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Debut Deferred

featuring Soloist Skylar Brandt

June 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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Debut Deferred

ABT dancers who were slated to debut in a new role this season record a short rehearsal of their character while sheltering at home, and answer questions about missing the opportunity to debut and preparing to do so in the future.

Q & A

Soloist Skylar Brandt discusses her deferred debut as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.

What role were you meant to debut?

I was meant to make my debut as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty this Met Season.

Had you started rehearsing for the role? 

I started rehearsing for the role before the city shut down! I had just made my debut in Giselle, so Beauty was next on my plate. I dedicated each and every variations rehearsal to the ballet.

What were/are you most looking forward to about the debut? 

I was most looking forward to working with Irina Kolpakova on this debut. She is one of the most legendary ballerinas that ever lived and was KNOWN for her Aurora. For this reason, I knew I was going to be in such incredible hands learning the role from her. Irina was THE Aurora. Working with her feels like “going to the source”. I had to pinch myself every time I walked into the rehearsal room knowing that her name is synonymous with Aurora’s.

How has this time in quarantine changed your perspective on taking on the character?

This time in quarantine has changed my perspective on taking on the character in the sense that I will hopefully be more fearless when I finally return to the stage. This pandemic has taught me that the thing I love to do most can be taken away from me in an instant, so I must live every day like it’s my last. Having lost a year on my career, there’s no time to hold back. I have to put it all out there, take as many opportunities as I can to grow and thrive, and enjoy every minute.

Are you doing anything now to prepare for the character?

Yes, I’m actually preparing a lot for this role. I have been sleeping… and sleeping… and sleeping a little more. Sleeping in. Sleeping during the day. Sleeping all night. I’d say I could relate to Aurora’s hundred-year sleep now more than ever. I feel like I really understand her.

Anything else you want to share? 

This is so corny but during this time in quarantine, I have really stopped to smell the roses. I am appreciating everything I have accomplished thus far and am hungry for more when we return!