Underneath The Lake

It  takes a lot of preparation to put on a new production as big as Swan Lake !! Here’s a sneak peek how this masterpiece came alive ...

Mood Board was in our practise studio so us dancers could get an idea of stye and set design while rehearsing. 

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We had many costume fittings in the lead up to the first night. They were between rehearsals so were usually accompanied with comfy trainers !

 Tutu before feathers ! 

Tutu before feathers ! 

 Act 1 Soloist dress. 

Act 1 Soloist dress. 

There are so many costumes for this production, not all can be in our dressing room. So some have to be left outside in the corridor. 

 Tutu rails

Tutu rails

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This is our hair and make-up board. Dancers refer to this before getting ready for the show so we know exactly where the headdress should be aligned, styling of hair, and make up, (centre parting, colour lipstick etc). 

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Czardas headdresses too big to put in boxes !  

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Our pearl swan earrings all named in individual boxes for us to collect before the show.

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Stage rehearsals are when we try on our costumes for the first time while dancing and it’s only when you are dancing in them that you really get a feel of how it fits. Most costumes we share, so it can only be a tweak here and there. After each act we have the dress makers in our dressing rooms to jot down the adjustments. Incredible team 🙌

 Gina after Act 2

Gina after Act 2

 Elizabeth in Act 1 Queen costume. Getting into character before our first call on stage.  

Elizabeth in Act 1 Queen costume. Getting into character before our first call on stage.  

 Natalia Osipova resting before Act 4 stage rehearsal 

Natalia Osipova resting before Act 4 stage rehearsal 

Quick change area from Act 1 to Act 2 by side stage. We have around 4 mins to change our headdress and change costume to our feathery tutu ! 

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With the legend that is John McFarlane who designed this production!! 🌟

 www.roh.org.uk/people/john-macfarlane

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The Team. The Royal Ballet. 

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THE COSTUMES AND HEADRESSES IN NEXT WEEKS BLOG !! 💕

 

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Ballerina Tested - MakeUp Remover

This past month I’ve been testing make-up remover to see which one is best ! We need to wear a lot of make up on stage, due to heavy lighting and the distance we are from the audience etc. After the show you don’t want to be spending too much time taking it all off. You want to wipe it off so you can go out & hit the town for some fun or flop at home!

I thought - who’s best to test these than a ballerina herself .... so here’s my review ! 

 No make-up face ! Photo - William Bracewell

No make-up face ! Photo - William Bracewell

 Show One ..

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Pretty good, however, it did leave my skin feeling dry. It also took a few cotton pads to soak my stubborn eyeliner off !

 Show Two ..

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

I massaged 3 pumps of oil onto my face and rinsed in the shower and it all came off ! No residue and left my skin feeling super soft ! 

Show Three ..

Bioderma Solution Micellaire

Was excited for this one as this is what they use backstage for catwalk shows during Fashion Weeks ! It got rid of all make-up, however it took quite a few swipes to achieve this. Smelled lovely and left a dewy finish. Pretty good.

Show Four ..

Aqueous Cream

A few dancers use this or Diprobase to rid their make up. You can get it over the counter in any pharmacy and it’s quite cheap ( £4 ! ). It’s very kind to the skin but more of a facial wash than make-up remover. It didn’t quite get rid of all my eye make up.

Show Five ..

Nivea - MicellAIR

I usually like Nivea  products however this didn’t quite cut it for me. It took a few too many attempts to get rid of my mascara. 

Show Six ..

L’oreal Micellar Water

This was great, got all the make up off with a couple of swipes. Excellent value too !  

 www.loreal.com 

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Show Seven .. 

Johnson’s Baby Wipes  

 Another favourite with many dancers at The Royal Ballet Company. It took all the make up off, but left my skin feeling super dry ! 

 www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk

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The winner is ...

Kiehl's Midnights Recovery Oil

- a luxury item but worth every penny 💥

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  ( However... If I have missed an excellent make up remover on the market, then please drop a comment ! Thank you ) 

Ballet Style meets ... Nathalie Harrison

This series of 10 snappy questions will offer a look-behind-the-curtain and gain an insight into their stylish life.

