On 7th October 2021, it was a pleasure to welcome Royal Ballet First Artists Mica Bradbury and Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød as our guests. A few days before, at the general rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet, Mica had performed the role of Nurse, whilst Lukas was Paris. Their official debuts in the roles were a couple of days after our meeting. Both perform a variety of roles in the ballet including, for Mica, a harlot and Juliet’s friends and, for Lukas, Escalus.
They then spoke briefly about the rehearsals for The Dante Project before speaking about their summer holiday, which for Mica had included a gala in Valencia organised by Hikaru Kobayashi. We then went back to discuss their training in London and Oslo respectively and their time at the Royal Ballet School, before talking about their professional careers, which for Mica had started at the Royal Ballet of Flanders, where Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui became director and created a role in Fall on her.
Mica’s roles with the Royal have included a Priestess in Sidi Larbi’s Medusa as well as corps roles across the repertoire. Lukas spoke about his choreographic pieces at the School and for Draft Works and his roles in the Company, including Concerto, Prince Gremin in Onegin, the Gypsy Girl’s lover in Two Pigeons and the Man in Mats Ek’s Woman with Water. Mica had also had the opportunity to work on the Ek ballet with Mats and his wife Ana Laguna. We present had a fascinating evening.
On 25th October 2021, we were delighted to welcome Royal Ballet Principal Fumi Kaneko as our guest. Fumi started by talking about her busy start to the season with her debut as Juliet and performances in The Dante Project as Satan and Beatrice.
Her debut as Satan had taken place more than two years previously in Los Angeles, but that as Beatrice in the second cast had been recent. Fumi then spoke about her promotion to Principal. She had known it was happening long before it was announced because of the Covid lockdown. The end of last season, after the announcement, was also very busy including performances in Apollo and Within the Golden Hour as well as an acting role in the opera La Clemenza di Tito.
Fumi then spoke about her training in Japan, success in various competitions and how she came to join the Royal Ballet, before discussing some of the roles she had performed during her career. At the start of this season a dream of hers was met when she joined Vadim Muntagirov to perform in the World Ballet Galas in Tokyo. They do not usually invite Japanese dancers to perform in these galas.
Fumi now looks forward to her debut as Odette/Odile, for which she had had a stage call early in 2020. Fumi gave us a very entertaining evening.