Ballet Style meets ... Solomon Golding

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

This week Ballet.Style meets ...

Solomon Golding, dancer with San Francisco Ballet and in my opinion a style leader ! 

 Photographer - Jahna Frantziskonis,

Photographer - Jahna Frantziskonis,


What style do you like most in the studio ?

My studio style varies depending on whether I want my body being seen or not. Most dancers have experienced that feeling of just not wanting to be faced with themselves in a mirror first thing on a Monday morning! On days like these I like to wear my Aviator Nation super worn sweat pants. They are very comfortable and allow me to reach my full range of movement without getting in the way. On days when I feel like a bit more comfortable or if I'm in coaching and really need to see how my body is working, I like to wear tights or shorts. I usually like something with a pop of colour because life is too short and really enjoy pairing those with a fun graphic t-shirt.

  How would you describe your fashion outside the ballet studio ?

My fashion outside of the studio is very much curated by me for me. I really feel that fashion is another form of self expression for me and it is something that I have a lot more room to be myself within. It has changed a lot throughout the years and I like looking back at outfits and knowing exactly what I was going through at that point in time. I wear hats and I think they are a motif for me. At the moment I'm really enjoying playing with silhouettes and illusion. Double waistlines have really caught my attention and I am liking the idea of fashion not being so much of what you wear but how you wear it and have had a lot of fun wearing what I already own in a different way.

 With Mathilde Froustey. Photographer- Devlin Shands

With Mathilde Froustey. Photographer- Devlin Shands

Tell me how you have styled your home ?

My home space is quite minimal. I like black, especially in my bedroom, so my chest of drawers, bin and laundry basket are all black. My bed is also black but it's a super minimal metal scaffolding frame. I love to be surrounded by plants so I have plants in my room and the pots are black also.


 What’s your favourite meal to cook ?

I don't cook at all. Some of the guys in San Francisco Ballet took me to the most amazing Thai restaurant called Bai Thong and I'm a little bit obsessed now. Also California has the best Mexican food outside of Mexico so I can be regularly found at one the amazing Mexican restaurants in San Francisco.

 

 Photographer- Isabella Walsh

Photographer- Isabella Walsh

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

I recently changed my foundation for shows to the Fenty Beauty collection and it was the best thing I've ever done. I also wear the same colour as Rihanna so I'm well chuffed about that. My skin always gets so irritated by shaving but I recently found an amazing lotion called Tend Skin Solution and I use it after shaving and I barely get razor bumps anymore. I also discovered this amazing vitamin-E oil that's hyper concentrated called 'Sundown Naturals Vitamin-E Oil 70,000 iu' and has done wonders on my skin but I'd suggest mixing it with Palmers or another moisturiser as it is very viscous and is hard to spread on your skin by itself.


 What do you eat before a big show ?

I usually eat at 5pm for a 7:30pm show and that would be a normal sized meal of whatever I fancy. I wouldn't ever eat a curry or anything spicy before a show for obvious reasons but other than that I'm not that restricted on what I'll eat before a show and it varies depending on what I'm doing in the show. Sometimes nerves might mean I won't eat until after the show.

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 What do you get up to on your day off ? 

On my day off I like to sleep a lot. I recently moved to the US and going to the cinema is an experience and a half. Everything is super sized and loud and amazing! I also like to work on things like my website or work on outside projects that I don't have the time to give attention to whilst working.

 Photographer- James Clare  

Photographer- James Clare  


 Where is your favourite place to tour ?

My favorite place to tour probably has to be Japan. I just adore Japan. It's so eccentric and I really appreciate the culture and I could also live off of sticky white rice and Japan is definitely the place for it! A close second would be New York City and I really enjoyed Chicago and Washington DC when I went with The Royal Ballet.

 At the ‘Batman Vs Superman’ Premier 

At the ‘Batman Vs Superman’ Premier 


What are you reading at the moment  ? 

There is a great series of books called The Last Interview. They are a selection of interviews with famous individuals who have now passed on. I read James Baldwins, a famous gay African American writer and activist, and was absolutely humbled by the intelligence and eloquence of his answers about race, sexuality and religion especially from a gay black man in the midst of the Civil rights movement in America.

