Marianela Núñez: ‘What lockdown taught me, one more time, is that dance is my true passion'

Asia's Tech News Daily

Photograph: Sophia Evans/The Observer

It’s been an oddly fractured year for dance. Repeated lockdowns stifled talent, thwarted new ideas. Online and outdoor offerings provided some release but when theatres reopened in May, dancers emerged as if from hibernation, full of life, anxious to get on with their notoriously short careers.

None more so than Marianela Núñez. The Royal Ballet has excelled as a company this year, but she is the fixed star gleaming at its heart, never disappointing, always moving towards her aim of perfection. Her smile irradiates the stage, but it is the purity of her classical technique, the sense that you are watching someone at the absolute peak of their abilities.

She returned to performance in June in Jerome Robbins’s Dances at a Gathering, a piece for 10 dancers to Chopin’s piano music, which is both wistful and joyous, a subtle celebration of friendship and love. As the girl in pink, she was by turns playful and melancholy, carefully poised so as not to reveal too much but suggesting hidden depth. “It was just so lovely to be back and to feel the atmosphere with the other dancers,” she says. “We’d all been stuck in our little bubbles, working on our own, and it was very emotional to be back.”

Being part of a company is important to Núñez. She is a principal but not a prima donna. Last month, she danced the title role in Giselle but also, at other performances, the secondary part of the threatening, ghostly Myrtha. “I danced Myrtha a lot in the beginning of my career and then as soon as I started to dance the title role, I stopped. Yet Myrtha is so important for the story of the ballet; she establishes that mystical world in the second act and she has to hold the stage for so long. I just thought how brilliant it would be now when I have more understanding to give it another try. So I asked Kevin [O’Hare, the director of the Royal Ballet] if I could do it. It was a dream. But oooh, it’s demanding physically.”

She grins, letting out her breath with a sigh. “Sometimes I catch myself thinking, oh my god, how can I love this so much, especially with roles like the classics, because they’re scary. The challenge is huge. But it gives me so much. Coming back has been phenomenal. I keep trying to taste every little bit of it. What lockdown taught me, one more time, is just how much I love what I do. It is my true love and passion.”

All Núñez’s performances are notable for their refinement, the sense they give that she is pushing deeper on a long journey into classical ballet. She is determined to mine every nuance from roles that were created in the 19th and 20th centuries so that 21st-century audiences understand and appreciate them. “I am such a bun-head,” she says with a giggle, making fun of her obsession with ballet history. “Before my performances in Giselle, I re-watched the Anton Dolin documentary [A Portrait of Giselle] about the ballet, with dancers such as Alicia Markova, Yvette Chauviré, Carla Fracci, all these legends, and I am just constantly ticking all these things in my head.

“There is so much to learn. I am definitely getting more curious about these classical works, these styles, but also about me, how I approach these famous roles. Every rehearsal is seriously a journey. I still ask how can I push that, so that each performance is a work in progress. I still have a huge chance to achieve, to get better.”

Born in Argentina, Núñez turned up at the Royal Ballet in 1997, as a prodigy who had been dancing leading roles at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires since the age of 14. UK employment law meant she spent a year in the Royal Ballet school, joining the company at the age of 16 and then working her way to principal in 2002. Now 39, she is still in her pomp, her physical abilities showing no sign of waning.

“I really do feel I am in my prime,” she says, with another laugh. “But I feel actually I have been in my prime for a long time. The fact that I can sustain it is the biggest gift to me. It’s not only to do with maturity and understanding about the art form, but also my body feels great. I can perform three days in a row and still feel really good.”

For someone who loves dancing, lockdown proved a particular challenge. For her first, long enforced absence from the stage in 2020, she went to Argentina to be near her parents – “I got the last plane out” – and her boyfriend, Alejandro Parente, a former principal at Teatro Colón. She ended up staying for five months. “Lockdown there was super-tight. At least here in the UK people could go for a walk in the park; we were only allowed to go round the block.”