This week Ballet.Style meets .. 

Nathalie Harrison, dancer with The Royal Ballet Company. 

The phrase eclectic boho could have been coined for Nats. She manages to effortlessly combine an old vintage dress and a straw hat and still look amazing. This lady has style and being a mum hasn’t stopped her showing it. www 

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What style do you like most in the studio ?

I do like the really old dance wear, the worn raggy favourites we all wrap around ourselves. Fine knitwear and 80’s Lycra is the dream but hard to find. I’m not into the sporty look. I like chiffon and layers.

 

How would you describe your style outside the ballet studio ?

Colourful, clumsy charity shop chic. I love visual noise. Bohemian, vintage I prefer ‘ pre loved ‘ clothes to new, I get an adrenaline rush when I walk in a good charity shop.

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Tell me how you have styled your home ?

Well, it’s the house my husband grew up in and it’s an old property. It’s quite literally the polar opposite of minimalist. It’s rammed packed of artefacts, stuff and things everywhere, all are beautiful and fascinating with stories attached and we have some incredible books and paintings. I love it so much.

 

What’s your favourite meal to cook ?

I go through fads & stages with cooking, currently I’m very proud of my super healthy and delicious fish pie. My daughter can’t get enough of it.

 

What your number one make-up product or beauty ritual?

Concealer! For under my tired eyes And some blusher. I’m very pale.

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What do you eat before a big show ?

Too much and always regret it. I’ll never learn

 

What do you get up to on Sunday ?

I frantically clean my farmhouse. I ignore the laundry and play with my 1 1/2 year daughter who is the apple of my eye. We spend a lot of time walking in the South Downs, cooking big Sunday lunches for friends and catching our breath ahead of the week beginning again. I try and have a salt soak in the bath but sometimes it doesn’t always happen.

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Where is your favourite place to tour ?

Japan. Partly because it is one of the most interesting places I’ve been and also sentimentally I’ve enjoyed some amazing tours there. It’s very different to home, stimulating and fascinating at every turn. I love to visit rural japan on our days off. Plus they adore ballet there which adds some sparkle to the performances for sure.

 

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading the Paper Dolls, Burglar Bill and the tale of Jeremy Fisher. All about five times over at bedtime.


Is there anything you are doing outside of the ballet world you would like to share ?

I’m getting back into choreographing again at the moment. Some internal ROH projects but also making a short art film with some friends. I’m also writing various articles which I love to do. On the whole being a mummy and a ballerina takes up all my energy and time but I’m broadening my horizons ready for when I can to look at future adventures.

 Photo Credit - Andrej Uspenski 

Photo Credit - Andrej Uspenski 

You can follow Nats on ..

 www.instagram.com/natsorelli

 

Ballet Style meets ... Xander Parish

This series of 10 snappy questions will offer a look behind-the-curtain and gain an insight into their stylish lives.

This week Ballet.Style meets ...

Xander Parish, principal with Mariinsky Ballet. 

Xander took a brave decision at a very young age and decided to leave The Royal Ballet to have a career at The Mariinsky Ballet . A whole lifestyle change not just in terms of ballet. He has adapted fantastically well, so much so that he was promoted to principal in 2017. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.   

 Photo Credit - Darian Volkova

Photo Credit - Darian Volkova

 What style do you like most in the studio ?

When I'm doing class and rehearsals I almost always wear things which are firstly, comfy and simple, which I can grab quickly out of my locker. I'm not the type to wear loads of layers which get peeled off bit by bit. Tights, T-shirt and a pair of tracksuit bottoms is just fine!


How would you describe your fashion outside the ballet studio ?

I would describe it as fairly classic in a simple way - I tend to wear tops in block colours, navy blue, black or sky blue, without patterns, and jeans for everyday wear. I often wear shirts in various shades of light blue which I like.


Tell me how you have styled your home ?

