Ashley Ellis answers our fun quickfire questions.
Black Swan, White Swan or Swanilda?
I would say black or white, but honestly I have a hard time picking one or the other.
What’s your preferred pointe shoe brand?
I like a little bit of both. My preferred pointe shoe brand, I wear Freed Studios and I’ve worn them for such a long time that I have a really hard time changing, so it’s definitely Freed Studios.
What’s a ballet exercise that you find especially helpful?
Tendus, good tendus.
What’s your most memorable stage mishap?
Oh I have a really bad one. I mean it’s kind of funny; it’s really embarrassing in the moment. You know in Nikiya in La Bayadère? So her very first entrance she has a scarf that she wears over her head. It was my first show dancing this role in Boston Ballet and I forgot to wear the scarf. And there’s a musical cue – it’s like she comes in like. ‘laaa,’ and they pull the scarf off and the audience sees her face, but I wasn’t wearing the scarf.
So what did you do during the cue? Did you just stand there and pretend?
I stood there and the Brahmin, the high Brahmin, they are supposed to like pull it off your head, so he just did a big arm movement on the music and I looked up.
That’s the thing about live performances.
It’s funny how simple it can be, the little things that can go wrong.
If you could dance any male role, which would it be and which female would partner you?
That’s an interesting question. I think I’d pick Don Q. And because it’s fantasy I’d dance it with the late Ekaterina Maximova,
The next question is if you were challenged to a dance-off, name 3 people who would be in your crew?
Well if we’re talking tricks I would say Adiarys Almeida. She turns like crazy.
I think I would say Hernan Cornejo. He’s one of the cleanest; his technique is beautiful. And [Natalia] Osipova, she’s crazy.
Oh you know Alexandrova? Maria Alexandrova? She also has crazy jumps.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
This might sound cheesy, but I almost want to say Natalie Portman. I know she did a ballet movie, but it’s not because of that.
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