 Photographer- Marcelino Sambe

Photographer- Marcelino Sambe

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

I recently went to Los Angeles to shoot a music video for an amazing musician and song writer called Harrison Kipner. It was shot and directed by Brantley Gutierrez who has made music videos for Arcade Fire and Diplo so I'm super excited to see the finished product. I was also recently interviewed by a Nigerian based magazine called 'A Nasty Boy' which explores otherness in people, culture and society.


To see more of Solly..

 

 www.solomongolding.com/

 www.instagram.com/solomongolding

Ballerina Tested - Nail Polish

Second in my Ballerina Tested series  ...  

Nail Polish 

 As a ballerina we can’t wear dark nail polish while we are performing for lots of reasons. Firstly, it’s a bit too individual and it’s distracting at the end of your fingers, hands are so expressive in ballet, you don’t want anything to distort that. Even when I was a student and not performing my teacher wouldn’t allow it, ‘not classical’ was the reply when I enquired. However I like the ceremony of putting on nail polish and it makes me feel ‘done’. So to get around this I wear pink or natural like a lot of other dancers around the world. I have a large collection of pink nail polishes but I thought I would ‘ballerina test’ all the ballet inspired ones to see which ones hits top spot ! 

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Chanel - Ballerina 167

I had to start with Chanel, it’s super luxurious ! The polish was a very natural pink, with a high shine. It lasted for 3 days without any chips, I think for its price, however, it should last a bit longer. 

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Essie - Ballet Slippers

Was very impressed with this one. It’s quite watery while applying but it dried super fast, a soft pink and left my nails very strong as well. Bonus ! 

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Barry M - Ballerina 

A very reasonable price with a little shimmer. However the tone was more ‘Barbie pink’ than ‘Ballerina pink’. 

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L’Oréal - Rose Ballet 22

Liked this a lot. But it is a little too dark for on stage. Applied this on my toenails instead. 

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OPI - Somewhere Over The Rainbow Mountains 

So, one of my favourites! Was a slightly dusty pink, which I liked, and lasted for ages, which I loved, and the application was satisfying if you know what I mean ?!?

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 www.opi.com

What are you waiting for ?!?! Paint those nails a BalletStyle Ballerina pink and let me know your favourites ! 🤗

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Dance photography- Rachel Hollings ... thank you 🙏🏻 

My Top 5 Ballet Costumes 17/18

My top 5 ballet costumes from this season.  It was a tough one this year ! 

Number 5

Monya -  Giselle 

So beautiful and dreamy this costume. It glides with you while you dance. I love the extra tulle around the arms, creates that romantic / eerie port de bras. Also nicely nipped in at the waist. 

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Number 4 

Courtesan - Manon 

This role has a few costume changes but this particular costume shown below I really like. It also comes with a huge array of accessories, white gloves, veils, muffs and a very luxurious coat ! The coat is on the heavy side, like, really heavy, but you only do a few steps before you get down and dirty with the big dancing ! I think this coat screams Dolce and Gabbanna, what do you think ?!

Number 3  

 Lead Flower - The Nutcracker 

Such a beautiful costume this one. It also fits me perfectly. I love how the sleeves don’t cling but drape just above the elbow and that the actual tutu isn’t too stiff but hangs slightly past the bodice. Dreamy. 

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Number 2

Spanish Princess- Swan Lake  

This is the Spanish Princess costume from The Royal Ballet’s new production of Swan Lake, designed by the incredible John McFarlane. It has so much depth for a tutu. In layer and richness of colour and the huge array of materials used, velvet and silks complete the look. However this costume needs to be worn a few more times ( like 50-75 ) to be perfect ! It’s a little stiff and you sometimes get this with new tutus. Ballerinas ( and their male partners ) love a tutu when it’s been a bit worn and used ! 

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And 

Number 1 .. 

Yugen

Yugen was a new 1 Act ballet this season choreographed by Wayne McGregor to Leonard Bernstein’s score ‘Chichester Psalms’. It was an incredible ballet and I was very lucky to have had such a divine role in it. All costumes were gender neutral, in tones of burnt reds. I loved how I was wearing the same as the men on stage yet played a feminine role, it was incredibly empowering. The silk material draped when you danced and created shapes with your body. Hopefully this ballet comes back to the Opera House soon !

Performance photography- Rachel Hollings  

Swan Lake Costumes

Here is a closer look at the beautiful costumes from The Royal Ballet’s new production of Swan Lake. Designed by the talented John McFaralane. 