I guess I've done it in the "learn a foreign language" style... I have "post it" notes on almost every stickable surface with new vocabulary and phrases which I'm trying to remember to help me with my Russian.


What’s your favourite meal to cook ?

Free time is not something I have a lot of at the Mariinsky so I cook for speed and convenience rather than pleasure. I use a slow cooker to make stews which I can prepare when I have time and then put on in the morning so when I return home in the evening it's already ready. If I have a day off I enjoy making a good breakfast with things like French toast and strawberry & walnut porridge.

What your number one make-up product or beauty ritual?

Well I guess the W4 base paint stick I use for performance make up is pretty good! I still buy my make up products in Charles Fox in Covent Garden!

 uk.kryolan.com

 Photo Credit - Natasha Razina

Photo Credit - Natasha Razina


What do you eat before a big show ?

I tend to stock up on carbs with a large lunch after morning class- today for instance in the theatre canteen I ate 4 breaded chicken strips, a bowl of chopped carrots & celery, a fresh orange juice, a flapjack and a slice of beetroot cake (much, much better than it might sound!). My show today is at 7.30pm so I'll eat another smaller meal at about 5.30pm.


What do you get up to on Sunday ?

Sunday is a normal working day for the Mariinsky Theatre but if I don't have rehearsal in the early afternoon or a matinee show, then I will go to the international church which I'm a part of. We meet in the Oktiabrskaya Hotel in a large conference hall and have a congregation of approximately 150 people, maybe more, of many students, probably half and half, international and Russian.

 Photo Credit - Katya Kravtsova

Photo Credit - Katya Kravtsova

Where is your favourite place to tour ?

My favourite place to tour is to Baden Baden in Germany. It was the place I first toured to as a member of the Mariinsky and the company goes there every year over Christmas. It's a beautiful place, especially with the Christmas markets and there's a ruined castle on one of the hills overlooking the town and thermal hot baths to visit so we always have a great time touring there!


What are you reading at the moment?

One of my friends gave me The Karamazov Brothers by Dostoevsky. I made a good start on it a while ago and am about one third of the way though! I probably won't finish it until I have a vacation in the summer as it's so long.

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Is there anything you are doing outside of the ballet world you would like to share ?

I'm working a lot with a British artist called Alexander Talbot Rice. I guess actually this is ballet related too but not to worry! He's been painting me for a couple of years now which has been fun. He's currently putting together an exhibition and auction of his work including our pieces which will benefit a charity for British veterans as his family has a strong military background.

 Photo Credit - Natasha Razina

Photo Credit - Natasha Razina

Ballet Style meets ... Louis McMiller

This series of 10 snappy questions will offer a look behind-the-curtain and gain an insight into their stylish lives.

 

This week Ballet.Style meets ..

Louis McMiller, dancer with Company Wayne McGregor.  

When I think of Louis’s style, I picture fun ! From what he wears in the studio, to what he drinks after a show, a lightness and positive outlook is apparent. When you see him on stage there is focus and dedication but outside is freedom and joy. 

 Photo Credit - Alex Fine

Photo Credit - Alex Fine

 What style do you like most in the studio ?

I like a look that is pretty chill and effortlessly put together, but you know there is thought and lots of style behind it! A few baggies, mixed with skin tight is a winner for me! Funnily enough, most of my work clothes are colourful! (See next question!)

 

How would you describe your fashion outside the ballet studio ?

Simple and classic is how I like to think. Fitted, symmetrical and usually all black (I like to think my personality is the colourful element, haha, I’m kidding!) I like nice shoes and jewellery and I have a small obsession with sunglasses!

 

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Tell me how you have styled your home ?

Organised mess ! I’m so in and out, being on the road all the time, so I always try and make sure my hotel room is as comforting and homelike as possible. I like to take a Diptyque candle with me to remind me of home! In my dream world, everything would be sleek and disguised behind cupboards, like a showroom!

 

What’s your favourite meal to cook ?