Like every other dancer, she kept herself going by doing class in a confined space, finding refuge and solace in that daily routine of exercise. “I thought I was going to go crazy. But I was actually surprised about how grown up I was about it. I thought there were going to be more tears,” she says, smiling at herself. “I think it was because I could see that all over the world, we were all in the same place, giving each other strength. It was hard, but we did it.”

I am getting more curious about these classical works, these styles, but also about me, how I approach these roles

The return to England and to dancing, displaying radiant virtuosity in pas de deux from Don Quixote and Le Corsaire, when restrictions briefly lifted at the end of last year, was pure joy. “I could see how well everyone was dancing. I felt so proud. I think that just gave me a push to know that it was going to be OK, we just had to be patient.”

This year, her performances have been unforgettable. Not just in Dances at a Gathering, but also as a glorious Aurora awoken from sleep in the third act of The Sleeping Beauty. “The word I think of is content,” she says. “She has to be happy but not in a toothy way. It feels very grand.” The description might as well apply to Núñez herself. She contains happiness in her dancing, but it goes much deeper than teeth and smiles.

Since she wants to continue performing for as long as she can, she recognises the lockdown may actually have had a beneficial side-effect, because it gave her chance to rest, to ease those odd aches and pains that a dancing body always suffers. “My physio said it is going to give me another 10 years,” she says, laughing again. She is inspired by dancers such as Sylvie Guillem and Leanne Benjamin, prodigies like her who extended their careers well into their 40s. “It wasn’t just that they kept dancing, it was that every time you saw them, they were great. You could feel their energy. If I get to be like them, it will be amazing.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Alex Dombrandt seals it late for Harlequins with last-gap try against Castres

© GETTY IMAGES Alex Dombrandt – Alex Dombrandt seals it late for Harlequins with last-gap try against Castres – GETTY IMAGES Harlequins 36 Castres 33 What a test this was ... Read more »

Watford v Norwich is BACK ON after game STOPPED due to light glitch

Watford‘s relegation showdown with Norwich was stopped for over 10 minutes after a floodlight failure at Vicarage Road. Watford were trailing 1-0 to Josh Sergent’s audacious flicked goal when some ... Read more »

Senior Tory MP to meet police to discuss No 10 ‘blackmail' claims

© Parliament TV William Wragg (Parliament TV/PA) The senior Tory backbencher who accused No 10 of trying to “blackmail” MPs seeking to oust Boris Johnson is to meet police to ... Read more »

Body of elderly man ‘taken to post office and attempt made to claim pension'

© Brian Lawless Gardai are investigating (PA) Gardai are investigating reports that the body of an elderly man was allegedly brought to a post office in Co Carlow. Reports suggest ... Read more »

Nathaniel Atkinson vows to 'die' for Hearts shirt as new signing eyes international call-up

© Nathaniel Atkinson joined Hearts from Melbourne City at the beginning of the January window. Picture… If there wasn’t enough excitement around the addition of Melbourne City full-back Nathaniel Atkinson ... Read more »

Intel's move into Ohio brings new tech kudos, competition for talent

© Reuters/ALY SONG Visitors are seen at the Intel booth during the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, also known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai By Jane Lanhee Lee and Timothy ... Read more »

Er ist mit Kanada unterwegs: FCB muss zum Auftakt auf Millar verzichten

© Bereitgestellt von Blick FCB muss zum Auftakt auf Millar verzichten Zwar herrschen in Ottawa derzeit Temperaturen von minus 21 Grad, beim Blick auf die Tabelle der WM-Qualifikation wirds aber ... Read more »

Nach dem 18. Penalty dürfen die Zürcher jubeln

Jakub Kovar glänzt im Tor und beschert den Lions in Biel einen 3:2-Sieg im Penaltyschiessen. Damit stossen die Zürcher auf Rang 4 vor. © Foto: Pascal Muller (Freshfocus) Er parierte ... Read more »

Das kleine Wunder von Bern blieb aus

Der arg ersatzgeschwächte SC Bern unterliegt Gottéron 0:3 und verliert zum siebten Mal in Serie. © Foto: Anthony Anex (Keystone) Junge Gesichter beim SCB: Santiago Näf (links) und Noah Fuss nach ... Read more »

