Washington Ballet Member Ariel Martinez Talks Dance System, Performance + Enthusiasm

Ora Sawyers

TWB member Ariel Martinez opens up about his Cuban ballet beginnings and ambitions for the foreseeable future in D.C. and beyond.


We spoke with 11 of D.C.’s undertaking arts industry experts to understand more about how they set the scene. Test out the relaxation of the roundup right here.

A graduate of the Escuela Nacional Cubana de Ballet, a person of the most prestigious ballet universities in the world, Ariel Martinez joined Washington Ballet in 2018 just after 4 yrs at the Nationwide Ballet of Cuba. “Washington is a really inspiring metropolis,” Martinez suggests. “It’s a gorgeous city.”     

How did you start ballet?
I was 6 decades aged when my grandmother took me to ballet. At that age, you really don’t know what you want to do. For the to start with couple several years, teaching was soon after school. I was considerably less severe about it. In Cuba, you start professional coaching at age 10. It is eight yrs, but only following my third year did I start seriously loving ballet. 

Your repertoire incorporates main ballets like “Swan Lake,” and “Don Quixote.” How do you technique each one particular?
I 1st have to prepare my mind and my body. I also have to master the tale of the ballet: when it was developed, why the choreographer manufactured it and about the music and the composer. This way, when I get to the studio, I am all set to turn out to be the function. If I am the terrible guy, I have to know why he’s a lousy person in the story. If I’m the greatest good friend of the prince, I have to know what that seems to be like. And then when I’m on phase, I open up my soul and increase, I forget about everything and conduct. 

Is it difficult to keep multiple choreographies in your human body?
We have a saying in ballet: What you master effectively, you will never ever overlook. Even if you have not accomplished some thing for quite a few years, as soon as you listen to the audio, your body will commence undertaking the choreography. 

What about The Washington Ballet’s year opener, the Shakespeare-motivated “Such Sweet Thunder”?
We begun building the clearly show at the conclusion of final period. Operating with [choreographer] Silas Farley, I have no terms apart from “incredible.” He generates so rapid. He now had anything in his head but nevertheless asks, “What do you consider? Are you comfortable with this?” That is quite essential. The software is also demanding due to the fact I will dance two various Romeos in two diverse choreographies — Farley’s and the balcony scene [by Sir Kenneth MacMillan]. I’m so grateful to The Washington Ballet for the prospect. 

“Such Sweet Thunder,” established to Duke Ellington’s Shakespearean jazz suite, operates October 26-29 at Warner Theater. Find out more at washingtonballet.org. Comply with TWB on Instagram @thewashingtonballet. 

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