Cupcakes & Conversation with Nathalie Harrison, First Artist, The Royal Ballet

Cupcakes & Conversation
Cupcakes & conversation with Nathalie Harrison, First Artist, The Royal Ballet

Nathalie Harrison received a very well deserved promotion at the beginning of this season, and you can see her dancing at the Royal Opera House.

Nathalie Harrison, Photo :  Tom Birkett

Nathalie Harrison, Photo : Tom Birkett

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
Firstly a good cup of tea and during my brisk Bloomsbury walk to work I get into gear and look forward to the day and the week ahead.

Who would you most like to dance with ?
Unfortunately I feel I’ve just missed out on Jonathan Cope – that was always a dream, however last season I had the honour of dancing with Gary Avis. He is one of the most professional and talented people I’ve worked with.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
Reluctantly! I seem to always have a pair only half done. I darn the ends, shellac them, sew ribbons and criss-cross elastics then bash them about before they’re allowed on my feet. I wear my shoes hard.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Well, after the aforementioned compulsory cup of tea, I get to work to sort my shoes for the day. Then after our daily class, it’s straight into rehearsals until about 5.30pm. Before the evening show, I’ll try and pop out for food and fresh air and to call my loved ones to say hello. After curtain down, when I’m finally home and sitting in my living room, over a glass of wine I look at the decorating that needs doing in my little flat!

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Keith Richards, Tony Benn, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry, Mae West and Paul Merton. My boyfriend would cook for us. (He’s famed for his cooking and hospitality.)

Nathalie Harrison in Alastair Marriott’s Sensorium for The Royal Ballet, Photo :  Andre Uspenski

Nathalie Harrison in Alastair Marriott’s Sensorium for The Royal Ballet, Photo : Andre Uspenski

What would surprise people about you ?
I’m thinking about doing a history degree. Is that surprising? Although I’m told there’s no future in history….

Who inspired you to dance ?
My family. Growing up in a household with great music playing and their encouragement to explore all possibilities.

How would someone else describe you ?
Chatty, hard-working, generous and impatient.

What is your best piece of advice ?
I believe that the harder you work at something, the greater the reward. Easy achievements aren’t as fulfilling. Most importantly, make the most of every moment. Enjoy it. Live it!

Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Opening night of DGV, dancing the Pas De Deux created for Darcey. One of the best experiences of my life. I was heart-broken to suffer an injured wrist the following week. Dancer unable to dance = unhappy person!

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
I seem to be a magnet for ‘funny things’ happening to me. There are so many and they’re mostly embarrassing so my lips are sealed.

If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I love Bakst designs, so I would probably steal from him and mix it with a little Westwood.

Nathalie Harrison and Gary Avis in Christopher Wheeldon's DGV for The Royal Ballet

Nathalie Harrison and Gary Avis in Christopher Wheeldon's DGV for The Royal Ballet

What are you most proud of ?
Without hesitation, my Dad.

Who would play you in the film of your life ?
Chloë Sevigny or Kate Hudson and the sound-track would have to be the Rolling Stones and Tchaikovsky.

What is your favourite quote ?
Elwood: It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Jake: Hit it.
(The Blues Brothers)

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
I’m not that secretive, and I’m not that skilled. But I’ll work on it and keep you posted!

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18 Responses to Cupcakes & Conversation with Nathalie Harrison, First Artist, The Royal Ballet

  1. DUTA December 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    She made me curious about her Dad, of whom she's so proud.

  2. Elise December 7, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    DUTA – thank you for your comment. Strictly speaking I'd say it is up to Nathalie whether or not she wants to reveal anything if it's personal. We'll see… Mind you, isn't every girl ? I know I am too.

  3. m.e (Cathie) December 8, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    hi Elise,just wanted to say hi & say thankyou for always popping by to leave a sweet message. very much appreciated.hugs ♥

  4. Cloudia December 8, 2009 at 2:14 am #

    Thanks for reminding me how much I love ballet!I know nothing but that I am moved by the excellence of great dancers and costumers, musicians, and coreographers. I can still see Nuryev leaping in my mind – I saw him you KNOW how many years ago. I'm happy to report that several companies shall be "Nut Cracker-ing" even here on Oahu in the middle of the Pacific. Thanks awfully for your dear visits…Aloha, Friend!Comfort Spiral

  5. koralee December 8, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    She is lovely…I so enjoyed reading about this lovely dancer today. Inspiring for sure!

  6. twinsouls888 December 8, 2009 at 5:56 am #

    She looks so elegant, a very interesting stare ^_^Tnx for visitin' me girl, appreciate it a lot. Have a nice day 😉

  7. Sher December 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Oh she's so beautiful, I love this little interview with her:)

  8. Isabel December 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    Thank you for your lovely visit to my blog, Elise.I truly enjoyed this interview.Enjoy the season :)Isabel

  9. All things nice... December 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Elise,I love your post each week 'Cupcakes and Conversation' what a sweet name 🙂 I don't know very much about Ballet but Im learning abit from your blog. Thanks :)All things nice…

  10. michelle_ December 9, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    awesome interview !she's such a beatiful girl with alot of talent (im guessing this from the way her routines are !)you're the first ballet-enthusiast who's visited my blog :Dthanks for commenting at my postt..visit / follow / and comment me .hugs et kisses . GLISTERSandBLISTERSenter my blog scarf giveawayfollow me ?i'll follow u back 😀

  11. yiqin; December 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    Ah this brings back so many memories <3

  12. English Rose ♥ December 9, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    photographs are beautifulStay Safe and ChicEnglish Rose x

  13. silk purse December 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm #

    What a talented prima ballerina!..,Thank you for visiting my The Plumed Pen blog, and leaving that lovely comment; (for what eventually became "A Teddy Bears Christmas Tea/ Wednesday Tea for Me And Thee" post)..,Cheers from Silken Purse @ The Plumed Pen

  14. Inspiration in Italy December 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Wow this is so inspiring. Her statement "I believe that the harder you work at something, the greater the reward. Easy achievements aren't as fulfilling. Most importantly, make the most of every moment…." that was my favourite part of this interview. That is basically my motto in life, especially the place that my husband and I are now! Thank you much for posting this. xoxoxoRachel

  15. daphne on a rocketship December 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    thnx for ur lovely comment!!!!!!!!nice post!!!!!!!!

  16. AudreyAllure December 11, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    lovely interview!

  17. Soiree December 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Oh I love this interview. The photo's ar breathtaking!!! Thank you so much I am loving your blog.

  18. Elise December 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    m.e. – thankyou !Cloudia – Good news indeed ! Thank youkoralee – I think so tootwinsouls888 – thank youSher – very kind of you to say so, thank youIsabel – thank youAll Things Nice – that's great to hear, thank you for letting me know !michelle – thank youyiqin – thank you !English Rose – thank yousilk purse – I'm sure Nathalie will love your compliment, thank youInspiration in Italy – Yes, it's so true isn't it ? Thank you for your lovely comment !daphne on a rocketship – thank you – I just love your name !!!Soiree – thank you very much, you are very kind to say so !