Die Negativserie geht weiter: Tapferer SCB verliert auch gegen Leader Fribourg

© Bereitgestellt von Blick Tapferer SCB verliert auch gegen Leader Fribourg Bern – Fribourg 0:3 Hier gibt es das Spiel zum Nachlesen im Ticker! Die Frage vor dem Spiel ist ... Read more »

Frankfurt bleibt sieglos im 2022

© KEYSTONE/AP/Arne Dedert Arminia Bielefeld gewinnt in Frankfurt überraschend 2:0. Arminia Bielefeld hat zum Auftakt der 20. Runde in der Bundesliga einen überraschenden Sieg gefeiert. Das Team mit dem Zürcher ... Read more »

Federal officials to monitor Wasington anti-vaccine rally for potential violence and extremist activity

Federal law enforcement in Washington, D.C., have been closely monitoring social media for signs of potential violence and extremist activity ahead of a large demonstration against vaccine mandates this weekend, ... Read more »

Lakers beenden Siegesserie von Servette

© KEYSTONE/PostFinance/PATRICK B. KRAEMER Die Rapperswil-Jona Lakers setzen einer weiteren Erfolgsserie ein Ende. Sie bezwingen Genève-Servette, das zuvor fünfmal in Folge gewonnen hat, mit 2:1 nach Penaltyschiessen. Die Lakers hatten ... Read more »

Igor Fruman, Figure from Trump’s First Impeachment, Gets a Year and a Day in Prison for Plot to Funnel Russian’s Money

© Provided by Law & Crime Igor Fruman Ex-Giuliani associate Igor Fruman arrives at federal court for an arraignment hearing on Oct. 23, 2019 in New York City. Igor Fruman, ... Read more »

Das Berner Tief hält an +++ Lausanne dreht Spiel gegen Davos innert 56 Sekunden

© ANTHONY ANEX/ Berns Christian Thomas, links, und Gotterons Philippe Furrer, rechts, kaempfen um den Puck, beim Eishockey Meisterschaftsspiel der National League zwischen dem SC Bern und HC Fribourg Gotteron, ... Read more »

Team USA athlete roster for 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

© Getty Images Team USA will have about 200 athletes for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which open Feb. 4. So far, 207 athletes have qualified or been named to ... Read more »

2021 Divisional Playoffs: Winning expert Player Prop and Best Bet picks

© Provided by CBS Sports Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) scores a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half ... Read more »

Andy Reid Says Chiefs Linebacker Willie Gay, Arrested Earlier This Week, Will Play

© Provided by Sports Illustrated The Kansas City linebacker was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of criminal property damage of less than $1,000. View the original article to see embedded ... Read more »

Alleged Border Census Undercount May See Texas Lose $247M in Medicaid; Lawmakers to Meet

© Photo by John Moore/Getty Images The lawmakers say that communities near the border can be hard for census officials to count and have historically been undercounted. Here, an immigrant ... Read more »

PTC India panel to probe fin arm

© Provided by The Times of India Mumbai: PTC India has appointed a high-level committee to look into the issues raised by three independent directors of its subsidiary PTC India ... Read more »

Oscars 2022 eyeing multiple hosts for the ceremony: report

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland and Tina Fey each reportedly have people pulling for them to host the 2022 Oscars. Disney General Entertainment After years of having ... Read more »

Bandhan Bank net rises 36% riding on growth of non-interest income

© Provided by The Financial Express For the EEB segment (erstwhile microbanking segment), collection efficiency for December 2021 stood at 92% (including NPAs) against 86% in September 2021. And, it ... Read more »

WATCH: ‘Proud Maa' Sushmita Sen sings Spanish song with daughter Alisha; Says ‘Life comes a full circle'

© Provided by Pinkvilla Former Miss Universe and actor Sushmita Sen enjoys a massive fan following and credit goes to her wittiness and beauty. She has created a niche for ... Read more »

VALORANT Icebox map guide: Callouts, tips, and tricks

© Provided by Dot Esports Icebox offers a couple of unique twists in VALORANT, namely in the verticality of each spike site and the horizontal ziplines that players can use ... Read more »

