Tuesday, May 21, 2024

CULTURE | 17-04-2020 13:00

Royal Ballet training online to keep fit, explains star Argentine ballerina

For classical dancers, keeping fit during confinement is "a great challenge," says Marianela Núñez, the principal dancer of the London Royal Ballet, who is currently in Buenos Aires.

For classical dancers, keeping fit during confinement is "a big challenge," explains Marianela Núñez, the Argentine star of the London Royal Ballet.

It's not easy, she explains. From Buenos Aires, Núñez is continuing to train with her colleagues in London via online video sessions.

The 38-year-old is one of the principal dancers in the renowned British company. For two decades, Núñez has starred in the lead roles in famous works like Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, and Giselle.

But before Argentina closed its borders in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus on March 20, the ballerina decided to return to her native country.

"It was very painful to leave my home, my London, my theatre and the people I work with who are also my family, without knowing exactly when the date of our reunion would be," she admits in an interview from her home in Buenos Aires.

She took the last flight between the two cities and after arrival in Argentina, she had to go into a two-week quarantine. 

But she says she is grateful because "in moments like this it is important to be with your loved ones."

In the meantime, she listens to music – she says she is  passionate about the pianist Martha Argerich – and is trying to take advantage of the time off to "take a break" after 10 years without a vacation.

But at her artistic level, not losing her form is fundamental.

"It's a big challenge because we depend on our ballet and pilates halls," she explains.


Even before issuing the mandatory confinement, the British government ordered on March 20 the closure of all theatres, along with other public places.

But "my theatre, the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Ballet, which I already miss very much, have organised for us all to take classes online from our homes but together" and "thanks to technology we can all be connected," explains the dancer.

Working in groups but separately has a strong emotional charge. "On the first day I shed some tears of emotion over how we are all doing our best to get through this adversity together," she acknowledges.

"It's really been a huge moment of adjustment, where sometimes you feel you have the necessary calm to face the situation and there are other times when you get wrapped up in questions that are now impossible to answer, and of course this generates a lot of anxiety," she says.

Like other dancers, Marianela is thinking of organising an initiative on social networks.

"I have several ideas in mind, but I want to create something that can really bring something interesting and inspire my followers," she says, as she looks for "how to put those ideas into practice.”

So far, she has posted a couple of videos on Instagram.

On a personal level, "I think about my reunion with my beloved theatre, with the stage, with the ballet halls, my colleagues, the audience," she says. "With my passion: dance."

by Anna Cuenca, Agence France-Presse


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