Berlin ballet dancers stay en pointe during coronavirus lockdown

By Sergio Jiménez Foronda

Berlin, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- People from a range of different professions have had to adapt to working from home during coronavirus lockdowns.

This has been especially difficult for dancers at the Berlin State Ballet, who have been staying on their toes since March doing their training by video conference.

Principal ballerina Iana Salenko explained in an interview with Efe how she and her colleagues have been keeping in shape during the quarantine.

“The teacher gives us classes via video call, so we are all following him to stay in shape,” she said.

The Ukrainian dancer was scheduled to star in the next adaptation of Giselle which was due to premiere in May.

She said the goal now is to keep in shape rather than to rehearse for any future performances.

“We hope to have a show in June,” Salenko said but added that a date for the troupe returning to their normal training has not yet been set.

Working from home is difficult for a ballet company, she added.

“It is very strange to see the teacher through the screen giving us combinations but we try to follow him, he also plays the music from home,” she continued.

Each member of the company has been given a piece of linoleum, which is better for dancing than the other types of flooring in their homes.

“Before we had to use the floor we had and it was very difficult to train en pointe,” Salenko said.

The online training has been keeping the dancers fit even though they have to adapt to limited spaces in their homes.

“For some workouts, I have to hold onto the stairs, and in some classes, I have had to train while holding a chair,” she added.

“Of course we would like to have more room to jump and move, but we accept what we have.”

There are also more distractions when trying to train at home, as Salenko showed when she posted a photo on Instagram of her dog trying to distract her during a class.

She is also a mother of two, with her youngest child born a few months ago.

“Confinement at least lets me spend more time with the baby,” the dancer said.

She said she prefers to keep busy but that it can be difficult to find the motivation to keep fit and train when all shows have been cancelled.

“You don’t have something to aspire to, something to be motivated by but you still have to think about your health, both your body and your mental health,” she added.

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