For their very first UK tour, The Crown Ballet Company is visiting from Moldova, with dancers from many different countries all over the world, including Ukraine. On Wednesday 30th November, (8pm) Crown Ballet will be performing ‘Sleeping Beauty‘, at Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre.

We have had a rare opportunity to ask how a ballet dancer from Ukraine has been dealing with their challenges in the last six months.

Grapevine: What makes you jump out of your bed every morning?

Olesya: Hopefulness that only good things await me in the new day. Well, and a daily morning class of classical dance in the theatre.

Grapevine: What is your favourite role to dance to this moment?

Olesya: At the moment, my favourite part is Swanilda from the ballet Coppelia. In addition to the fact that I am very impressed by her mischief, lightness, spontaneity, penchant for harmless adventures, this is also a significant role for me – my first big leading role that I ever danced.

Grapevine: What are you thinking about while you’re dancing?

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Olesya: Going on stage, I try to find a balance between thoughts about the technique of the performance and how to convey sincere emotions to the audience.

Grapevine: Your favourite Ballet?

Olesya: My favourite ballet is Romeo and Juliet, directed by Kenneth Macmillan. It combines acting and dance technique at the highest level.

Grapevine: If you could dance anywhere in the world (not just theatre) where would it be?

Olesya: If it was possible, then I would not miss the chance to get invaluable experience at the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York.

Grapevine: Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.

Olesya: As a child, I tried to write poetry, but I never showed them to anyone.

Grapevine: How do you relax after a performance?

Olesya: Firstly, I like to slowly take off my makeup and spend some time in my dressing room, analysing my performance. It seems that the longer I am in the theatre after the final bow, the longer the pleasant aftertaste from the performance lasts. And secondly, I very much enjoy creating spa saloon sessions for myself to regenerate, nothing better than a hot relaxing bath.

Grapevine: Your favourite Ballet dancer?

Olesya: Queen of the dance, Marianela Nunez.

Grapevine: If you could take anyone to dinner who would you take?

Olesya: My parents, who still remain in our hometown of Kharkiv. I really want to hug them!

Grapevine: What’s your life motto?

Olesya: For the last six months there has only been one: “The darkest hour is always before dawn” 

Grapevine: We know that you are from Kharkiv in Ukraine. You left Ukraine in April 2022. How have you been dealing with having to leave your home?

Olesya: Yes, unfortunately, I had to leave my native Kharkiv for a while. Lithuania very warmly received me and then I moved to Slovakia, where I was preparing for this tour. As I answered above, my parents are still at home in Kharkov. I am very worried about them. Now my mornings begin with a call or message to them and watching the latest news about Ukraine and Kharkiv, in particular. But they, like me and like all Ukrainians, believe in the speedy and unquestioning victory for our country.

For more information about Swan Lake at Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe and to book tickets click here.