Anticipation of a high-profile premiere and reflections on life inseparable from ballet - IngoDance had a chance to capture moments of one November day of choreographer Edward Clug and attend a rehearsal of The Master and Margarita.
What does ballet mean to me? It might sound strange but this is still an open question. The role of ballet in my life has always been different. At this stage in my life, I clearly feel that ballet is the greatest gift.
The most important thing for me is to stay true to myself and loyal to my family. My work often separates me from my wife and children, so I do my best to spend as much time with them as possible. Sometimes, I am so deeply immersed in the creative process that I don't even miss my family. And when I am with them, on the contrary, I can forget about work completely. During the lockdown, it was as if I took a vacation from myself and realized how much time I spent at work in the last ten years. I decided to make the most of this unique opportunity - not to do anything serious and not even think about creative stuff.
In my youth, when I studied at a boarding school and wanted to become a dancer, ballet was a way to freedom for me, a way to escape from the system. Then ballet became my job - I continued to do the same as before, but I also started getting paid for it. I tried myself as a dancer, choreographer and artistic director, but whatever work I do, ballet has always been inseparable from my life.
When I started trying myself in the role of a choreographer, I had practically no formal education in this field, I was not a supporter of any particular ballet school. In those days, I didn’t even know that there was contemporary dance and was inspired only by the classics. Although I've got my career established by now, I always try to learn something new.
I’ve got an organizational talent. Even if I hadn't worked in ballet, I would’ve become a good manager in another field. I always try to stay open and find new talents in myself. For example, recently I realized that I am very good at cleaning windows, and now I always do it at home. My wife thinks that I’ve gone mad but I find it so relaxing.
My youth in Soviet Romania was pretty hard. Hunger, cold and lack of freedom were commonplace for most people. This period of my life taught me to adapt to any circumstances and find a way out of the most difficult situations.
I like authors who mix fantasy and reality. I am fond of Haruki Murakami very much, his novels are my main holiday reading. When I was young, I’ve read almost everything Dostoevsky and Tolstoy wrote. Emile Zola made a great impression on me - in the lives of his characters, there was even more despair and suffering than in my own!
I will always remember how at the ballet school my friends and I were watching a broadcast of the Spartacus ballet from the Bolshoi Theater on black and white TV. The dancing of Vasiliev and Maksimova, the choreography, scenery and music fairly took our breath away! Later, Romanian dancers who toured Europe began to bring VCRs and tapes with popular performances. It was then that I saw Baryshnikov and Nureyev on stage for the first time. Baryshnikov became my idol forever, for many years I was literally obsessed with him!
It seems to me that if a person doesn’t feel at least a little professional envy, it means they are not dedicated to their job completely. I often see works that make me feel so delighted that I just can't help but envy their creators! However, as a professional, I always try to explain reasonably why I am impressed by certain things. This allows me to make my own creative work better.
I didn't have an innate talent for dancing or natural flexibility. I was skinny and understood music well. This turned out to be enough to enter a ballet school. I quickly reached the limit of my capabilities as a dancer and realized that I wouldn’t make the new Baryshnikov, but I didn’t give up and found a new path in ballet for myself.
When I work on a project, I dive into it completely and can’t think about anything else. Sometimes I even start having trouble sleeping! It’s not that I’m nervous: I’m just too much into the process and anticipating the end result so much that I can’t sleep.
Two quotes that have struck me as the most interesting lately are related to children. Probably, I just feel guilty about not being able to spend as much time with my family as I would like. The first quote is from Indian philosophy: “Don't forget that we borrow the planet from our children.” The second is just a good practical advice: "Give your kids enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.″