Annabell Frankenfeld (AF): Congratulations on your nomination as dancer of the year! In the nomination, there have been two performances especially highlighted: Romeo and Juliet and Schmetterling. Are there any other roles you have danced that are special to you?
Laurretta Summerscales (LS): To be honest, I enjoy nearly every single role I do. The reason why I like it is because I become a different character every single time. I think everyone dances for a reason and for me, it’s also to get out of the real world, to get out of myself, my own head, my body – so I become somebody else. For me, that‘s liberating. It's like detox. Any role can be something special, it's up to you if you want to find that or not. Of course, I do have some favourites, but I don‘t want to completely isolate them from other things. For me, it's not about a particular role, it’s about particular moments with wonderful people.
AF: Can you explain that? What makes such a moment special?
LS: It’s amazing when humans come together, having a good energy, and really make something special happen. There have been lots of moments like that. For example just in this year, when Sol León and Paul Lightfoot (editor’s note: choreographers of Schmetterling) came. The way they work is very different. It had such a family vibe and it was really about humanity. In ballet you are often a perfectionistic, which is important but it was refreshing for me to work with people who have a different outlook and take on it. Also working with Christopher Wheeldon (editor’s note: choreographer of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) and his team was special. They were very picky about the details, which actually made me free. When you know the music so well, you know the counts so well, you know exactly what you're doing, then you're then free to do what is necessary in that moment. So it was wonderful to have time with them and their energy. Then you also have moments with your partners, which makes roles and moments special. You have to work so much to get that one moment and it's such a wonderful high. For me, it’s about moments with people that are really passionate about this art form. That's what makes you truly happy. When they really care about you and the ballet and combining them, not just themselves or just the ballet. It has to be a complete circle. You need to work together to make that happen and if you focus too much on one thing, then something else is out of balance and that’s not so enjoyable.
AF: You have done many different ballets and different characters, How do you prepare for a new character?
LS: I feel music is actually the basis of everything. If I don't have any music to dance to, I find it much harder and for me the music normally has the mood, so you just have to follow it. In the studio, we talk about many things. Then at home, I always go through my corrections. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake up and then can't go back to sleep because everything is in my head. So normally, when I am working on something new, I don't sleep (she laughs). It's really annoying, but that seems to be the way that it happens.