Janae Kerr, finalist in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship, took some time to talk to Sydney Eisteddfod about what inspired her passion for ballet.
She also discussed her Classical Variation, Aurora Act 1, which she performed in the Final and also revealed the best performance advice she's ever received.
What inspired your passion for ballet?
I have always had a passion for classical ballet but what has inspired my passion to grow into what it is today is the wealth and knowledge I have gained from working with so many wonderful teachers. My passion has grown from these teachers who have taught me the true meaning of artistry and this has continued to strengthen and inspire my love for ballet.
Who/what inspired you to start dancing?
I was always around dance and involved in studio life from a very young age. I grew up around music and remember watching my mum teach classes and private lessons. I used to sit back stage and aspire to be just like the older girls and always wanted to be on stage. I was very lucky to have my mum and godmother as my teachers as a little girl and they nurtured me to love the art of dance.
You chose Aurora Act 1 from Sleeping Beauty in the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship Final, tell us a little bit about this piece.
When I perform the Aurora Act 1 variation I get lost in the characterisation of this beautiful piece. I truly become the princess that Aurora is and imagine myself in the era on her 16th birthday. It is every girls dream to choose a prince to marry and throughout the variation I feel the story come to life within me.
Tell us a bit about the free variation you also performed.
My free variation is very special to me. It is called “The Last Moment” and was choreographed the month before my Grandad died. It is a dance that is filled with so many emotions and it is a true tribute to someone I loved very much. My Grandad always believed in me and to be able to dance and perform this special piece in memory of him is something I hold very close to my heart.
Which other performers do you most like to watch, and why?
I like to watch Alina Cojocaru as I love the way she performers so many different roles with characterisation and artistry.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
My mum has always told me to dance from my heart and to show the true honesty in my work. Every time I step onto the stage I always take these words with me to perform a true version of myself. There are many highs and lows in the world of performing and my family have always encouraged me to “Never Give Up”.
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
I have learnt that anything is possible and to keep striving and believing in my dream. To be chosen as a Finalist from so many wonderful performers is an honour and the experience has helped me to grow as a dancer. Thank you Sydney Eisteddfod for encouraging so many talented dancers in Australia to aspire and reach for their dreams.