Yolanda Correa: a Cuban ballerina in Oslo

Cuban prima ballerina Yolanda Correa was recently awarded with one of the most prestigious prizes given to the major figures of the dancing arts in the world. She was honoured, in Italy, with the Positano Dance Prize “Leonide Massine” in its fortieth edition. The current soloist of the Norwegian National Ballet has played hundreds of roles in various international stages since her name appeared alongside the greats of Cuban National Ballet (BNC), when she began her career in Cuba. Despite being considered as “the most outstanding ballerina on the international stage” in 2012, she still insists in learning more.

How much are of the girl you used to be in Holguin in the characters you play today?

I feel the same passion and freedom I felt as a child when I dance. Now I enjoy much more the stage and each of my characters than when I was younger. I could say that I feel more like that girl: free and fearless.

What do Rafael Del Prado, Alicia Alonso, Ingrid Lorentzen and Joel Carreño mean to you?

Rafael Del Prado was who first saw in me the potential to be a ballerina. He was the one who talked to my parents about the idea. I was 8 or 9 years old. Later, as a teenager, when I went to study in Havana and I was part of BNC, I saw him many times, and I jumped of joy when I saw him. I could never forget him, I’m very grateful and I love him too much.

I feel a great respect for Alicia Alonso. Her great skills as a dancer, teacher and director of the BNC make her greater. I admire her dedication and commitment to the work, I appreciate all the opportunities she gave me for my development as an artist. It was a privilege to have her as a teacher and to interpret her choreographic work.

I shared the scenery several times with Ingrid Lorentzen before she became director and I thank God for having such luck. She is an incredible performer and her energy and work on the stage leave you breathless. Now that she is my boss, I feel proud. She is a woman full of spirit and great ideas. I’m sure she will carry out the Norwegian National Ballet.

Joel Carreño is a wonderful dancer, artist and partner. He is also an occasional teacher. I love sharing the stage with him, it is an extremely intense and exciting experience. I feel free and safe with him. I trust my work to him. He has a great vision and he is also very honest when judging. He will be a great teacher some day.

What do you feel you owe to the Cuban National Ballet?

Everything I learned. Cuban great maitres taught me how to develop myself and how to become into the first ballerina, each role I played made me to grow, but above all, something you only learned there, to be strong, to get over many things, to fight and work tirelessly. Being part of the BNC was the perfect workout. I will always take that with me everywhere.

How do you get to the Norwegian National Ballet? ¿How much has it contributed to your art?

The Norwegian National Ballet has a wonderful repertoire I always dreamed to dance. Espen Giljane, former director of the company, gave me the opportunity to make that dream come true and also to be a more complete dancer. I’ll thank him everyday. I’ve learned so much in this company….I’ve come to dance pieces I would never do: classical, contemporary, even theatre. I have worked with great choreographers and maitres from all over the world. This company makes feel in family.

Which of the plays you have starred in do you like the most? Why?

Giselle. I was always in love with that ballet and its history. Dancing it feels me   with different emotions. I think that is when I feel most sensitive on the stage, on the verge of tears. I’m also proud of dancing a ballet that means a lot in the BNC and to its history.

If you had to choose. Which would be your perfect partner?

I do not want a perfect partner. Everything would be easy and therefore boring.

What does it mean to you being awarded with the prestigious Positano Dance Prize “Leonide Massine”?

I have done not enough as a ballerina to deserve it, although it was a great honor to receive it, so I see it more as a commitment to keep improving my work.



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