 ACT 1 

 FUMI CHAN AS A SOLOIST COURT LADY

FUMI CHAN AS A SOLOIST COURT LADY

 KRISTEN AS QUEEN

KRISTEN AS QUEEN

 KRISTEN SHOWING THE BACK OF THE QUEEN DRESS

KRISTEN SHOWING THE BACK OF THE QUEEN DRESS

 LETTIE AS ODETTE DOUBLE 

LETTIE AS ODETTE DOUBLE 

 GEM AND RO AS COURT WOMEN 

GEM AND RO AS COURT WOMEN 

 ANNA AS A SISTER PRINCESS  

ANNA AS A SISTER PRINCESS  

 MARCI AS A SOLOIST COURT GENT

MARCI AS A SOLOIST COURT GENT

 Act 2

 LARA AS A SWAN

LARA AS A SWAN

Act 3

 YASMINE AS THE DIVINE YET WICKED ODILE ! 

YASMINE AS THE DIVINE YET WICKED ODILE ! 

 MYSELF AS SPANISH PRINCESS

MYSELF AS SPANISH PRINCESS

 YUHUI CHAN AS ITALIAN PRINCESS

YUHUI CHAN AS ITALIAN PRINCESS

 FUMI CHAN AS HUNGARIAN PRINCESS  

FUMI CHAN AS HUNGARIAN PRINCESS  

 CLAIRE AS POLISH PRINCESS

CLAIRE AS POLISH PRINCESS

 NATS IN QUEENS ACT 3 DRESS

NATS IN QUEENS ACT 3 DRESS

 KRISTEN SHOWING THE BACK OF THE QUEEN DRESS

KRISTEN SHOWING THE BACK OF THE QUEEN DRESS

 MYSELF AND TRIST AS LEAD CZARDAS

MYSELF AND TRIST AS LEAD CZARDAS

 CALVIN AND DAVID IN MAZUKA COSTUMES 

CALVIN AND DAVID IN MAZUKA COSTUMES 

 RO AND LUCA IN NEOPOLITAN COSTUMES 

RO AND LUCA IN NEOPOLITAN COSTUMES 

 FUMI AND ANNA AS THE SISTERS. MARCI AS BENNO 

FUMI AND ANNA AS THE SISTERS. MARCI AS BENNO 

 TOM, CALVIN, NICOL, KEVIN AND MYSELF IN THE SPANISH  ENSEMBLE 

TOM, CALVIN, NICOL, KEVIN AND MYSELF IN THE SPANISH  ENSEMBLE 

 ISABEL IN BLACK SWAN ACT 3 TUTU

ISABEL IN BLACK SWAN ACT 3 TUTU

 HARRIS AS SERVANT

HARRIS AS SERVANT

ACT 4

 BILLY AS VON ROTHBART

BILLY AS VON ROTHBART

 YASMINE AS ODETTE

YASMINE AS ODETTE

 DEMELZA, NATS, ANNA, AND TIERNEY AS SWANS

DEMELZA, NATS, ANNA, AND TIERNEY AS SWANS

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After Show Glamour

Last night The Royal Ballet opened its new production of Swan Lake at Teatro Real in Madrid and what a night it was ! The show went down a storm, and to celebrate, the theatre held a very glamorous after-show party on the terrace over looking the Palace. However my eyes were focused on the super glam dancers, who really know how to dress for an occasion !  

 Ben and Akane Chan

Ben and Akane Chan

 Itzi and Melissa 

Itzi and Melissa 

 Teo, Jo and Nicol 

Teo, Jo and Nicol 

 Amelia and Grace 

Amelia and Grace 

 Teo and Harry

Teo and Harry

 Anna and Fumi Chan

Anna and Fumi Chan

 Annette, David and Charlotte  

Annette, David and Charlotte  

 Mica and Julia

Mica and Julia

 Calvin and a dapper Jo in the background  

Calvin and a dapper Jo in the background  

 Marci and Leo

Marci and Leo

 Gina and Isabella

Gina and Isabella

 Ro and Billy

Ro and Billy

 My photoshoot with Nicol didn’t go quite to plan !

My photoshoot with Nicol didn’t go quite to plan !

 

I’ve noticed for a while that my photos could be at a better quality !!!

I’m investing in a good camera this summer for more quality snaps in next seasons blogs ! I’m totally on it 👌

 

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 )