of her work to The Royal Ballet’s Artistic Director – Monica Mason – who invited her to take class and subsequently offered her a contract. It’s not unusual for dancers to take a lower rank when joining the Company, and I’m sure Itziar will work hard for promotion as she has been a Principal dancer at Leipzig Ballet since 2008.

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
My motivation arrives later in the day 😉

What are you looking forward to dancing in 2010 ?
Pieces which I haven´t danced yet, classical or modern. I like to find new “me´s” by dancing.

Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
Onegin from Cranko with Jean Sebastien Colau. But there are many things more I would like to dance…

If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
In the Bolshoi Theater or on the beach in my home city, Hondarribia!

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I sew on the ribbons and elastics with my sewing machine. I´m kind of lazy with these things, and the rest I do differently depending on the piece I am dancing.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?
I wake up at 8; I have a nice breakfast and I arrive at the opera around 9:30. Class is at 10 and then rehearsals until 6. After work I usually have a beer with my friends or go home to have dinner and watch a film.

Itziar Mendizabal

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
I´d rather have dinner with 6 friends than with any celebrity!

What would surprise people about you ?
That I am not always happy !

Who inspired you to dance ?
Dance itself!

What is your best piece of advice ?
Never decide to become a ballet dancer if you are not completely sure that this is your dream.

How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
My “siesta” is sacred. And I like to be very calm. It´s the only time my phone is switched off.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Katherina from Cranko´s Taming of the Shrew because it was my first Principal role in a full length ballet. Or, Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude from William Forsythe; I was just 19 when I danced it.

If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create ?
I have already done that for Piaf a Deux – it was a very feminine black dress.

What do you look for in a dance partner ?
Someone who puts all his heart into what he is dancing, and is open to share truthful emotions on the stage.

What is your favourite quote ?
The most difficult thing – but an essential one – is to love Life, to love it even while one suffers, because Life is all. Life is God, and to love Life means to love God. (Tolstoy)

Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ?
Not that I know about…

Itziar Mendizabal

A phrase I use far too often is … ?
“It´s ok!” 🙂

What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
There have been many but I would say my first Swan Lake or my last Giselle with Jean Sebastien Colau.

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
It is a secret…hahaha!

In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?
In the Royal Ballet.

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11 Responses to Cupcakes & Conversation with Itziar Mendizabal, Principal, Leipzig Ballet

  1. Regan May 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Another wonderful interveiw! 🙂

  2. Pinecone Camp May 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    I love that she has a beer after a long day of rehearsals! I would love to see her dance. Great interview.have a lovely weekend!

  3. Rachel {Inspiration in Italy} May 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Wow, she sounds like a motivated, confident, and talented lady who know what she wants out of life. I am inspired by those that are confident in their own capability and achieve their dreams after hard work and fearlessness. I really enjoyed reading this, thank you for sharing. Happy Friday!xoRachel

  4. Lisa Marie Olson May 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    So are these and the cupcakes :)Thank you so much for stopping by.Lisa X

  5. Anonymous May 21, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    what a great woman! she seems so down to earth, but also very into her work, I am very happy to know her personally!

  6. Lori R. May 22, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Such graceful athletes… I have truly enjoyed reading your posts.

  7. Dancing Branflake May 22, 2010 at 6:21 am #

    I love when you ask about how they prepare their pointe shoes. I love her answer about inviting friends instead of celebrities. So telling about what kind of person she is! I can't wait to see her in the Royal one day!

  8. Anne May 22, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    I was especially interested in what she said about preparing quietly for a show with her 'siesta'.

  9. Diana Mieczan May 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Such an amazing interview…I adore your blog! How would you feel about following eachother? Let me know how you feel about it, ok?Kisses and I wish you a fun weekend:)

  10. Karena May 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    What a fabulous interview!! I love her thoughts and the images are stunning!KarenaArt by Karena

  11. BALLET NEWS May 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Regan – thank you very much !Pinecone Camp – hope you get the chance to at some pointRachel {Inspiration in Italy} – I agree, thankyouLisa Marie Olson – thank youAnon – thanks for leaving a commentLori R. – very kind of you to say so, thank you.Dancing Branflake – I agree, the shoes are key ! And Itziar's anwers are revealing,in a good way, which is the whole point. No point reading about something you already know !Anne – I was too – especially how that will fit into English life !Diana Mieczan – thank you very much – please fee free to follow however suits youKarena – thank you !