Lauren Songberg on stage in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Lauren Songberg, finalist in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to Sydney Eisteddfod about what inspired her passion for ballet, the Variations she performed in the Final and the best performance advice she's ever been given.
What inspired your passion for ballet?
My passion for ballet was inspired when I was a part of the Australian Ballet's Nutcracker in 2009. I performed at the Sydney Opera House and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, I knew this is what I wanted to do in life.
What inspired you to start dancing?
When I was little I did everything to be like my big sister, she went to dance lessons so I wanted to join her. My first class was a ballet class and the atmosphere of the studio along with the enthusiastic teacher and students made me want to continue my lessons.
Who inspires you and why?
Professional dancers from around the world inspire me, especially Alina Cojocaru as we are of similar height and she performs everything with such ease, she shows great artistry and has exquisite technique. Also, aspiring professional dancers of my age from around the world inspire me, as it is interesting to see how they train, their strengths and to see the standard of ballet from a more global perspective. My dance teachers also inspire me, with their endless knowledge to help me with my training.
Tell us a little bit about the classical variation and free variation that you performed in the Sydney Eisteddfod ballet scholarship final and why you chose to perform them.
For my classical variation I chose is Aurora Act 1 from Sleeping Beauty, where I danced the role of Aurora at her 16th birthday party. I chose this role as I felt I could relate to Aurora, being of similar age. I enjoy the music by Tchaikovsky, and so decided to perform this challenging variation.
My free variation was a contemporary piece I self-choreographed. I found the music previously and always thought I’d like to do a dance to it. I had a performance coming up so I quickly choreographed this dance in a day and had since worked on it. I felt I could connect with the music easily, and came across the storyline of being controlled by an inner-spirit inside of you.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to or watch, and why?
Anyone and everything related to dance! Sometimes inspiring, others comical, but all have an impact on the way I dance.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
I cannot pin point one piece of advice, but I would say - to be in the moment, breathe, and enjoy it.
What are you hoping to achieve next?
I constantly have goals within myself on a daily basis to jump a little higher, pointe my foot a bit more, balance a little longer…although the ultimate goal is to become a ballerina in a professional ballet company, where I can do what I love for a living.