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.
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!
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.
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.
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.