Enjoy this week’s Movement and Conversation Wednesday entry, all in fun. A dancer’s profile, with a wrap up with why she feels the integration of dance and health is vital. More to come . . .
Name: Kirsten Evans
Vocation: Company Dancer with Festival Ballet Providence
Defining Moment on Stage to Date: Dancing Solo Girl in Balanchine’s Agon this past season has absolutely been my most defining moment onstage so far. It was a Saturday evening performance, and the only one in which I’d be performing this role (for the other shows I’d be cast as one of the Two Girls in the first Pas de Trois). Learning two separate roles in Agon, said to be one of Balanchine’s most complicated works, was a task in and of itself, but having only one shot at dancing Solo Girl to the best of my ability added an entirely new level of pressure – in a good way of course. It was a chance for me to prove to myself that I could handle this heavy workload. Just to make things even more exciting I’m sure, my director decided to publicly promote me from Apprentice to full Company Dancer the night before, at the gala just after the show’s premiere. What a surprise that was! So between my determination to bring my own personality to the stage as Solo Girl for just one night and my new-found maturity as a Company Dancer, this performance really shaped the dancer I am today. I was so nervous during the opening, I actually contemplated running off stage. But when it came time to dance the solo, all of the anxiousness just disappeared and everything felt right. I had so much fun pretending to be a sassy Balanchine dancer that night!
Favorite Style of Dance: This is a tough question- I love so many different styles! But if I had to choose, I think I’d stay faithful to the ol’ bunhead response: classical ballet. I love a good dramatic ballet, Swan Lake may be my favorite, but my jazzerina-competition-kid background gives me a love for any cheeky or sultry character. I had a lot of fun flirting behind a mask while dancing Satanella Pas de Deux last season.
Inspiration: My inspiration has always been seeing live dance of all kinds. Whether they be in tutus on the stage of Lincoln Center or sneakers on the streets of Paris, you’ll find me there watching them. I seek inspiration from all types of movement. To me, there is no limit. It is all connected. I love to see dance live, because in my opinion that’s when the observer can really be moved (no pun intended!) by the dancers’ performances.
Favorite Dancewear Brand: However cliché it may sound, I absolutely LOVE Yumiko! I know, I know, they are expensive, but they are so well made, customizable, and flattering! My secret to growing my collection: I am the registered “YumiGirl” at FBP, which means I encourage other dancers to order their Yumikos through me for a 10% discount and free shipping. And for every order I complete, I get a free leotard! Win, win! ;)
Favorite Energy Breakfast: Most days before class my breakfast consists of a scrambled egg on a piece of toasted Ezekiel bread (sesame is my favorite) with salt and pepper, and black tea. I need caffeine, but hate coffee! This usually gets me through class, then I’m starving and ready for some greek yogurt and fruit – pomegranate Chobani is the best!
Favorite thing to do on a “day off from work”: On a day off, I like to sleep in just a little bit, wake up slowly and do a bit of blogging. Then my roommate and I usually head to Trader Joe’s to shop for the week. We’ll run a few more errands, maybe go for a walk – nice lazy day activities to rest our bodies. Then we’ll make some dinner, pour a couple glasses of wine and have a marathon of whichever show we’re currently obsessed with- right now it’s How I Met Your Mother!
How do I blow off Steam: If I’m having a bad day at work, a phone call to my mom usually calms things down. She’s a good listener and always gives the best advice. I also love to write. Journaling difficult times in my life helps bring them into perspective. I’ve worked out some of my most confusing dilemmas with a pen and paper!
[Be SURE to check out her awesome blog: Settingthebarre].
Favorite Travel Destination: That’s easy – Paris. I just spent a month living there in June, and fell completely in love with the city. Each arrondissement has such a distinctly unique feel to it. I can’t wait to go back and immerse myself in the laid-back culture and learn more about its art scene and its people.
[ A couple of pictures from Kirsten’s recent Paris trip: Photo Credit: The only and only Kirsten Evans herself!] ;)
Why do you think integration of dance and health is needed: After sustaining my first big injury this past year (stress fracture in the lumbar spine), I’ve realized how important it is to strengthen the areas of your body that may not get quite enough attention during regular classes and rehearsals. I’ve also learned the importance of rest and how giving your body a chance to relax and heal can make all the difference in your dancing.
What’s next for you: I will be finishing off the summer with a few exciting things; First, my boyfriend returns from 4 months of studying abroad in Germany! I also foresee a lot of boat rides, camping, and trips to my beach house in Maine throughout August. Looking forward to getting back to dancing in September after several hard months of recovery. Wish me luck!