Born in Brazil, Mayara joined the Royal Ballet in 2012 as an Artist. At the end of the 2015/16 season she was promoted to Soloist of the Royal Ballet.
She has danced solo roles in works by major choreographers such as Kenneth MacMillan and Frederick Ashton including a recent triumph as the Gypsy Girl in Ashton’s The Two Pigeons.
As an artist, which is the most important – character, musicality, technique and lyricism?
For me, it’s a combination of all of it. To make the movement smooth and believable to the audience, you’ve got to work on your character trying to find the right combination in between your own artistry, musicality and technique. The more you rehearse the role, the easier it is to achieve it.
In 2016, dancers’ bodies are far more flexible than even 20 years ago. How do you feel about changing tempos or being a bit off the intended count in order to showcase technical prowess?
It’s a great thing that ballet has developed so much throughout the years. Although, I don’t believe changing tempos, adding extra turns or jumping higher is a great choice if you compromise the musicality or interpretation of the role you’re playing.
Professional ballet dancers after years of experience know when, and how they can add virtuosity to their performances. We have got to be very wise with our choices.
Of 19th and 20th century choreographers whose work do you find the challenges you the most musically?
MacMillan – most of the scores Kenneth chose in the past were quite difficult to understand musically. He was so clever and musical though, that the choreography he created on top of the scores makes so much sense that we wouldn’t be able to move in any other way.
And which challenges your technique the most?
Petipa and Bournonville were very technical choreographers. Their ballets are mostly very long and technically hard for us.
And which proves the hardest when creating character?
Again, MacMillan. He was the creator of so many strong characters, the greatest story teller of the 20th century. All the drama and truth he put in to his ballets are indeed one of the most desirable acting roles that ballet dancers could possibly have in their careers.
What is your dream role?
Manon, Tatiana (in Onegin), Giselle… I have so many dream roles that it’s hard to pick only one! But what these roles have in common is their drama. I would absolutely love to work on roles like that.
Do you have any ‘words to live by’?
I do, in Portuguese:
Nunca se tranquilize com o conquistado, arrisque. Eu quero, eu posso, eu consigo.
Never be comforted by the conquered, risk it! I want it, I’m capable of it, I can do it.
Mayara is scheduled to perform roles in Wayne McGregor’s Multiverse,Carbon Life and Woolf Works as well as David Dawson’s The Human Seasons this season with the Royal Ballet. For tickets and further details please visit the website of the Royal Opera House.
Featured Image: Photo by Tony Nandi, Mayara Magri in ‘Papillon’ (2012)