Venezuela's public companies quadruple foreign currency sales to central bank

© Reuters/LEONARDO FERNANDEZ VILORIA FILE PHOTO: The assistant of a bus driver holds Bolivar banknotes, worth between 0.01 and 0.25 US Dollars, after Venezuela’s central bank announced it will cut ... Read more »

DOMINIC SANDBROOK: The greatest leaders turned despair into triumph

Of all the great political virtues, the most underestimated is sheer resilience. Getting to the top is one thing. To stay there, however, you need to keep going when fate ... Read more »

Christina Aguilera shows support for childhood co star Britney Spears, says 'I will always be here'

© Provided by Pinkvilla   Christina Aguilera is professing her love for Britney Spears, her childhood costar and pop contemporary. Aguilera, 41, has known Spears, 40, since they were both ... Read more »

All booster effects in Angry Birds Journey

© Provided by GamePur Although every bird you can unlock provides their own unique move, Angry Birds Journey also includes a new gameplay mechanic that lets you destroy sections of ... Read more »

Raducanu leaves Melbourne with no regrets but new desire to ‘stay at the top’

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Andy Cheung/Getty Images Emma Raducanu has said she has no regrets about taking to the court on Thursday while injured with blisters on her ... Read more »

ICICI Prudential Life Rating: Buy- A stable performance by firm in Q3FY22

ICICI Prudential Life (IPru Life) reported NBP/APE growth of 10%/16% y-o-y in Q3FY22. However, 9MFY22 growth is robust at 30% each. We expect Q4 to be a strong quarter, driven ... Read more »

The stock market is signaling more downside ahead as all major US indexes break below their closely watched 200-day moving averages

© Bryan R Smith/Reuters The stock market is signaling more downside ahead as all major US indexes break below their closely watched 200-day moving averages All major stock market indices ... Read more »

Woman goes viral on Twitter after sharing job application mishap

Since Ashleigh Keenan posted her story, her tweet has amassed a staggering 49.6 thousand likes. Getty Images A woman who applied for around 60 jobs and didn’t hear back from ... Read more »

Cost of petrol pumps should be slashed by 6p a litre, motoring groups demand

PETROL pump prices should be cut by up to 6p a litre, motoring groups say. And drivers are facing a postcode lottery — with fuel costs at the same supermarket ... Read more »

Dead man taken to Irish post office 'in attempt to claim his pension'

"It's all anyone has been talking about … it is unbelievable," a woman working at the nail and beauty salon across the road says. Read more »

The only 5 recipes you need in your baking repertoire, according to a time-poor chef.

© Getty Images The only 5 recipes you need in your baking repertoire, according to a time-poor chef. I studied cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu and prepared one pastry a ... Read more »

Alex Lowry set Rangers challenge by Gio van Bronckhorst as boss set for anxious wait on Ianis Hagi injury

Rangers manager Gio van Bronckhorst expressed his pride in debut hero Alex Lowry – then challenged him to get even better. The youngster enjoyed a dream introduction to the first ... Read more »

BBC Live at the Apollo: Zoe Lyons' marriage to wife 14 years older, first job in a jam factory and serious health condition

A familiar face on the nation’s TV screens, Zoe Lyons is one of the most popular comedians of the day. Zoe, 50, was born in Wales, before moving to Ireland, ... Read more »

Bill Maher pushes back on Fauci: 'Don't sit there in your white coat and tell me "just do what we say"'

© Getty Images Bill Maher pushes back on Fauci: ‘Don’t sit there in your white coat and tell me “just do what we say”‘ Bill Maher is pushing back against ... Read more »

Pokemon Unite New Sheriff in Town battle pass rewards leaked

Pokemon Unite’s fourth battle pass will be gone in less than two weeks and trainers are already wondering what’s coming in season five. The answer has been leaked for Pokemon ... Read more »

Top-ranked Korda takes LPGA Tournament of Champions lead

© Julio Aguilar American Nelly Korda tees off on 18 on the way to the halfway lead in the LPGA Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida World number one Nelly ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic