My name is Andrada Ion and I am a balletdancer with the Junior Company of the Vienna State Opera. This summer I have just finished my first season as a professional dancer.
Being able to dance means a lot to me and the fact that I have the possibility to work for what I like the most makes me even happier.
This first year with the Junior Company of the Vienna State Opera offered me the chance to improve the classical and contemporary technique, but also to discover my personality as a ballet dancer. This year I learnt that a dancer is not a robot executing pirouettes or jumps, dancers are artists who interpret different roles in different situations. I also learnt that dancers are human beings and that we are also tired, we do mistakes. Sometimes, and usually after a performance I find it almost impossible to set my alarm for the next morning. It happens to me some days to wake up, to sit with a cup of coffee and to wonder where my motivation is to start again, from the beginning with the same warm up,the same demi plies.
Usually the audience sees only the end product, a beautiful performance with shinny tutus, perfect lined swans or strong princes ready to make a ballerina float. Well, sometimes this job it is not as easy as it looks from the outside. This year for example, I fractured my 2nd metatarsal on the left foot, and because I am quite stubborn, I refused to let a doctor check my foot. I thought it was just a sore muscle or tendon. I danced 1 month with a lot of pain until one morning when couldn’t walk off my bed. This period of time that I had to take off, I needed to spend hours and hours with physiotherapists or acupuncturists. Fortunately it was a fast recovery.
But beside this not so pleasant moments, this year with the Junior Company was amazing. I met some amazing friends that made the working days a pleasure. We danced a various repertoire in various places such as Vienna State Opera, Vienna Volksopera or Muth Theater. We had choreographers from abroad creating pieces especially for us. One of those was Natalia Horecna who choreographed a piece for one of our tours to Germany. Of course, many things happened during those performances,some of them really funny, but in the end we realized that with every appearance on stage we gained more experience and self-confidence. I remember once, during Le corsaire pas de deux I completely ripped my tutu so I had no time to change the sides in the wings. My partner was expecting me to come from the left side,but I appeared from the right with a broken tutu. I remember his smile when he saw me. Or during one other performance, I had to change my costumes from a tutu to a Tarantella dress, but because of the really short time ( around 1 min), I had no time to close my dress. The music started, my dress was not closed and the people backstage were saying: Go Andrada! Just dance it out!. I went on stage like that, even if my costume was not right. No wonder nobody filmed or took pictures of that variation.
I had also the honour to dance on the same stage with Anna Tsygankova, Friedemann Vogel or Svetlana Zakharova in different performances of the Vienna State Opera.
This year I also had the opportunity to dance in various international ballet galas beside my partner and friend Francesco Piccinin, who will join The Finnish National Ballet this autumn. We danced different duets like Satanella pas de deux or Le corsaire pas de deux. We both were invited also for photo shootings and our contemporary choreograph Jed O’Grady Weiss created two pas de deux for us. It is a great pleasure and it makes so much fun to dance and to be on stage with someone you really trust.
Well, this was a short summary of my first year as a professional dancer and I look forward for many others to come. I believe that when passion exists, you completely forget the hours you invest in it in order to make it look like it should be. That’s why, I can never call the opera or the stage my job.