Show Reel Of The Week: Dancer and Aerialist – Etienne Ferrere
Give us your elevator pitch of who you are, what you do and what your skill set is.
My name is Etienne Ferrere and I am from France. I am a dancer and aerialist. I started ballet when I was 6 years old, when I watched my older sister in ballet class. When I was 11, I auditioned for professional ballet schools in Paris, and I managed to get a spot at one of the oldest and most prestigious, the Paris Opera Ballet school. I spent 6 years there, training in Ballet and Contemporary, with other schooling related to dance like anatomy, music theory and dance history. Upon graduation, I worked for a year in the Paris Opera Ballet Company and then decided to move to Singapore.
I am currently working for the Singapore Dance Theatre where I am a principal artist. The company’s repertoire includes classical ballets like Swan Lake and Giselle but also Neo-classical pieces by choreographers like Balanchine, Choo San Goh, Christe and Caniparoli, and contemporary pieces by Tim Rushton and Natalie Wier. I love the diversity of pieces and styles that I get to perform. I always had a passion for Circus and a few years ago, after watching Totem by Cirque du Soleil, I was inspired to start handstands and aerial work. I fell in love with aerial silks and I have had the chance to perform in this discipline too.
What is your ideal role?
The advantage of working in a ballet company is that we are always performing different pieces from different choreographers. However, after 9 years in the ballet world, I would love to be able to perform aerial silks more. I think the dream role would be one that combines aerial and dance with an interesting character to portray. As a ballet dancer, I have had to create and portray many different characters on stage and I really enjoy acting and playing a role in the performance.
What should TheatreArtLife readers know about you?
I always describe my passion as a passion for the stage. Whenever I travel, I make sure I get information on companies that are performing or if there are any travelling shows there so I can see them. At home in Singapore, I make sure I catch as many musicals, performing groups, dance or circus shows that come to town. I love everything that surrounds a performance: costumes, music, physical skills, sets and props. I love to explore my craft, in dance as well as aerial.
I love to combine together my love for ballet lines and moves with aerial techniques. But I don’t want to put myself in a box and define myself as a dancer or an aerialist because I am interested in so many things, all of which all define me. I am a creative person. As a kid I was always transforming my bedroom into a stage, using bedsheets, curtains, furniture and toys and everything I could to give life to my ideas, even an automated train which I used to transform my performance space! One day I created a dress for my 4 year old sister with branches and leaves in the garden. In 2016, I designed a dancewear collection for the brand Sonata Dancewear. I am also a fervent knitter and I love to create clothes with my own hands and needles! I even created a knitting pattern in collaboration with KPC yarn in Hong Kong.
Where do you find inspiration?
In so many things! In the music of course, I have a very wide range of tastes, from classical to rock n’roll and more. Music is very important for me and it is probably the first thing I consider before creating an act or a number. Without knowing which piece of music I will be using, it is almost impossible for me to create. I can have an idea of what steps and tricks I would like to incorporate but I need the music. I love when the choreography and music feel like one. I also find inspiration in movies, and in my travels.
I also like nature, flowers and landscapes, they make my mind wander and dream. I try to channel those feelings during the creation process and performance. I believe that when performers are true and honest about their feelings, it shows on stage and that is how I hope to captivate the audience.
What motivates you to keep performing/creating?
My love for the stage and for every discipline I am in love with. Even though I went to ballet school and my career has brought me to the dance path mostly, I love the stage above all. I love dancing, acting and giving life to a character, inventing a story and becoming a different person. I love flying because when I am on my silks, I feel like I am in a never ending jump, as if one step got me off the ground and kept morphing without ever landing (it was my dream as a kid, to be able to fly so I could dance in the air).
I also love costumes and makeup and I believe they are a very important part of the show. The preparation helps me focus and get my head into the performance. I also stay motivated because I know that my job is very demanding physically, and I know that I won’t be able to dance forever. So I try to enjoy every second of it, live and perform with no regrets, while I have the chance and opportunities to do so, while it is my turn. I have been extremely lucky with the opportunities that have been given to me, and what my career has been so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds, but of course, hard work is necessary to keep on that path!
Name your top 5 credits.
I got the incredible opportunity to work with amazing choreographers like Nils Christe and Val Caniparoli who gave me soloist roles in their pieces. Their pieces are full of life and punch. Their expectations are very high but I feel like it helped me grow so much. I also had the chance to dance the principal roles in ballets like The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. That felt like an achievement, coming from a ballet school, we all dreamed of one day having the chance to be the lead in a ballet and I feel very fortunate that I was trusted to be that person! As an aerialist, I performed for some of Adedance’s productions in Singapore, with my very own creations on silks.
How do we follow you on social media and get in contact with you?
My account is about my journey as a dancer and aerialist, but you can also see my knitted creations here and there!
I can also be contacted through email at [email protected]
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