I recently became vegan and so I’m still finding my feet with that. My favourite thing to make at the moment (even though not the healthiest!) is vegan falafel — yumo!

 

What your number one make-up product or beauty ritual?

Number one... oh, I have so many! Ok, so my favourite product at the moment for the face is Mario Basescu’s Aloe, herbs and Rosewater facial spray. It’s super refreshing and makes you feel nice too!

 www.mariobadescu.com

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What do you eat before a big show ?

I actually can’t eat too much right before! Our shows are getting longer and longer (the latest one is 80 minutes!) so I tend to eat a good breakfast, usually Soya yoghurt with muesli and fruit and a good lunch, stock up on Mountain Dew for the show (!!!) and then have dinner about an hour afterwards.

 

What do you get up to on Sunday ?

If I’m not spending the entire day in bed, I love seeing my friends, eat and drink whatever I want and watch trash tv!

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Where is your favourite place to tour ?

I love going to The States. I usually get to see my family when I’m there and I am a sucker for American candy!

 Photo Credit - Alex Fine 

Photo Credit - Alex Fine 

What are you reading at the moment?

I just read Call Me By Your Name. I wanted to read the book before watching the movie and it made it so much better. And now I just bought The Sellout, which I need to start soon!

 

Is there anything you are doing outside of the ballet world you would like to share ?

Last year I did a movie in Norway, so I’d love to get into doing more acting. I also model and am represented by First Model Management. It’s something that still allows me to use my creativity and I usually end up dancing on shoots too, without being SO focused on the usual technicalities of ballet in the studio.

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You can follow Louis on Instagram 

 www.instagram.com/mcmilagram

Ballet Style meets ... Thiago Soares

This series of 10 snappy questions will offer a look behind-the-curtain and gain an insight into their stylish lives.

This week Ballet.Style meets ..

Thiago Soares, principal with The Royal Ballet Company, London. 

Thiago’s style is unique. He has a real ease and assured look around the Royal Opera House. I love that he wears a toweled dressing gown for class and a casual shirt for rehearsals, his look screams - SOARES ! 

 Photo credit - Rick Guest

Photo credit - Rick Guest

What style do you like most in the studio ?

 I’m usually wearing dark clothing. I use a lot of things from a collection I’ve created with ‘Balletto Official’, a Brazilian dance clothing brand and the majority of the pieces are in black or dark blue. I wear jazz trousers and T-shirts for every day classes and rehearsals. 

www.balletto.com.br/  

 

How would you describe your fashion outside the ballet studio ?

   I think I am quite simple. I’m a fan of dark colours and sometimes my mind is on so many other things that I don’t plan much on what to wear. But I do recognise people in nice outfits and I’m a fan of the fashion industry and the influence that has on the art world. 

 Photo Credit - Andrej Uspenski 

Photo Credit - Andrej Uspenski 

Tell me how you have styled your home ?

I’m a minimalist at home. But I like to have beautiful art on the walls and clean lines in the way that I place things. 


What’s your favourite meal to cook ?

I cook the basics, having said that, I can a do a great black beans with meat and some delicious South American dishes ! 

 

 What’s you number one make- up product or beauty ritual ? 

Not much - I apply cream on my face and elbows when I remember, and apply wax on my hair for a Saturday night. 

 Photo Credit - Daryan Dornelles

Photo Credit - Daryan Dornelles

What do you eat before a big show ?  

Steak - crucial to get as much protein in as possible ! 


What do you get up to on Sunday ?

Museums, galleries, friends, paper work, films, Netflix and chill. Your classic Sunday full of life-admin that you just don’t get time to do during a week at the opera house. 

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Where is your favourite place to tour ?

Japan for sure !


What are you reading at the moment?

 A book about Tarsila do Amaral who is an artist.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarsila_do_Amaral 

 

Is there anything you are doing outside of the ballet world you would like to share ? 

I Swim on free weekends and play ping pong competitions for fun and to free my mind. 

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You can follow Thiago on Instagram  .. 

 www.instagram.com/_tsoares